JAPAN, a land of wealth, friendliness and diversity.
I just went back from my visit to Japan from 7th to 15th of August 2013. In this post, I’m going to share you the highlights awesome stuffs I find in Japan. Please sit back, and enjoy throughoutly!
Colours of Japan
Japan is a lovely, friendly and a city that always crowded. Everywhere you go, you almost find places that bursting with people. Well, I went to public places such as hotels, stations, shops, malls, amusement parks, shrines and temples. There’s none of these places that are not crowded. Well maybe because I visited that place when summer holiday as well. I visited some places like The Universal Studios, The Disneyland and Disney Sea, rode on Shinkansen train, went to Shinto shrines and temples and many more. What I love about summer is the sound of crickets. That reminds me of anime and manga I’ve read about Japan’s summer atmosphere.
The shopkeepers, and the waitresses are so friendly. They always smile when we talk to them, says thank you with a smile, giving back coin changes so friendly, help us when we’re confused how to use local lockers, and so on. I don’t know if that’s just ‘business smile’ or not, but that really gives me an impression about friendliness in Japan. What amazes me most are the traffic. The private cars/vehicles mostly. They drive it so proper and neat, and they drive it with relaxing speed.
The next thing is the trust. They let people bursting inside their stores, but no one watches over the guests/customers who are looking for items they want to buy. If it’s in my country, those small souvenirs that can be easily slipped through to pocket are an easy target. However, the Japanese shopkeepers just didn’t paying any attention to the items they put on the shelves. Yes there is a CCTV everywhere, however I admire their morals and values and I respect them. There are no resort polices on patrol anywhere I can see. Almost none!
OH yeah, you can also pay the items by putting the coins/money on a box, and then take the item and walk away. One case I found is you buy an amulet on a Shrine, and the only way you can pay is just to put the coins into the box, as the same amount with the described price, and walk away with the item. Same as the souvenirs shop, but maybe almost not all of them.
Places and People
I visited Shinkansen. The station was busy, and the train ride only lasts for few minutes. Nothing special honestly. I also visited an onsen inn. The Yukata was awesome, but I could not sleep using that. I peeked at the onsen, it was almost the size of tennis court. It has big onsen pool. And yes, some people are nude in there. It’s not mixed up between male and female.
I visited the 1000 gate shrines, and the place was beautiful. Also visited the Harajuku street. It was hot (summerday!) and lots of people were there.
The girls there are so pretty, their skins are so white, even though it’s summer. Maybe their skins are adjusted to the weather. Mom’s right, they have more females than males here. Disneyland and Universal studios was an awesome place to visit, but make sure you don’t go on between 11am-1pm during summer. It’s freaking hot, almost 40 degrees celsius.
I also visited the foot of Mt.Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan. The place was foggy, and the weather was not perfect for sightseeing. However, I did took some pictures of Mt.Fuji. Souvenirs here are unique, you can’t find it anywhere else. Make sure you buy it if you want!
The flight from Indonesia, takes 1 hour to Singapore for transit. Then, it takes 7 hours to go there. It wasn’t so bad, considering what I’ve done was just sleeping, listening to musics, play game, watch movies (approx. 120 mins), then go to sleep, eat, watch movies again, and sleep again. Until then, you won’t realize you’re almost there. I mostly travel there using bus. The bus was comfortable, and nice.
I compared their friendliness with another country, such as mine or Singapore, but honestly Japanese people always give a warm, patience smile to us. I felt really comfortable back there. The hospitality really amazes me, even until now. I think my country, Indonesia must set Japan as a very good example of hospitality. Japanese people are very friendly, smile-giving, neat, and they are very discipline about almost everything. The city was clean, it is safe and secured, no criminals, no burglars, and so on.
Foods and Drinks
The food there however might be quite different with the taste of another country. They mostly serves fish, rice, wasabi (Japanese spice), miso (soup) and tea. For some people, eating sushi, or raw fish could be a problem. So make sure you know what are you going to eat later and prepare to order/have some other food if you are not suited.
That’s for the traditional Japanese restaurant.
They also have “international taste” restaurant that serves pork, beef, grilled chicken, and so on, especially on Hotels. For the drinks, they have almost vending machines everywhere, so don’t worry about being thirsty on the way. Note from me, do not drink something you don’t know what it is. It may not suits our taste. Normally, restaurants will serve you tea and fresh water. You can also drink tap water (air keran) from hotels/rooms. Yes, it is safe to drink.
Souvenirs and Price
The price here compared to Indonesia is quite expensive. You can find small souvenir, maybe like keychain, up to Rp.60.000-Rp.80.000 (600-800 Yen), which is expensive compared to Indonesian’s souvenirs. Whether’s it is actually expensive or not, that’s an opinion. The brand that favors in Indonesia, such as japanese shoes or shirts, I’ve seen NONE there. But UNIQLO, I see few stores. The building itself consists of 4-8 story floor. I love UNIQLO here, it’s cheaper, almost ranging from Rp.50.000 (simple T shirt) up to Rp.100.000 (normal or popular shirt) compared to Indonesia. The shirt itself only ranged up to Rp.150.000-Rp.200.000. UNIQLO is popular in Japan.
You can find uniques Souvenirs like ninja, samurai, or cat keychains here. Samurai swords (from small to real size) , toys, shurikens, fan, dolls, unique foods, yukata, anything unique to Japan.
Well, there’s a lots of story to tell in Japan. I didn’t get to visit Tokyo Tower, Hokkaido, and many things. There are so much to do and visit in Japan. Please do enjoy some of my photos and hopefully someday you can visit Japan!