when it comes to travel: europe vs japan, i prefer Japan =P
kk, let me justify myself. here are 10 reasons why i prefer japan =)
The food in Japan is WAY WAY WAY WAY better!!!! I can eat Japanese food EVERYDAY and i still want to eat!! i can even eat ramen in every city and don't get sick of it because each city's ramen has it's uniquesness. not to forget (uni) sea urchin, otoro (fatty tuna), tarabagani (king crab), wagyu (marbeled beef) and kurobuta (berkshire pork) and many more. the thing about japanese food is that they use the seasonal ingredients and cook it in a way that brings out the natural flavour of the food. i guess it just appeals to my palate. in europe, we eat to live, in japan, we live to eat. we get excited in japan when it's meal time. it's "what shall we eat? =DDDDD" in europe it's "oh man, meal time again... what to eat ha? >.<" then pray we don't kena the bad food.
contrary to popular belief, japan is not expensive. it's getting cheaper. a can of coke is about JPY150 which is about SGD$2+ but in europe, a bottle of mineral water is 2.60 euros, that's like SGD$5!!! everything in europe is expensive (other than LV). the food there is the same price as in singapore except it's in euros (so u have to times 2) -.- and expensive but delicious never mind, it's expensive and super not nice!!!!
the service and packaging in japan is better lor. full stop.
the hotels in japan, even the v lok ones give pretty decent service and the minimal amenities include toothbrush, toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner. and always got kettle and green tea. if you pay a bit more (SGD$300), you get v convenient locations (like my favourite granvia chain) and a whole host of other amenities like trousers press, shoe deodoriser, face steamer, wireless unlimited complimentary internet, facial cleanser, even shiseido/polar skincare etc etc... the list goes on. and also almost always got yukata (japanese style pyjamas) and slippers. i don't even want to start on the ryokans... for the expensive ones... the dinner and breakfast are super good. of cos, the buffet always has miso soup, rice or porridge and japanese preserved veg and plums which i love ^^
the nice hotel (Hotel Mueller in Hohenswangau) we stayed at cost 140 euros (SGD$280) and breakfast is included.
ok, architecture is v different. it's a different kind of nice. so it's a little difficult to compare. in terms of natural landscape, i think japan is nicer =P
this one's obvious. we speak the language so getting around, ordering food etc in japan is a breeze.
there're so many comprehensive resources available on the internet for japanese travel and of cos, their transport network which is available on hyperdia.com so amazing. i can plan my trip right down to the timing of the train i want to take. maybe europe has it too but we didn't know =P in any case, the JR pass can be used on bullet trains, local trains, buses and even ferries as long as they're run by JR. but the Eurail pass can only be used across cities.
8. HOT SPRINGS
this one is a v japanese thing. i LOVE hot springs and i don't think europe has the equivalent.
in japan the weather is not so dry. in europe, my skin cracks even after i smother myself in moisturiser. it's so painful >.< my soles cracked and i could see the inside flesh >.< ouch!
in japan, the bullet trains are silent. no one talks loudly and u r not allowed to use phones in the carriage. so can zzz... but on our way from munich to paris, wa biang the people were talking talking talking and got one guy talking on the phone so loudly until i can hear the other line kee lee koo loo >.<
cleanliness and security in japan is also better. the streets are clean like in singapore and we feel safe walking around, even at night. but in europe, we've to beware of pickpockets, the streets are dirty, there's pee smell in some stations or underpasses, there's vandalism everywhere and sometimes we see weird people that freak us out.
and not to mention, japan has heated toilet seats with bidet that can spray front spray back, blow dry and got music when you take a dump so i won't be offensive to your neighbours... oh but in Germany, at the autobahn rest stops, the toilet seats are v cool. after you flush, a jet and wipe will be ejected then the seat will rotate and the jet and wipe will clean it so you get a clean toilet seat all the time =) that's so cool!
so our verdict is: given same expenditure and time, we'd go to japan again ANYTIME =P