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10 Conclusions of the Japan Trip

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Hey, in a blink of an eye, the entire 3-week long Japan trip is now over and I’m sitting back in my once-favourite spot here inside my own room. I pretty much stopped updating after one and a half weeks, because my girlfriend came over from the US to Japan, and the time I used for blogging was spent showing her stuff in Japan. After she returned to SG, it was practically time to leave Tokyo for Shounan, the home of Great Teacher Onizuka. At Shounan, we were housed in a resort and did work from morning to night, so there wasn’t much to blog about.

I’ve learnt a lot on this trip though, and I’ll share my conclusions here.


It was summer in Japan and the distinctive sound was that of Cicadas. Hordes of them making a huge din. They have only a week’s worth of lifespan and they spend it making loud sex noises.

1. Do not be afraid of the Japanese railway and metro system. These combined, are the most convenient and powerful public transport infrastructure on the face of the planet, short of a full teleportation device. Do not take taxis or hire your own bus drivers, as the road conditions are not as stable as train ones, meaning that a single traffic jam or shitty driver can put a huge dent in your travelling plans. My girlfriend missed her flight because some shitty Taiwanese driver got her to the airport late. She could’ve saved 3000 yen (train tickets cost 1000 yen only to Narita) and got there on time by taking the Keisei line. She ended up sleeping at the airport. Anyway, all forms of transport are crazy expensive there. Bus rides can go up to a few hundred yen, and train rides of even short distances are a couple of hundred as well. Taxis start off at about slightly less than a 1000 yen, and then the meter ticks like it’s on steroids.

This is not the Japanese subway system. However you can indeed do the usual anime-ish fireworks stuff in Japan but they cost a lot of money.

2. There is not that much to do in Tokyo, unless you’re intent on visiting all the numerous shrines, temples and museums. Not knowing any Japanese will be a problem, but if you’re white, you can get away with breaking many rules. You just need to look clueless and people’ll forgive you. Akihabara is really overrated, mainly because of globalisation. You practically can get anything you want over the net. Maid cafes are retarded and expensive. The only truly good thing to buy in Japan are sex toys, such as Tenga. These, along with those of the more penile-type, and adult DVDs are really huge in variety and low in price. A nice, high quality vibrator can be 1/3 or 1/2 of the price of the same thing here in Singapore. Besides sex toys, I don’t think Japanese shopping is really that awesome at all. The clothes are really expensive, albeit fashionable (for girls). Guy clothes in Japan are uber expensive and look like they are made for gays or narcissists. The cheaper clothes are all low-quality made-in-China knock-offs, which you can get for a lot cheaper in other Asian countries. I didn’t buy much in Japan, and instead spent most of my money on food and transport.


Druggie launches a flare gun pyro-style.

3. Japanese people are really friendly and hospitable. Even more so when you can speak their language. The Japanese have an undeserved bad reputation for avoiding foreigners aka gaijin, but this is mainly because they are really afraid of embarrassment. Most of them can speak and read English to a certian degree, since it’s their 2nd language but they don’t like to speak it because they can’t do it perfectly. It doesn’t help that most Americans never ever slow down when they talk, and insist that non-native English speakers be capable of understanding their accents. My cool Japanese friend Ryo complained to me halfway through the trip that the Americans never slow down when talking to the Asians, while the Japanese do slow down their Japanese when speaking to us. I’ve noticed a huge number of other cultural differences as well, which I’ll elaborate on later. Anyway, thanks to this program, I now have free lodging when I visit certain parts of the US, Japan, Korea and China.

As I said in a previous post, speaking English will get you places with the locals. These not-so-pretty models were on assignment, being photographed for a fashion magazine.

4. I used to be completely disinterested in Korea, mainly because I was put off by their retarded dramas and boybands. The Korean fever, where middle-aged aunties and school girls go crazy over not-so-pretty boys and lame romance TV series, was really annoying for a while and that gave me a negative impression of Korea. There was also the Hetalia issue, and how we’ll always hear the crazy Koreans making nationalistic statements and anti-Japan remarks, which made them seem real petty. It’s like the only good thing I know about Korea is that they have awesome gamers, and I mean awesome in the "so good I watch them for entertainment" sense. However, having made 5 new Korean friends, I’ve pretty much changed my perception completely. I mean, their pop culture is still retarded but I think they are nice people who understand that their pop culture is retarded. In fact, I now want to visit Korea next summer. My Korean friends have really good English and speech-wise, can beat the shit out of 95% of Singaporean English speakers, possibly including myself. Whether or not it represents the actual population I do not know, but they are all International Studies majors so it’s probably a biased sample. More random Korean information: Their guys are really tall, and all 3 of the girls have boyfriends above 1.8 metres tall. One of the girls is a tiny cute girl, whose name is Meryn, and Ryo and I call her "Meryn-tan". She also has a twin sister, which means her cuteness increases by a square factor. It’s like all these moe points added together to make a huge moe bomb, I bet you lolicons out there would have a field day. Thankfully I’m not one of you guys and she’s just sisterly-cute. There’s another Korean girl who’s pretty much a tall Yamato Nadeshiko and most of the guys fancy her to some degree.


This picture has nothing to do with the text above. It is however a great example of why people consider Japanese women beautiful.

By the way, I would like to announce that I’m going to New Zealand’s Massey University from January to May next year to be a research assistant in their food science institute. They aren’t paying me at all, and instead are just giving me some housing and air ticket claims, which means I’ll have to spend money to work for them. It’s ok though, since the alternatives involve staying in Singapore and doing nothing much.

This Japanese rhino beetle, aka Kabutomushi, lives only 3 months in this grand form. It exists for much of its life as larva.

5. Goukon aka group blind dating, as seen in drama and anime, is really polarising. On one hand, the more introverted guys hate it completely, because the guys have to pay for everything and the girls are only interested in the talkative or handsome guys. Those with the charm to pull it off really like such group dating though! Ryo loves goukon while the other Japanese guy, who’s in medical Robotics, hates it completely. The robot guy, despite having good looks,  is really decent, innocent and kinda sissy so it would be no surprise. There are a lot of little mind games the Japanese play at goukon, and it’s hilarious to hear about them. For example, if there’s one hot girl and 4 ugly ones, the 5 guys will have to battle it out internally to see who gets the hottie. Yet, they must also be mindful not to pay too much attention to her, lest she gets annoyed and the others get pissed off.


Hayden is one cool chick. She calls it "Jimmy" and uses it as a hairclip.

6. Beaches in Japan are horrible. The sand is ash-black, and even a hot chick would look mud-dirty after coming into contact with the sand. The sand’s black from seaweed nutrients, and this means that the sea is saturated with seaweed! You can thus understand where the constant seaweed jokes in anime beach episodes come from. I hate Japanese seas because you can’t swim 2 metres without getting caught in seaweed, and since the sea is dark green and opaque, you can’t tell if it’s a seaweed monster! However, it’s not all bad as Japanese beaches are full of bikini babes, and none are obese like in America. They also wear heavy makeup. There’s an unspoken rule in Japan, that you can’t wet a girl’s face and hair with seawater. If you do, she’ll kill you niceboat-style. They redo their makeup hourly and have special sunblock lotions that seal their makeup in case the sea gets to it.

A girl redoing her makeup on the Zushi beach in Shounan. Look on the right to see dirty bikini babes.

7. I was in Shounan, the homeland of Onizuka Eiji and I saw the sea-side winding roads that are great for the bousouzoku (biker gangs). There are significantly more large bikes here than in Tokyo as well. The resort I was staying at for a week covered all 3 meals buffet-style, and it was a conference retreat-type with a swimming pool. In other words, I spent 1 week in Japan, ate lots of food, went to beaches and enjoyed myself. Essentially for free.


I visited Buddha Gundam. Pictured here are its heat sinks/boosters.

8. Not that I am encouraging you guys/girls, but if you’re female, caucasian (or exotic, namely not brown Asian or Chinese Asian), you can earn big bucks working at a cabaret club (kyabukura). I have an Iraqi-American friend who’s a real sexually-liberated person. She earns a base pay of 200 USD daily at her club and 50% of the sales from the drinks her clients buy. Her customers, whose name cards she showed me, include presidents of giant corporations, such as SEGA. I wanted to copy down the email of the Sega guy just for fun, but she lost that card because Sega isn’t as big a Mitsubishi or Mitsui lol. Anyway, it’s sort of illegal to work on a social visit. Good money though, since it just involves drinking and possibly a bit of touching. Anything more than that is completely optional, probably a hell lot more lucrative.


If you’re a girl, you can earn money from the fire in Japanese salarymen’s hearts and boners.

9. And to all university students out there, if you get the chance to go on an overseas programme, be it a full semester exchange, or a short programme like mine, GO FOR IT. It sure as hell beats working as a stupid cashier, or office worker for the 3 months of your break. And if you get a choice, do not choose those summer school type programmes as it will have limited interaction with people. Most of the "summer programmes", at least from NUS, involve just going to a partner school and doing some lame classes. You get to travel on your own free time, but normally, it’s with the people you sign up for the trip with and hence you’ll probably not make any new friends if you’re not totally out-going. In fact you might even end up with a net loss of friends as such trip are easy to lose friends in. I got real lucky and joined a pilot programme, which paid for all my lodging expenses, while my uni paid for my air ticket, and the structure of the programme allowed for lots of interactions between young people from many countries. On top of that, I went out and made some random Japanese friends on the street. Basically, your trip will be awesome if you make the most of it. If you ever go to Japan and just hang out in Akiba, that’s fine as well but make sure you talk to the local otakus because a lot of them really love foreign otaku who aren’t retarded. You might impress them with your awesome knowledge of stuff they thought only Japanese knew. I know I did.


International exchange: Indian uppercut destroys American imperialism

10. Google docs is awesome for group work. Use it, bloody Singaporeans. MS word is great for proper reports only. Singaporeans are so retarded. But we are probably less retarded than Malaysians. I have a hypothesis on a major reason Singaporeans are retarded. It’s because there are so few of us. In the US for instance, there are hundreds of millions of people. Even if a good 95 percent are retarded, that still leaves at possibly 5-10 million non-retarded ones. You can surround yourself with non-retarded people in an entire mega-city! And that is not taking into account the brain drain that occurs when people flock to the universities in the US for education and to flee from retarded people in their own country. In a country with a tiny population like Singapore, we’re talking about at most 250,000 non-retarded people, and that’s most certainly not enough to saturate areas and schools so that we don’t have to have group projects with idiots. And add the above-mentioned brain drain, where most of the smart ones leave Singapore for foreign lands, the problem is worsened. It’s not like we have special idiot zones (inland areas) like in the US, where we can safely store our retards.

This was found in Yokohama and solely exists for tourist cameras.

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32 Responses to “10 Conclusions of the Japan Trip”  

  1. 1 psgels 23 comments

    “Their guys are really tall, and all 3 of the girls have boyfriends above 1.8 metres tall.”

    Hehe, you should come to the Netherlands. 1.8 metres is like, our average length here. ;)

  2. 2 LianYL 777 comments

    Why don’t you use the entire Google Apps package with the gmail email management? It’s freakin’ awesome. Pity many people view it as a chore to learn how to use it.

  3. 3 Ravage 12 comments

    @psgels: Hehe, just what I was thinking when I read that. I’m 1.85 and some people still call me short. Then again, I live in the countryside; so with all the ‘healthy fresh air’ and ‘hard work’ that people allegedly have here they do tend to be taller than me.

    @tj: Man, you lot in Singapore have it easy. Free lodging and the university paying for your ticket. Most universities(mine at least) over here only offer those boring summer school programmes which don’t differ from a regular programme all that much. :( Good to know you’ve had a good time though. Already counting down the days till you go to New-Zealand?

  4. 4 linger 4 comments

    >It’s not like we have special idiot zones (inland areas) like in the US, where we can safely store our retards.

    I lol’ed because I’m from the US and it’s so true.

  5. 5 Di Gi Kazune 3 comments

    The only truly good thing to buy in Japan are sex toys, such as Tenga.

    I take it you bought a cartload back? :P

  6. 6 omo 137 comments

    You are absolutely right about brain drain, and that’s why the top univ in America are so awesome.

  7. 7 MV 14 comments

    I admire the appropriateness of the picture following the sex toy paragraph.

  8. 8 Kesenaitsumi 20 comments

    Wow. I didn’t know the local Otakus like foreign Otakus too…

    Had been scared to talk to them…

  9. 9 V2 74 comments

    sorry to read about your girlfriend’s predicament… but at least the airport itself is pretty nice to hang out in. i used an airport limousine bus (http://www.limousinebus.co.jp/en/index.html) to get to the airport, and it was pretty fair to use. those beetles - they’re really hard arent they? do they go with a “crunchy squish”? looking forward to your trip to NZ!

  10. 10 Jalin 16 comments

    I wanted to go on exchange too, but my uni doesn’t pay for anything ;_;
    So when you’re poor, it doesn’t help. at all.

    The average height of koreans is 1.8metres?
    During the last camp i went to that had 90% koreans, i would say their height ranges quite a fair bit from 160~180s. (guys)
    Though they ARE very friendly from what i found xD

  11. 11 raidragon 18 comments

    most of the Koreans that i found are about 160-80 as well…..but about Korean is friendly…i think that’s true eventhough somehow i feel irritated when i listen how they speak to each other in Korean…..somehow their language annoy me or is it just me?

  12. 12 tj_han 1439 comments

    Raidragon: Hmm, I do think the Korean language takes a bit to get used to. It doesn’t have the nice sounds of Japanese, but if you listen to the regular Japanese on the street instead of seiyuu, then Japanese isn’t that nice either.

    As for the height comment, the Dutch are crazy shits who need to be tall to avoid being flooded by the sea water lol. I think Koreans have probably the same average height as Singaporeans, which is much taller than the average Japanese. The catch is, the short ones don’t get girlfriends while the tall ones get the chicks. Hence, evolution prevails.

    V2: Actually the airport is crap. They close most stores at 8 or so, and the only one open 24 hours is the Lawson’s convini. On the other hand, Singapore’s airport is open 24/7 with lots of shops and we don’t herd you into tiny corners to sleep. Of course, Narita is far better than most Western airports. For some reason the best airports are in Asia.

    Ravage: No, it’s a huge exception. For me, I joined a risky pilot program which no one else wanted to, and hence they were willing to cover the costs. The average summer programme however, does cover school fees, but not anything else, and this is only if you pass the classes.

    Psgels: Right now, on my list of GO-TO countries, is Korea and Holland.

  13. 13 tragic comedy 46 comments

    I’m in Auckland city so do pop by to chill out!

  14. 14 Soshi 32 comments

    I have bad experiences with Koreans. Okay, make that one Korean guy who has scarred me for life. D: Korean GIRLS are wonderful though!

    LOL I wanted to join the very pilot program you were in but I was thinking “HEY I SHOULDN’T GO TO WASEDA SO MANY TIMES.” But now I have REGRETTED THAT TERRIBLE DECISION.

    Kids, please live your university life spontaneously!

    TJ, are you taking a leave of absence for next semester then? :O

  15. 15 0rion 52 comments

    Japan has plenty of awesome beaches. I don’t know what beach you went to, but I certainly wouldn’t call it a good representation of the overall Japanese beach scene. I’ve visited plenty of nice beaches in Japan, including near Osaka, Miyajima, and most anywhere along the western coast of Kyushu.

    Maybe it’s just the ones around Tokyo that are mediocre. =P

  16. 16 tj_han 1439 comments

    Orion: I certainly don’t think they qualify as great beaches. Okinawa was pretty much the last Japanese awesome beach and it has died to tourism as well. If you come to South East Asia, and visit the not-so-well-known yet really awesome beaches teeming with wildlife, fine sands and clear water, you’ll see what I mean.

    But Japanese bikini babes yeah.

    Eddy: Yeah I will. Palmeston North is kinda far isn’t it?

  17. 17 heng47 2 comments
  18. 18 Placinta 6 comments

    *sigh* I wish our universities had these kinds of awesome programmes, but being in the middle of a fight between communism and capitalism and a poor country, doesn’t really help.

    Great writeup though, and a greatly spent time. Also learned a few things about japan.

  19. 19 Faye 52 comments

    >>less retarded than Malaysians

    I have to agree with you on this one. Good to see you had a great trip. I am deeply envious of your opportunities though. :P

  20. 20 Anonymous 21 comments

    Where did you see the Gundam Buddha?

  21. 21 tj_han 1439 comments

    Daibutsu at Kamakura.

  22. 22 tik 67 comments

    then did you go to Enoshima as well? and take the Enoden
    and also the Shounan Monorail from Midori no Hibi? haha

    Wonderful trip! How I wish my uni had as many opportunities as nus…

  23. 23 tj_han 1439 comments

    I do think NUS has loads of overseas opportunities, for some reason. It’s probably to appease us people who couldn’t go overseas like you Tik. Hey, you were on a 4 year long overseas trip, you can’t complain!

  24. 24 xil 1 comment

    “Holy shit, thou shall not PASS!!!!
    Your IP has been logged for this futile attempt at accessing my SECKRET FILEZZ.
    114.*.*.* is your IP,no?”

    FUCK!

  25. 25 tik 67 comments

    I guess you are right, but sometime u do feel a bit sad and sian to be outside for too long too
    come visit me one day haha!

  26. 26 pio0 1 comment

    Fuck you , TJ_han.
    You always get the good stuff.
    Being rich is good.

  27. 27 maykoro 5 comments

    “Singaporeans are so retarded. But we are probably less retarded than Malaysians.”

    I’m a Malaysian ex-pat…. but i’m not retarded!!!!! >__

  28. 28 maykoro 5 comments

    EDIT: and i also do agree that googledocs is awesome for collaborative work…used it on moret than one occasion….

    i don’t understand why ppl on gmail who are doing collaborative reports never ever utilize googledocs…so much untapped potential there!!!

    fear of the unknown perhaps????

  29. 29 Richard OpenHappy 1 comment

    The japanese girl with the hat is pretty cute!

  30. 30 AK 31 comments

    Simply love those fireworks.

    “Set people on fire from a distance!”

  31. 31 tj_han 1439 comments

    Pio0: You do realise the school paid for everything? I didn’t pay anything besides food.

  32. 32 Crimson7 1 comment

    Hehe. I thought the last pic was a row of mosquito zappers…

Do not use any < and > for your own sake. It will end the comment there and then. Also, there is an automatic IQ filter which weeds out comments made by those who accidentally got transported from the stone age.

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