Monday, December 29, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
The first impression is great! You land in one of the most modern airports in the world, with color LCD screens displaying art and news everywhere. The train, a project carried out by a Brazilian Engineer friend, takes you from the airport to the city center with no traffic jams.
I’ve surprisingly found also on the streets of
This seems even more remarkable if you remember that this is a country is:
- Has no great natural resource assets but it’s people (similar to
- Slashed by civil war - Korea´s War – 1960 (leveraged by 2 super powers, one of which,
, is now just remembered on museums in the city that my Brazilian friend that lives there took me to visit). USSR
This prominent state was reached thanks to EDUCATION and a superb commitment to innovation. I would like to elaborate on this, since this shows that a country like mine, BRASIL, can understand that in LESS THAN 30 YEARS, become a super modern society with STRONG EFFORTS IN QUALITY UNIVERSAL EDUCATION.
ALL children are students, and leave to school at 7am for first class facilities, and come back only at 11pm. Discipline is to thought that students that used to disobey were asked to stay in a corner with their arms raised until the teacher told them to put them down (that could be hours later).
This land called TERRAMINGO is still divided by a border between North and south, but right there is a beautiful park and a train track that is ready for the dream of UNITY that is close to coming true, and this makes people even more positive about the future!
People are as friendly, happy and outgoing as in
The 7th of September was Brasil´s 176 Independence day, and I spent it in style with the Embasy´s Party in
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The first things that caught my attention, is the quiet. Let me explain: here I am in the 2nd most crowded city in the world, and no one talking out loud on the subway, nor using the mobile. The maximum you may hear is sometimes a whisper or two between people. You soon realize the rule: “Don’t bother anyone in
People seem to be early birds as well, since after I meet no one walking and few cars in the streets uptown. Many restaurants closed at 21h30. Many explain this due to Japanese waking up very early with the early sunset of this country (around ).
Japan is also the World´s second biggest economy, but its a changing world, and just on Friday, 29th of Aug., one day after I arrived, the Japan Government unveiled a US$ 110 billion plan to help the economy, and on the following Monday the prime minister resigned.
This was not the only world changing event I witnessed these days in
Another good surprise was the
The gate to the ancient temple will bring you to ancient figures of guardians, monks, amazing temple architecture and a rest in the shade with newly met friends , like the ones I made from NYC.
And the best of all is always having a meal with local friends, and the one below was on the Birthday of Koji, member of the Focolare movement there, that works for Unity and Peace in the world.
Lessons Learned in
* Buy a Guide of Japan (Lonely Planet or other) and plan this trip carefully, otherwise it will be the most expensive one you will experience;
* Stay somewhere in downtown
* Buy a pre-paid mobile (approx. US$ 50) to use locally with the friends you meet and globally sending mails through the mobile e-mail account;
* Have Tako Yaki (yummy balls of squid & flower) near some Tokyo subway station;
* Visit the Disney (Land or Sea) and the
* Visit the Harajuku station on Sunday to see the locals in funny costumes (called locally Cosplay) and also stretch the visit to the Harajuku park and the temple in it;
* Spend a day visiting Asakusa station so you can enjoy downtown streets, shops and temple there. You can take a ship between Asakusa and Hamarikyu park in Hamamatsucho
http://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/english/park/detail_04.html#hamarikyu. Many visitors like
the ship very much: http://www.suijobus.co.jp/english/index.html
* VISIT NIKKO and have a hot bath in a ONSEN (Japanese hot springs baths).
* Give up going to Disney just because you have over 18 (it is fun until you are over 90);
* Stay in a hotel alone. If you are traveling alone, hostels are friendlier places to team up with groups to explore;
* Expect the English speaking to be everywhere, and the concierge in the hotel to solve all your plan / problems.
* Touch a Japanese (not even to shake hands) unless he does it first. It’s considered impolite.