Funny Thing About Japan (2)

I have finally had a good night’s sleep on my fourth night in this amazing country… Tokyo’s huge population in a concentrated area almost goes unnoticed (unless you are in Shibuya, the famous 5-road crossing in the middle of downtown) since many of the buildings are small, the streets are spotless (I have yet to see anything lying around on the ground such as a wrapper or even cigarette butts) the mass transit system is unequalled (the metro/trains cover the whole of Tokyo even going all the way to the airport, with trains coming and going every 5 minutes and the large masses lining up and crossing paths without bumping into each other and by hardly making any sounds – 200 people in a train wagon make less noise than 2 high school kids from Montreal!)… and the cute little noodle or sushi restaurants have kept their modest old-style wooden facades from many years back…

I’ve noticed some cute/funny facts: Everyone leaves their bicycles UNlocked right outside on the main street sidewalks… Also, most of the streets do NOT have street names! I’m talking about downtown Tokyo, one of the most modern/advanced/expensive cities in the world – and they survive with few street names… I also noticed how, just like in the movies or cliches, all Japanese take great pride in what they do – the best example would be the ground crew at the airport facing the planes, bowing and waiting for the airplanes to take off before moving onto their next task… Incredible no?

The are vending machines EVERYWHERE and you can buy beer, sodas, hot or cold coffee and tea, and cigarettes – densely visited areas have outdoor smoking areas that are walled up like cubicles so passerbys don’t get bothered by the smoke… EVERYONE goes to work in a suit, and the elderly work into their 70s cleaning and doing other odd jobs…

Another thing: super markets will sell nuts, chips, dried fruits and rice cookies right next to dried squid, dried shrimp, dried fish and dried octopus snack bags! I also saw a HUGE beef jerky – almost the size of a samurai sword!

Finally, the games and toy figurine sections of the stores are filled with grown men and women lining up to buy things for themselves (and not their kids)…

I’m kinda liking the bowing and saying “haiii, arigatooo, haiii” everytime I interact with someone, even the cashiers at the 7/11’s (and they do it back!) – makes me feel like a character in the movie The Last Samurai 🙂

We’re off to Kyoto so I’ll update you in a bit…


One thought on “Funny Thing About Japan (2)

  1. I really enjoy go throughout this blog. It gives you the opportunity to have the closest approach to the japanese culture, it really tells u how Japan looks like. It is funny and at the same time all the stories make you feel like you wanna go to Japan RIGHT NOW and experience it by yourself…. 😉

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