Buggers Travel Japan 2014: 8 Things I Learned in Japan


With the recently concluded #BuggersTravel to Osaka and Kyoto being my second Japan trip, I didn't think I'd get to learn anything new about the country or its people. Based on all the blog posts that I have written for #BuggersTravels to date, I realized that life is like a neverending journey of discovery, and that deep meaningful quotes can be pilfered from the Internets for FREE.

I digress. But honestly, what I also learned from this trip to Japan was...

#8 It's okay to go crazy

Whenever I go abroad on holiday, I live by one principle alone; that is, "it's okay to go crazy" because no one else knows you. Going with the Buggers, friends so close that I cannot even imagine not going crazy with them, opened up a floodgate of craziness onto the Japanese streets, and it was awesome. 

People may watch you, whisper to each other and maybe laugh but in the end, they won't know who you are or where you're from. The Japanese people are probably too nice to say anything to you anyway.

Yep. This was a real thing that happened.

#7 Selfies are awesome...depending on the situation

See, like the typical tourists that we are, we have a constant need to take group selfies with famous landmarks, just so none of us are left out. Sometimes we take it in the middle of the street because a) no one cares about us and b) refer to #7.

BUT, while selfies are great in a group, it's not the same when 2 single (and one recently attached) guys take selfies separately, while the couple watches. That just moves into the sad category.

The three sad-keteers. 

That ethereal glow around us only makes this scene sadder. 

#6 Best friends can look pretty gay

There is a saying on the Internets that the things you do with your best friends usually make your parents wonder if you're gay. Well, this trip with the 3 Buggers who have been there with me through thick, thin, dark and light proves that saying is true, because all these pictures were taken without any trace of alcohol in our systems.

I'm fabulous. 

#5 Japanese people are very friendly

Especially when it's the weekends and you're on the streets of Osaka trying desperately NOT to be dragged away by beautiful Japanese ladies dressed up to the nines and coming up to you seductively because their pimp daddies are standing around them. Oh, you thought the Japanese girls were genuinely interested in 3 handsome guys and Bugger Marcus? Nope. They're what I'd politely call callgirls, just waiting to prey on innocent young kids like us. It's also the first time I had to actively try to avoid eye contact with beautiful, scantily clad women. What's that? You've never been surrounded by 10 beautiful Japanese callgirls before? We have.

#4 WiFi is a rare commodity

For all the good that the Internets does for the world, we have to remember that it has also killed the human interaction. Look at the picture above; it's a perfect example of how human interaction has faded way with a connected phone. Still, in Japan, I was pretty happy that WiFi was a rare commodity (at least for the first 4 days) and mobile Internet was quite difficult to obtain.

Not in the ryokan though, where the Internet is is fast and where social media sites need to be updated. 

#3 Asians all look the same

I'm speaking from an Asian's point of view when I say that I think all Asians look the same. Here's an example of what I mean. This is a picture of a group of Taiwanese tourists, whom we mistakenly thought were Japanese because they were wearing yukatas and kimonos.

This is a picture of actual Japanese girls, and if you think I know how to tell the difference between them because I'm Asian too, well, unfortunately not.

It's not racist when an Asian boy can't tell the difference between Asian people, right?

#2 You can take pictures anywhere in Japan and it'll look nice

I'm not kidding when I say Japan is picturesque. We were snapping pictures left, right and center, and nothing came out bad. I'm not even talking about all the tourist spots; nope, these are just candid shots of us walking around and making everything seem like a photoshoot for some travel magazine.

Here's one where we just stood around waiting for the light to turn green somewhere and made it look like a we were filming a high budget MV.

And here's the couple posing in front of a random alley in a picture that can probably make the cut for a high end fashion magazine.

That is one alley I can fearlessly walk into. 

#1 One CAN get bored of Japanese food

I'm a sucker for Japanese food; it's like my second favorite food after sushi. But in Japan, when all the choices we had were Japanese food and more Japanese food, I realized that one can get sick of too much Japanese food. See, almost all the restaurants offered similar choices, with slightly different variations; "It's either red curry or redder curry, boy". Needless to say, by the end of our 9 day trip, I swore to myself that I would never step foot into a Japanese buffet in Malaysia ever again.

 Kagoshima black pork tonkatsu which tastes insanely good. 

Oh, just sea urchin and salmon, and roe eggs and prawns. Y'know, normal stuff.

 Just some set meals complete with side dishes and everything. 

 Freaking grilled squid and chicken skewers. 

 There's something sweeter and hotter than my Ah Sou Celine; sweet potatoes in the freezing weather. 

 A truly complete Japanese breakfast. With rice, soup, fish, tamago rolls and Japanese tofu.


 Tonkatsu with a side of omelette, salad and spaghetti.

Pork slices on rice with a freaking soft boiled egg on top.

Okay. I take back everything I said above. I want some Japanese food now.

I gotta say that this Japan trip was honestly one of the best experience I've had with the Buggers (I don't think they share that view with me though because I'm a difficult person to put up with) and I really cannot wait for the next time we travel together. Maybe with more company, eh eh?

Next up, Taiwan.


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