So I just got back from Japan and can easily say that I am completely in love. And one week was all that did it.
Now I don’t know about you guys, but I had very high expectations before I even set foot on Japan soil, but I wasn’t the least bit disappointed. It went beyond my expectations. Everything about it was so perfect – the people, the culture, the architecture and most importantly the cuisine!
Where can i even begin?
Lets start with the food! I have always appreciated Japanese food, but never really understood how much I was actually missing out on the real Japanese food. Here are some of the things I conquered.
I was lucky enough to try the freshest sushi ever at Tsukiji Market, demolish a very generous bowl of ramen at Ichiran, try the very famous Kobe beef at a traditional BBQ restaurant, eat at Butagumi, the tonkatsu specialist and chow down with more than I can remember amounts of Takoyaki at numerous ‘hole in the wall’ restaurants in Osaka.
I would go on but I don’t want you to drool all over your expensive laptop, just yet.
Next is the transportation, now before I start on this I will admit that the internet was the main reason why I was able to go to so many places in such a short period of time because, well I really suck at reading maps. But in saying that I did notice quite quickly that the public transport sytem in Japan is very convenient and fast.
I’m talking about buses, underground trains, skytrains, bullet trains, ferries and taxis ( with doors that automatically open and close for you ).
Need I say more?
Next is the Japanese people. I was touched at the kindness and generosity of the Japanese from two teenage girls who wanted to walk me to a temple in Tokyo because I didnt know the way, the train guard who took me step by step on how to purchase a ticket at the train station in Hakone, the old lady in the cable cart who knew I couldn’t speak Japanese but was smiling and trying to engage in conversation with me the whole time, the bubbly waitress at the Tempura Tendon restaurant who helped me with the menu and took photos with me. The list goes on.
Even when they couldn’t help me, it wasn’t a quick and simple “No” like were used to back home. They would stand with you and say “Ee To” which I later found out means “Ummm”, and try to offer there help in other ways by directing us to someone else.
I don’t want to drag on about it for too long but there is simply a politeness and courtesy that makes Japan like no other place I’ve ever been to. You must experience it to believe it truly.
The temples and shrines were like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Just like in the brochures perfectly built with devotion and care put into every piece of the architecture. The wooden floors, the bamboo, the zen gardens all come together as a small spot to take in your surroundings where you feel relaxed and at peace.
I spent over ten days exploring this part of the world so if you want to hear a more detailed version of all the cities I went to in Japan then let me know!
Until then safe flying and Sa yo na raaaaa!