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.