Why do the Japanese want to see eight countries in six days?

It’s certainly not just the Japanese, with Brazilians and Koreans being just two nationalities who do exactly the same thing. Here are my possible explanations for the nationality I know best, anyway:

- They do tourism in Japan exactly the same way, e.g. every famous thing in Kyoto in half a day, probably mainly for the same reasons

- Although the speed wasn’t possible, traditional pilgrimages like the 88 shrines in Shikoku had a very similar list ticking approach. Series of landscape Ukiyo-e also seem to take a similar sightseeing by numbers approach

- Japanese holidays are short (two weeks a year, of which they usually only take one to save inconveniencing their colleagues) and they expect to make the most of them

- Things were even more extreme until the 70s, when currency restrictions basically restricted foreign travel to business trips

- They plan absolutely everything before they go, and it’s difficult to plan “Wander around and sit in a café” for Day Four

- The knowledge of each place is limited

- Japanese and world geography is taught this way, with each place being represented by one thing, one dish etc

- If they don’t see the famous stuff, people back home will want to know why. In the same way, if you go to see anything different, there’s the chance that your colleagues will label you as an eccentric individualist. In other words, it makes conversing when you get back a whole lot easier

- Ditto with photos- if you can just show yourself in front of the Eiffel Tower, you can quickly get the conversation out of the way

Like I said, other nationalities do exactly the same thing despite having totally different cultures, so it could just be as simple as never knowing if/ when you’ll have the chance to go again. After all, I’ve never known a “five Asian countries in seven days” tour, though it would certainly be possible


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