@nifty, an internet service provider and portal in Japan, conducted a survey into attitudes regarding Japan. Each question was made as a separate post, so I’ll include links inline.


Between the 15th and 21st of November 2013 5,264 members of @Nifty completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographics were provided.


When a friend came over to Japan recently I took him out to a basic restaurant for okonomiyaki (see the pic above), and he loved it. It was a pokey little place with just the one counter/hotplate and 12 seats, the chef cooking right in front of us, ciggie smoke clogging the air, ice-cold beer. He loved it, as did I, as I hadn’t been to such a simple, honest place for so long; before I got married, I used to frequent a local okonomiyaki shop, visiting at least once a week.

Research results

The first question asked was “Do you like Japan?” Overall, 92% like or love it, 1% are not too keen or just dislike it, and not even one pixel-worth of people hate it. Love was strongest, perhaps not surprisingly, amongst the over-sixties, with about 42% versus 30% in the other demographics.

Q2: What are the good things about Japan? (Sample size=5,264, multiple answer, top 10 answers)

Rank   Percentage
1 Good public safety 78%
2 Has four seasons 78%
3 Can drink the water 66%
4 Good timekeeping (public transport, people, etc) 66%
5 Reliable infrastructure 63%
6 Clean toilets 52%
7 Lots of kinds of food 51%
8 Advanced transport systems 48%
9 High product quality 48%
10 Advanced technology 47%

Q3: What are the bad things about Japan? (Sample size=5,264, multiple answer, top 10 answers)

Rank   Percentage
1 Lots of natural disasters like earthquakes, typhoons, etc 58%
2 High prices 49%
3 Few natural resources 48%
4 Lot of people who don’t care about public safety 46%
5 High humidity 38%
6 Overwork 32%
7 The nail that sticks out gets hammered down atmosphere 30%
8 Culture of white lies 29%
9 Bad economy 25%
10 Too many people in too little space 24%

Question 4 was what Japanese foods people would recommend to foreigners. Note that some of the foods are not originally Japanese, but people chose these answers regardless. First was sushi or sashimi with about 55%, then rice or rice balls with 45%. Tempura was about 44%, then green tea or Japanese sweets at 40%. Miso or pork soup was 38%, udon or soba noodls was 35%, traditional nabe stew or oden was 30%, sukiyaki or shabushabu was 29%, grilled skewered chicken (yakitori) was 25%, ramen 20%, yakisoba (fried noodles) or okonomiyaki (savory pancake/Spanish omlette) was also 20%, sour plums or pickles was 17%, curry rice 10%, rice bowl 8%, grilled beef (yakiniku) 6%, and 4% the rest.

Q5: Where would you like to show foreigners around? (Sample size=5,264, multiple answer)

Location Male Female
Temple, shrine, castle 59% 67%
Natural scenery (Mount Fuji, Japanese garden, cherry blossoms, etc) 54% 64%
Hot spings 55% 57%
Festival, fireworks 50% 58%
Cheap food joint, izakaya pub 41% 34%
Posh traditional restaurant with set meal 24% 22%
Downtown (Asakusa, etc) 22% 29%
Kabuki, Noh 17% 33%
Fish market 12% 17%
Viewpoint (Tokyo Tower, Skytree, etc) 12% 13%
Sumo 11% 15%
Electrical town (Akihabara, etc) 12% 9%
Art gallery, museum 8% 11%
Theme Park 4% 6%
Department store 3% 6%
Other 4% 4%

Q6: What traditional customs, events would you wish to preserve? (Sample size=5,264, multiple answer)

Custom, event Male Female
New Year (visit to temple, New Year food) 84% 84%
New Year’s Eve (End of year noodles, ringing in the New Year) 59% 67%
Obon (Summer grave visit) 51% 53%
Fireworks 41% 49%
Cherry blossom viewing 42% 48%
Bon odori, other summer festivals 39% 39%
May events (Carp streamers, May dolls) 33% 42%
March events (Hina matsuri) 30% 48%
Setsubun (Bean throwing, directional sushi rolls) 29% 41%
Tanabata (Star festival) 28% 37%
7-5-3 (Children’s shrine visit) 24% 30%
Moon viewing 21% 35%
Coming of Age ceremony 14% 18%
Summer eel eating day 7% 9%
Other 2% 2%
None in particular 5% 5%
Categories: PollsSociety


aka · December 3, 2013 at 16:45

Hanataba = Tanabata?

    Ken Y-N · December 3, 2013 at 23:41

    Ack, I always get that one wrong!

Theresa · December 3, 2013 at 17:03

Sounds like the same things gaijins love about Japan …

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