I love Google. There, I wrote it - I normally just say it to anyone who will listen. Now it's not that Larry Page holds any particular allure for me, and I'm certainly not on the Google payroll.
I love Google specifically because it/they are making our life here in Japan easier, better and helping us to experience much more of Japan than our limited language skills currently support.
The ever evolving features of Google Translate means that we're comfortable with reaching out to others, most of whom have little or no English skills (understandable!), to try and communicate on their terms, and show them respect in the process.
Case in point (one of a hundred I could share). Having leveraged all that is Google search / translate etc. in the planning of one of our many weekend adventures, I managed to get us to a little town called Motegi, 3 hours by train(s) outside of Tokyo.
The final leg to our destination (the Twin Ring Motegi and The Honda Collection Hall - cool if you're a rev head) required that we hire a taxi. None were to be found at the very small railway station, so we set off to the 'main' street to see if we could hail one. We quickly surmised that this wasn't going to be an option as Motegi is that small and that quiet.
What's the phrase? "There are no strangers in this world, only friends we haven't met."
Thanks Google, for helping us make new friends and truly experience this very cool country.