The freedom I experience in Japan with its high-quality of life makes me realize how cheated my fellow citizens are as the United States slips into decline and chaos under President Donald Trump.
The mere fact that I can get on my bike and ride around Osaka and get anywhere I want quickly, rain or shine, is amazing. In the USA, you have to be wealthy enough to own a car and pay tribute to the oil companies to function. I would be killed on my bike if I rode it back home in Florida, as it has one of the highest pedestrian death rates in the United States! Even the Volusia County, Florida Sheriff was hit by a car while riding his bike!
It’s such a pleasure to ride a bike in camaraderie with thousands of other Japanese people on the charming streets where few cars go. Japanese embrace the weather and can be seen in business suits riding a bike in fashionable Kita-Ku, holding an umbrella with one hand against the rain.
I’ve seen them in the sweltering heat of summer too, fully clothed and arms swathed in long gloves to protect them from the ultra-violet rays. In Florida, people don’t even go out or know how to turn off the air conditioning. It keeps Japanese people some of the healthiest and least obese in the world! Poor Americans get fatter by the day or are addicts hooked on opiates and legal meth called Adderall!
Then there’s the universal health care. We can go to whichever doctor we want! I’ve written about the amazing health care I received here. In the U.S., I would be just stuffed full of opiates for my back pain, like they did my father who died of sepsis last year. Instead I’ve been going to an amazing chiropractor and he has healed me!
Trains in Japan are so efficient. Although the increase in tourism without supporting the infrastructure plagues Japan right now, as my poor hubby couldn’t even get on the subway this morning it was so packed.
He will be riding his bike to work soon! But I can get anywhere easy, efficiently and cheaply. In Florida, SunRail is wonderful, but it doesn’t even run on weekends!
When I would go to Orlando, I couldn’t get back to to DeLand because the train didn’t run enough! You know it was built to fail and oil companies want you to drive, not be able to get around without bloodshed in the Middle East or supporting a fake economy of artificial needs! Poor Amtrak is all but dead and unreliable!
Instead of a depressing, blighted suburban hell hole that so much of the U.S. has become, I marvel at Japan’s charming neighborhoods and intimate streets where people walk, socialize, eat, live their lives, not live for corporations to extract profit!
You get the sense that Japan was built for people, not for corporations like the U.S, is.
Restaurants are like eating in a friend’s home, cozy, intimate, and delicious! A contrast to the big concept restaurants in the U.S., which delicious as they are, can lack the aesthetics and connection Japan is so adept at.
And then there is the quiet of Japan. On my recent home leave in Florida, the obnoxious music blasting from cars permeates the air along with car exhaust.
Now that Trump rolled back car emission standards, air pollution is about to get worse! I guess he likes India or China! People don’t blab on their cell phones.
Walk through Osaka Station in the morning and you will see thousands of people crossing each other without uttering a word!
Horn honking is rare. Contrast that to New York City’s Grand Central Station! No wonder everybody is going nuts in the U.S.! Quiet goes a long way!
Japan is also remarkably clean. Yes, I have seen homeless and graffiti and plenty of disposable trash as Japanese adapt Western consumeristic practices and start to walk and eat more like many mindless Americans do. But it is still way cleaner. It’s built into Japanese mythology.
Artwork, remarkable aesthetics and beautiful architecture is everywhere in Japan. Even the manholes in Japan are gorgeous! In the U.S., the dullest of buildings shuts down the mind and soul as Americans reach for their antidepressants. Just read James Howard Kunstler’s EyeSore of the Month to take your pick!
A friend told me why everything in Japan is so stunning, from every cup of tea with its richness of clay to the frothy green matcha and delicate mochi.
It’s because the Japanese believe that life is here and now. It’s in this blazing, miraculous moment. It’s not in some afterlife everybody has to die to reach!
Festivals and culture anchor Japan. I’ve been to everything from Tenjin Matsuri in Osaka to Kitano Odori in Kyoto. Every day I discover new rituals, festivals, traditional artwork and more than enriches the soul and is not about consuming and having but BEING. The Japanese philosophy is about living in harmony with nature, not destroying it! There is no original sin nonsense to control people with – everybody is born good! Now that is a functional mythology!
Another thing is I feel so safe living in Japan. No gun insanity like the USA, in which I feel terrible every day my daughter finishes her high school there. Trump wants to send the National Guard to the border, but they are needed more at high schools as prom night is coming up! In Japan, nobody steals. Little kids get around by themselves on bikes and walking. Picking up kids after school with a car is thought of as bizarre! The youngest of kids can get home independently and without fear by themselves!
A record amount of cash was turned in when Japanese citizens found it! Honesty a wonderful value. I have forgotten my I-Phone on my bike, which I use to navigate, several times.
It’s always there when I return! People leave interesting objects, plants and decor outside their doors. Nobody would even think of stealing it! In the U.S., things would be smashed or stolen in an instant!
Other little things are nice, like kawaii – everything cute! Animals and cuteness reign. Men get to embrace a different masculinity that allows a feminine side, not the bizarre toxic hyper-masculinity cult American men are trapped with.
People, even the wealthy, are environmental and hang their laundry to dry outside rather than use a dryer. Desserts are not overly sweet, and food portions are small-sized in gorgeous little dishes.
Food is about tasting rather than scarfing down as much as possible. Our apartment is filled with built-in bookshelves and cabinets. No need to buy or move furniture! More fake economy Americans have to submit to!
Finally, I love Japanese bidets and toilets! Seats are heated! Even public restrooms are equipped with clean, wonderful bidets! What is with Americans not using bidets?!?!?! It’s a basic necessity! Going back to the US recently, it was downright barbaric! Maybe we now know where the term “brown-nose” came from! The US! Or likely it’s just the sexually frustrated and prude Americans who don’t want women to wash?
I easily find life in Japan utopian, but no doubt Japanese people have a hard time despite their quality of life. Suicide rates are high, as is alcoholism, and it has a declining birth rate.
People must conform to the group. A high school girl sued her school because they forced her to dye her naturally brown hair black!
And last week women couldn’t even enter a Sumo ring to administer first aid to a mayor who was having a stroke, and women are forced to be a little too kawaii to their detriment.
Prime Minister Abe made thinking about a crime, a crime! And he stepped up the surveillance state big time. Worst of all, cigarette smoking is allowed in restaurants! VERY strange indeed for a county who is all about thinking of others and the group! Obviously the American cigarette lobby has its tentacles far reaching here!
But I love living in Japan. In a year we can apply for permanent residency. The way the US is looking wanting to build a wall on the border to Mexico, you may just want to get out too before it’s too late and you still have a chance! US looking more like East Berlin as it was all too much!
One thing for sure, Asia is rising. I predict Japan will go along with China, including joining its new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, AIIB, it once if figures out the U.S. is no longer credible under Psycho Trump, having imposed steel tariffs on it. Nuts! Plus, China just announced oil futures linked to its gold-backed Yuan, which will eventually replace the backed-by-nothing, printed-from-thin-air-paper-petro-dollar as the reserve currency. The U.S. dollar lost 10 percent of its value last year, but gold held its value.
What does that tell you? The U.S. is in serious decline under Trump. And a higher-quality of life resides outside of it.
Look me up when you arrive!