AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Why we love Japan

Friendliness

In Asia, Japan has a lasting legacy due to it at colonial history. Around the world Japanese history is famous for Samurai and the Atomic bomb. Both of these things do not reflect modern Japanese society. The people are extremely friendly, probably the most friendly in the whole of Asia. They are also extremely polite, going out of their way to make sure you have room to walk.

One example is that when you go into a restaurant with an open kitchen all the staff will greet you. In shops as part of etiquette all the staff greet you, it is not always heartfelt though.

Toilets

High tech toilets are plentiful. This was the first country in Asia that allowed us to flush toilet paper. No more stinking piles of dirty waste paper right next to you. Cleanliness is clearly important to the Japanese and yet not all washrooms had soap.

Bullet trains

50 years ago the first one was released and did speeds of 130mph. Today’s trains cruise at 180mph. They are very spacious with electrical points and a little hanger for your coat. You can get from Tokyo to Kyoto in just a couple of hours in comfort with the trains being relatively smooth.

Scenery

Japan has a spectacular range of scenery with the beaches of Okinawa to the ski slopes in the Japanese Alps. It has the cityscapes of Tokyo and Osaka. As it isn’t such a large country you can access these landscapes in a short amount of time due to the fantastic infrastructure. You can even go around the Alps using public transport only.

Food

Although we are not big fans of sushi we did try it. What we can say about Japanese restaurants is that the quality of doost and service is very high. Even the food from the convenience stores was pretty good. Japan has the highest number of Michelin starred restaurants in the world. However, the best food we ate was in a ryokan. Cooked to perfection!

Japanese utensils

We think Japanese chopsticks are the best in Asia. In most of Asia you get two sticks that are square. In Korea you have metal chopsticks that are flat making it hard to pick items up. Japan has very delicate chopsticks with a narrow end, meaning you can pick up tiny pieces of food.
Lacquerware looks good!
Teapots, sake jars and glasses. Earthenware is big in Japan and they are very nicly decorated.

Vending machines

A simple yet useful idea. These are everywhere from Tokyo to tiny villages. They offer beers, iced coffees, teas and soft drinks. Some are also stocked with biscuits and ice-creams. I think the UK would benefit by having these. They are also nearly the same price as the convenience stores.

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