I Love You Japan

I've been trying to come up with an idea for posts that explain what it's really like to live in Japan. I'll try to write about just one thing I love or hate about it for each post. And because I'm trying to stay positive about this living-on-another-planet experience, today I'll start with something I love about Japan. (These will NOT be things hipsters rave about upon return from their wabi-sabi zen vacations.)

Today's subject: Safety.

Not from typhoons, earthquakes, radiation leaks, or tsunamis. I'm talking crime. Japan is ranked the safest country in the world. It's incredibly safe here and it's pretty amazing to know in an absolute sense that I'll never be gunned down in the street randomly or otherwise. Unless I start mixing with the yakuza gangs, it's just not going to happen. Sure there's some crime but when it does go down it's a very big deal, like when that teenager recently strangled a classmate. Total outlier and a HUGE deal!

Point is that murder, robbery, home invasion, reckless driving, these things simply don't happen like they do in other countries. Women can walk around most city streets late at night and not worry about anything. I don't have to lock my car or house and if someone nicks my bike at the train station? Chances are it will be back the next day. People care more about society as a whole than themselves as individuals, and everyone watches out for each other. I love that about Japan.

Lost in Translation (great film) stencil via deviantART


  1. Ah...safety. You know of course Japan is an anomaly in the safety category, right? But very cool that you feel safe. It's bad enough being on another planet, but to not feel safe...well that'd push some folks over the cliff. I love your blog more and more with each post. Makes me feel like we're still neighbors, sort of. ;)

    1. Are you kidding, I know more about Japan than I ever wanted to! The bigger questions are why is it so safe, and how their powerful network of social control actually functions. Really interesting and complex stuff I'll save for our next chat over coffee. :)