Take a stroll through parts of Japan with me

AloliAloli Member Posts: 220 ✭✭✭
Hello!

[Warning! This is a long post!]

Recently I took a little vacation and went to Japan with my sister and brother to attend our friend's wedding. However, I have a few fantastic friends here (from Aetolia) that followed me through the places I visited (on discord) and were incredibly insightful and altogether hilarious to talk to. One of them, @Alexsandor, suggested I share the pictures here.

Before I do that though, I need to thank one particularly special friend and his esteemed statue that will (hopefully) forever watch over the Duiran bridge (I -just- had to make a new statue and left it at the bridge, will decorate it later!). I don't think he will be offended when I call him an epic Japanese nerd. Aside from the itinerary my sister and I made he gave me a spreadsheet that covered so many tourist attractions all over the country, and it was even organized by subway station stops! I hope one day you get to go on your trip :)

Whenever I do new cultural explorations like this, I love to take pictures and make a scrapbook when I get home. So that's what I'm sharing.

We first landed in Tokyo, went to a small town close to Mt. Fuji so we can spend the night there and get nice morning pictures of it, and freeze our butts off! Then we went to Kyoto and spent the rest of the vacation there until it was wedding time.



As soon as you enter the airport, you're greeted with a few blocks that introduce you to the trade skills at the heart of the country and example blocks of them. You might need to zoom in to read that! I only took pictures of these two.



Since my siblings and I were flying in from different places, we landed at different times. So I went to grab food on the way to the hostel. I quickly learned that a lot of shop doors have these push buttons. It's polite to wait for the door to slide all the way open before entering and exiting too.



The idea of having sugar in your tea is not really offensive or even insulting but just frowned upon. You're changing the flavor and not appreciating the natural taste and benefits of it so you'll seldomly find it in places unless you ask for it specifically.



I have to say that the first really big surprise was getting at the currency exchange and getting the first bill to pay. It takes a while to settle with that amount of cash and its value.



Everywhere there is a sidewalk or a place for pedestrians to walk there is a divider that delineates the flow of traffic, people usually walk on either side of the divider. It took me a moment to get with the system because I'm the type of person who still enjoys walking on stuff like crushing autumn leaves, sidewalk dividers, etc.



Same thing on the escelators. You are expected to stand to one side so that people who want to climb/walk up faster can use the other side. Same with stairs too, you walk up one side of the stairs and the otherside is for people going the opposite direction. This is just understood everywhere and practiced!



In some places you see little symbols like this that tell you what direction the water will flow if/when it rains so you know where to walk and bike. I initially thought this was a compass and went to pick it up, then I thought it was pointing directions because I first spotted it at a bus stop but I saw more that were just little tiles in the ground so I asked someone randomly and got a nice full explanation!

(Sorry about the quality, you'll have to zoom in! I just downloaded all this off my phone and posted, no energy to crop anything.)



Most of the shops put up signs depending on the neighborhood. They're usually signs reminding you not to eat and walk. This is another cultural law because you will most likely either drop your food or bump into someone but more importantly, you're not respecting your food!





Some shops offer different "sets" of food, which are just different combos or arranged meals. This shouldn't have surprised me as much as it did considering everything else but, in a way, it's considerate.



Signing your name on contracts or important documents isn't good enough, you still need to use your seal/stamp. So people can get their very own customized seals and ink pads and there's such a large variet of bags to carry your seal in, for both men and women!



I think this is good enough for the first post!
I have a few more pictures to share in a second post.
LuasTekiasRhyotTeaniSklaxIesidAlexsandor

Comments

  • StathanStathan Hot springsMember Posts: 342 ✭✭✭
    1. I refuse to wear pink...anything.
    2. This is -uh may zing-
    3. JELLY SOAP!

    It was really nice to get to see these as she was over there. She kept stopping in on discord and we'd have to chase her off to go have fun. It was nice though, given my work schedule and odd sleeping hours, don't usually have someone up at all hours to talk to.
    Aloli
  • AloliAloli Member Posts: 220 ✭✭✭
    The jelly soap is really nice. I got a couple of different types too. There's a big list that they had at this shop. Some for the face and different types of skin, for body and so on.

    The sushi and sashimi were by far much better than in the US. Actually, all the food was better. I'm normally lactose intolerant in the US but in Japan, I was fine! Makes you wonder what they weren't stuffing their cows with...
    Stathan
  • KalinaarKalinaar Member Posts: 152 ✭✭✭
    I will not wear pink or bathe for that matter! Very awesome pictures and land worthy of a good Viking raid on their squishy soap stores. 
    SklaxAloli
  • AloliAloli Member Posts: 220 ✭✭✭
    Thank you for that, nearly choked on my tea picturing Viking Kal and Stath raiding the tiny Nishiki market. You were wielding Viking pots and pans.
    SklaxStathanPazradymKalinaar
  • VashVash Member Posts: 118 ✭✭✭
    Heya Aloli,

    Very cool post, thank you for sharing! I visit Japan a bunch for work and it was fun to see another person's perspective of their visit to the country.

    I have to say that the first really big surprise was getting at the currency exchange and getting the first bill to pay.


    The first time I tried to take $200 out at the ATM I was actually trying to take $2k out and my bank was like "highly suspicious activity detected, account locked". It was fun.

    Everywhere there is a sidewalk or a place for pedestrians to walk there is a divider that delineates the flow of traffic, people usually walk on either side of the divider. It took me a moment to get with the system because I'm the type of person who still enjoys walking on stuff like crushing autumn leaves, sidewalk dividers, etc.


    These are not dividers, they are guides for those who have trouble seeing or are blind. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tactile_paving for more details.

    In Tokyo we went to the Golden Temple. This place was so busy but it wasn't hard to get good pictures.


    This is in Kyoto (Kinkaku-ji) ;) I visited this with my wife and two young kids one year in the middle of summer. It was super hot and humid and my kids were not having a good time at all. So I have this awesome picture with both of my kids making the grumpiest possible faces right in front of the temple (same location as your first shot). Anger v Serenity.

    it's pretty expensive to get on and you'd need a ticket/pass to get on for one ride or get one for a whole week.


    JR actually runs a huge number of trains, not just the bullet trains (shinkansen). If you get a pass it gives you unlimited rides on all of their trains. You can also get region restricted ones for cheaper.

    Thanks again for sharing your journey! I think Japan is an amazing place to visit and I highly recommend it to everyone.
    Typically In Game: JST (GMT+9) 6AM-8AM and 6PM-10PM
    KalinaarZailaAloliLuas
  • AloliAloli Member Posts: 220 ✭✭✭
    Hey Vash,

    Thanks for explaining some of these things! You're left guessing unless you do a lot of research or ask a lot of questions or ...you find out the hard way!

    ATM fun...I share the sentiment and I am grateful that the country allows for so many languages. Other countries I've been to (in the Middle East) don't really do the same thing at all.

    The tactile paving wiki was a very interesting read. It's really a thoughtful thing to do. Thanks for sharing.

    Yeah the Golden Temple isn't in Tokyo, why did I write that ... :smiley: It was pretty hot for us too. The pamphlets they gave out on this tour were very helpful, so was the tour guide but they rushed us through a little. ..Oh did you also see the in-house sake they sell there with gold flakes?

    Thanks for writing!
    Vash
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