First of all, I’m sorry for my dead silence. I know you’ve missed my exciting and/or controversial posts, so I apologize. Just kidding.
Life is quite busy. Even worse? Our internet connection/speed is unbearably slow. It’s really frustrating because it takes days (yes, 48 hours sometimes) to upload things to the internet. In fact, I’ve tried to edit this post numerous times and my internet connection keeps dying on me…”Can’t reach this page” etc etc. So you’ll have to make due with what I have to offer here.
My goal this year (2017) is to be much more active in my writing, photo and video taking/making. I want to become a writer. All writing, photos and other media on this blog are 100% my own, of course.
Most Importantly: Here is some Japanese loot that I got during our trip. Thanks Dear. I’m excited to use the parasol when the weather brightens up.
Hair clips, Hydrating Japanese face masks (in cute packaging), and adorable pottery with very fun kiddie pictures.
The Japanese people strike me as a very reserved, gentle and quiet people. They appear to be very careful and intentional in their behavior.
The first thing that gripped me about this country was how clean it is. I thought Germany won the award for cleanest country but I was wrong. Japan definitely wins this award. The streets are not paved with diamonds, but they are swept spotless. Despite the fact that public garbage cans are extremely hard to find, roads and railways stay almost free of rubbish and clutter.
Floors and surfaces are kept much cleaner than what I’ve seen in Western countries. When entering many places, you are expected to remove your shoes. This is something that my husband and I have implemented into our own household. Removing shoes before entering the house really does help keep the floors cleaner for longer.
Japan has an excellent railway/train/subway system that everyone seems to depend on. It’s as if the Japanese planned and invested far in advance for the present and future needs of an exploding population. Now that’s foresight! Instead of corrupt government leaders siphoning their country’s blood diamond money into their personal Swiss Bank Accounts (*cough* *cough* Charles Taylor of Liberia)—the money in Japan was used in a more sensible manner—creating effective, clean public transit that ends up helping everyone.
I was shocked at how few cars I saw in Tokyo compared to people. There were still cars and taxis on the streets, but far fewer than what you would expect for a population the size of Tokyo’s
We went to a Cat Cafe. We went to an Owl Cafe. Yes, these places exist. They are quite unique :0)
One thing I’ve learned is that the collective actions of a group of people, living within a certain territory, will have a significant impact on the land and the general appearance of a country. If everyone thinks that “spitting out one piece of gum on the sidewalk” or “throwing out one piece of trash is simply no big deal” this country would look like a sewer.
It was great to visit several Shinto and Buddhist shrines in Kyoto and watch the Japanese offer up prayers to their ancestors. No true atheists here. I enjoyed Green Tea (Matcha) ice cream and loved visiting several of the Starbucks—nice to have pleasant but not Fake, over-the-top customer service (ahem, Seattle).
We got to walk through a bamboo forest and we wandered through a famous Zen Garden in downtown Tokyo. We went to the Robot Restaurant in the Red Light District in Tokyo. That place is psychedelic, sensory-overload land. Instead of taking your daily dose of LSD, just watch the show.
Tokyo is the biggest city in the world (it competes with Mexico City in terms of “most populated”). Yet, this country looks remarkably clean for such an abundant population. If everyone in Tokyo (or Japan, for that matter) had a mentality that “little things don’t add up”, the scenery would look vastly different. Sure, there are tons of blah cement buildings–and many of them look very similar to each other (and aren’t very high) but the city is well laid out, organized and very clean. We went up to the top of the Tokyo SkyTree. HIGHEST OBSERVATION DECK IN THE WOLRD–450 stories! Our baby freaked out.
The Japanese seem to fully realize that their individual actions have an aggregate impact on the entire country. Perhaps the great irony about this country and its level of cleanliness and order is that not only are the cities densely populated, but garbage cans are very, very difficult to find. People take pains to hold onto their garbage and responsibly dispose of it when they can, in a can.
Finally, toilets in Japan are high-tech and designed to do a variety of things. I’m not going to get into it here, but let’s just say that they thought of everything.
Interesting Things I noticed about Japan (and what I learned from our tour guides):
Japan looked spotless, even compared to Germany.
It was hard to find public garbage cans anywhere—yet the Japanese won’t use this excuse to litter. The population in Tokyo is insane—but the Japanese won’t use this excuse to litter either.
Contrary to what you might think, I did not see that much ANIME, AT ALL.
If you leave/forget your purse somewhere just go to the police station. It will probably be there. The Japanese DO NOT STEAL. Crime is super low in this country. The Japanese have a strong sense of ethics and karma.
You can’t evict renters in Japan. Well, it’s super difficult.
Because it’s incredibly difficult to evict renters in Japan, our tour guides told us that the Japanese who do rent their property prefer Japanese (and other East Asians) over foreigners. “Foreigners have a reputation for trashing the apartments/houses they rent.” Verbatim from our Japanese tour guides.
Like most of the rest of the world–thanks to the biased largely Democratic/Leftist News Media– the Japanese I spoke to seemed to have a very negative impression of Donald Trump. They feared that “he would be the next Hitler”. (Yes, I did engage in several conversations along this topic). I assured them that this was not going to happen.
Immigration into Japan is difficult, if not impossible. Our tour guides informed us: “Japan officially allowed 11 immigrants to resettle into the country last year.”