"Tadaima!! (I came back!!)" Japan by Maline
Japan Travel Guide: 19,388 reviews and 53,556 photos
In 1992 I was an exchange student in Japan for one year. After longing to go back for twelwe years I finally made the desicion and went back for a month-long stay as a tourist in autumn of 2004.
It was different, coming back now as an adult free to go wherever I wanted. We stayed with my old host family just east of Tokyo a lot and also went on a twenty-day railtrip on the Honshu island. It was so wonderful to see all of it again, and also to discover that my Japanese is still ok after all these years without practise...
(I am reconstructing this page right now, and hopefully with time I can complete some pages over the cities we visited. )
Dozo, yukkuri ne!
In the Local Customs section I will present tips on cultural codes as well as on some cultural phenomenons of Japan, such as the Tea ceremony.
In the Shopping section there will be, apart from specific stores, examples of what items are special for Japan and make good souvenirs both for you and people back home.
In the Warnings and Dangers section I will, among other things, touch briefly on the subject of natural hazards, chiefly earthquakes, which are a sad reality that the Japanese have to cope with, and which any visitor should be well aware of.
Helpful words and phrases in Japanese:
Nice to meet you (first time you meet someone): Hajimemashite
My name is ... : Watashi no namae wa ...
I come from America/England/Sweden: Watashi wa Amerika-jin/Igirisu-jin/Sueden-jin desu.
I like Japanese food: Nihon no ryori wa oishii desu/ Nihon no ryori ga suki desu.
Good evening: Konban-wa
Good morning: O-hayó gozaimasu
"I enjoyed the food" (sort of, not litt.): Gochisó-sama deshita
Good bye: Sayónara
I see/I understand: Wakarimashita/wakarimasu
Japan: Nihon (Nippon)
Numbers: 1-ichi, 2-ni,3-san,4-yon/shi, 5-go, 6-roku, 7-nana (shichi), 8-hachi, 9-kyú, 10- jú.
Many people seem to have this impression of Japan as the sanctuary for simple and peaceful gardens where one contemplates the great ko'ans of zen and quietly masters the skill of tea or budó.
In reality, there aren't that many places you can find peace and quiet at all, at least not if you center your trip around the urban sprawls that are Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and the likes.
There are a few (unless you are unlucky and discover that a thousand people came looking for peace and quiet in the same place at the same time as you), places to go, like the Yoyogi park in Tokyo, but for the most part, Japan is an endless impression overload of people, signs, vehicles, music, loudspeakers, buildings, wires...
In the pic: Rain falls peacefully on a garden in Nikkó. But moments ago we had to stand shoulder to shoulder with high school kids admiring the three monkeys...
Aimed with Japan rail passes (see transportation tip) we took off from Tokyo heading north towards the city of Sendai, and nearby Matsushima. From there we made it down to Kyoto, Nara and Hiroshima before going west to Takayama. Heading east again we spent a few days in Shimoda on the Izu peninsula before coming back to Tokyo again. From there it was chiefly day excursions to Nikkó, Hakone-Mt Fuji and the coast of Chiba and Onjuku.
During the trip we got to see some amazing sceneries and experienced both a typhoon and an earthquake...
Japan is not as expensive as it was twelwe years ago. It proved to be a great country to tourist in.
However, if you don't speak Japanese, it is a good advise to plan some things ahead.
Here is a pic of the urban sprawl that is Tokyo, taken from one of the skyscrapers in the Shinjuku area
- Pros:Interesting, different (for a Swede), beautiful, friendly
- Cons:Crowded, a society difficult to penetrate for a foreigner, few speak English
- In a nutshell:DAISUKI!
This is something that many independent travellers would regard as a real tourist trap. However, it is not fair of me to... more travel advice
Yakkyú as baseball is known in Japan is the national sport! This is serious business as all of you who care for sports... more travel advice
- See All Kimono (litt. things to wear)
- See All Planning ahead - helpful places
- See All Bonus: Make your own sushi
- See All Check list before you go
Maline's Related Pages
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