We’re back! So, what did we think of it?
Great things about Japan:
- They like taking a bath, and so do we.
- They are civilized and we can take along a laptop and a big camera without fearing thives around every corner.
- Friendly and polite. The Swiss also feel like they are very polite and they often think that people from neighbouring countries are not. Part of this is based on the appropriate use of polite phrases. Too bad I don’t know enough such phrases in Japanese: Sumimasen, gomen nasai, ohaiyou gozaimasu, konichiwa, konbanwa, sayonara, itadaimasu. There must be many more.
- Salespeople are even friendlier and politer than everybody else. This is truly astounding. There’s a chorus of greetings when you enter a shop, when you get up to pay at the cashier, when you leave the shop.
- Lots of free public toilets.
- Excellent signalization in English for public transport systems wherever we went. Then again, we didn’t go far: Tokyo, Osaka, Nara, Kyoto.
- They like seafood and so do I! Unfortunately Claudia is not quite as enthusiastic about it…
- Cheap vending machines for bottles and cans every 50m.
- Great variety of bento food available everywhere. Quite unlike the tiny selection of sandwiches we have in Europe.
- They love mochis and yatsuhashi and so do we!
- Train tracks often tell you wagon number and door positions where you queue up.
Weird things about Japan:
- Toilet slippers.
- Lack of trash cans in public places, and clean streets none the less.
- The number of sleeping commuters in the subway. It felt like we were on a transporter for the zombie army.
- Some younger women have a fashion taste that is very different from what we are used to.
- Terrible inward pointing feet for many young women. (I’m not sure what to call it: “Knock-knees”?)
- The queues for immigration and emmigration at Narita airport are terrible. We waited about an hour in order to get in and about three quarters of an hour in order to get out of the country. The officer at the counter was working as fast as possible, but there just not enough open counters for non-Japanese.
- Strong emphasis on the “route” while visiting things. There’s signalization for everything, including signs saying “Please continue.” There’s also signalization on the train track floor telling you how to queue.
- Apparently there is very little public display of affection between couples. We had to restrain ourselves.
Tags: Japan Holidays