Quintessential Kenyon: Student Life, Uncut

The Most Awesome Things About Japan That Should Probably Come to America

Mia Barnett
October 2, 2014

I spent the past spring semester studying at Waseda University in Tokyo. During my time there, I discovered some pretty awesome things in Japan — things so awesome, I think they should come to America.

1. Food. Easy one. Japan has so much more than just sushi (although I do love sushi). America needs more ramen shops, partly because people think ramen is just that dry, 25 cent brick that college students eat.

2. Karaoke. In America, karaoke is mostly done in bars in front of tons of people you don’t know. But in Japan, you and your friends get your own private room, where you can sing “Toxic” by Britney Spears terribly, and it doesn’t even matter.

3. Animal cafés. This concept is amazing to me. You go to the café and pay money to hang out with tame cats, dogs, goats, owls, reptiles or whatever. How great is that?

4. Vending machines for days. Vending machines occur approximately every block in Japan and are usually found in large groups. Yeah, yeah, America has vending machines, but I think we could step up our game.

5. Sleeping on the floor. Contrary to popular belief, a futon is supposed to be on the floor and not in a couch/guest bed combo contraption. Sleeping on the floor makes rolling out of bed in the morning like 90% easier and 100% less painful.

6. Food-ordering vending machines. Let me explain this concept to you: There are tiny pictures on buttons on the machine. You put your money in, press the button corresponding to the food you want, and it spits out a piece of paper. Hand that paper to the cooks, and voila. No human contact necessary at all. Amazing.

7. Wearing masks when you’re sick. People in Japan wear surgical masks in public when they’re sick. I think it’s a fantastic idea. Germs are gross, and masks are a great way to keep those germs firmly stuck to your own face.

8. Convenience stores that are actually extremely convenient. “Konbini” are useful little stores that have everything from copy machines to halfway decent food, clothing to medicine. You can even pay your health insurance and your cellphone bill at a konbini, and if that’s not convenient, I don’t know what is.

9. Green-tea flavored food items. Japan goes hard with green tea. Ice cream, pudding, Kit Kats ... the possibilities are endless, and I think America needs to look into that.

If anyone would like to fund/manage any of my business ventures, just go right ahead. Clearly, you will be rich within weeks, because these ideas are pure gold.