Friday, August 17, 2007

I'm BACK!!!

Before I load any pics, I really gotta say this..... Japan is terribly, horribly, fantastically HOT!!!
HOT HOT HOT!! The temperature hit 36 deg when we were there! We trudged around in that terrible heat and now we're completely TOASTED!! I'm so tanned now that my friends think that I've gone to a beach resort for a holiday!
With that out of the way, I have to say that Japan is a country worth going to. But you have to learn how to speak their language. It was a frustrating time trying to find someone who understands you. However, they really go out of their way to help you and make you feel welcome. The crowds are terrible, there are so many people in Japan and yet, they don't push, shove, yell at you or pick your pockets. Japanese have made courtesy and honesty a beautiful form of art!
They have so much pride in whatever they do. Presents, food, desserts, toys, everything; are so beautifully packaged! It is said that in Japan, you can't find lousy food. That is so so true. Everything we ate wowed us. It was not as expensive as we expected and we paid the money willingly because the food was so wonderfully palatable.
Japan is a self sufficient country. Why do I say that? Their people support their own economy so much that there is practically no need for foreign tourists to come and boost their economy! Other countries build theme parks to attract more tourists to come and spend money and therefore make these parks tourist friendly. Not to say that Japan is not friendly. It's just that everything, just about EVERYTHING, is in Japanese! There is no translation, absolutely no translation at any of the 3 theme parks I went!!! They see no need to translate anything because I guess most of the people who visit the parks are Japanese! It was slightly better this time round (compared to 10 years ago when I went) as we found more people who could speak a smattering of English at Disneyland and Sea. Universal Studios had less staff who could speak English. Disney had more signboards in English, Universal Studios had less. Their maps in English were also not as comprehensive as the Disney ones. That could be because Disney was in Tokyo and USJ was in Osaka. There were also less English speaking Japanese in Osaka than in Tokyo.
All said, it was an exhuasting trip. We walked everywhere and took the subways and buses all the time. The cabs were simply too expensive to warrant a ride. The weather was so hot, it took a lot out of us.
It was a fantastic learning experience though. The different cultures, habits (good ones) lifestyle all served to open our eyes (especially Brandon). There was so much I learnt from this trip compared to my other trips. I've enjoyed this trip even though it was exhusating.
After 10 wonderful and exhausting days, it is now back to Singapore and reality!

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