When I tell people that I love listening to Japanese music, they look at me like there’s something wrong with me. However, there are some things about Japanese music that I just find a lot better than American music. Here are the top three reasons why I like Japanese music over American:

  • They Give Importance to Melody

Now this certainly doesn’t mean that American music doesn’t focus on the actual melody on the song, but the Japanese just give it more importance than the lyrics or the story sometimes. This makes their music very pleasing to listen to right off the bat.

  • Songwriters Write Songs

Lately, in America, the concept of singers writing their own songs has been gaining a little too much importance. This is fine, but I personally think that music written by someone who is inherently a songwriter is better and has more depth to it than any singer who sings about the troubles of their own life.

  • The Songs are ‘Happier’

If you look at some of the songs that are topping American charts, you’ll realize that most of them are just about sad or generally negative stories. Japanese music, on the other hand, gives a positive and happier message most of the time. You will, of course, find sad songs from Japan too, but their music focuses on a wide array of emotions and messages more so than American music.


So before any of you think I’m crazy for listening to Japanese music over American, I suggest you give it a try and see for yourself the stark differences that exist between them.

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Let me tell you that, as a photographer, there is nothing more rewarding for me than to photograph a culture that is different than anything I’ve ever seen. I am, as the title clearly states, talking about the weird and wonderful world that is Japan. From the extreme cuteness of things and the colorful festivals to karaoke, Japan has a culture unlike any other. And if you are a photographer like me, that is the best thing you can wish for.

However, I am not just a photographer but a musician too, as many of you may know. So instead of talking about everything you can photograph in Japan on your next trip, I am going to talk about some of the best music events and venues you can hit as a music lover, while also taking photos of the eccentric culture.

Visit The Country’s Largest Music Events

Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival is the country’s biggest outdoor musical event that has been held annually since 1997. If you are a music fan and love to listen to live music, then this is the event you should be heading to.

One the flipside, you could also choose to attend Summer Sonic, the rival musical event to Fuji Rock Festival. This is also a summer event, held in August, and features some of the world’s biggest names in pop and rock music. Both these events are perfect if you want to see how Japan’s music culture operates and no matter which one you choose to visit, you’re bound to have a great time.

Give a Shot to Some Night Life

There are a number of bars and clubs all over the country that play live music. You may be thinking that these kind of venues exist all over the world, and you’re right. But the thing is, Japan has some really good places where traditional and folk music is played. Also, many of these places used to be Sake breweries, and still serve it along with live traditional music.

If you want to experience something other than music that pays homage to Japanese culture, you should head to Kyoto. There exists a place called Minami-za, and it is the oldest Kabuki theatre in the country. Now if you have never had the chance to go to a Kabuki theatre, you definitely should. It is a form of Japanese drama that has existed for centuries. Trust me, the exaggerated gestures, the dramatic costumes, and the overall atmosphere will be perfect to bring your inner photographer out.

Go Buy Some Records

As any seasoned musician will tell you, the quality of music stored on a modern CD simply pales in comparison to the quality that an LP record delivers. If you’re in Japan and would like to head out and shop for some records, you’re in luck. There are a number of music retailers all over in Japan that sell records. Tokyo’s branch of Tower Records is one of these. Not only is it a great place to buy records, but it’s also the biggest music store in all of Japan. You can also head to Disk Union in Tokyo, with its six floors all filed with records for you to sift through. Each floor of the store caters to a specific genre of music, and you are sure to find whatever you are looking for here.


Japan is, without a doubt, one of the most vibrant countries in the world. Whether you are a music fan or just a photographer who likes to travel around and capture the beauty of different cultures, Japan is a good place to be for you. Take my word for it.



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