Things I have learned???some fact, some my ideas..

Trip Start Jun 28, 2006
Trip End Jul 03, 2006

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Sunday, July 2, 2006

OK FACT - Japan is clean and the subway and train system cleaner. Why? Well they have it figured out, NO TRASH CANS, if you have trash - you carry it home. And what is amazing, they do.So on trains and subway you can see their empty bottles going home with them. It must be a pretty good habit, because even when we left the fight from arena - some people carried their empty bottles - even when there were trash cans in arena. Don't bother looking for can on street, it ain't happening. There are some bottle recycle bins beside some machines, they are very small and few.

OK FACT - you can find machines with water, iced coffee, strange flavored drinks - everywhere. Every once and a while you find very small bottles of coke, once I saw diet coke, ginger ale (which taste the same, but looks a little orange). The water bottles have Coke on the side of some of them (hint, buy coke stock-the name is on strange things over here). You can buy beer in vending machines in hotel. The drinking age is 20 years old. I asked Yujiro how do they keep kids from buying them "Oh they don't, they would get in trouble". I told him that would not work in USA, can you imagine.

OK FACT - Temples are for Buddhist, Shrines are for God. You clap when you toss money into shrines for God. You do not clap at Temples. You pour water over your hands to cleanse your spirit before entering both. There seems to be a lot of similarities, of course that is from an outsider who really doesn't understand everything going on. Such as they both put wishes on paper and tie to trees this time of year. Everything from "help me to be better musician" to a child asking "make ghost not be in my dreams anymore". At the shrine there is a area to write your wish on a wooden tile, it is hung with others under large tree at Shrine. Everything from "Keep my family safe and help us prosper" to " Give me a boyfriend". Every age is involved with this, and many languages were under tree. At the Shrine little wish tokens were for sale, like one for helping to pass all exams, and some for love, one for traffic safety.
MY IDEA - it is very confusing - I asked Yujiro which he believed in, he said God, but he went to both ??? Also there is such a mix of both at each, and very different from some of our beliefs of blessings and prayer, as they have sort of ceremonies to cleanse, wash off, or ward off evil spirits from your physical body and soul. I mean none of this with judgement, just thoughts.
There was a formal wedding going on when we were at the Meiji Shrine and I got a picture of the bride and groom. This Shrine is a forest in the middle of Tokyo and has Iris gardens, azalea gardens, areas they believe have magical powers. I have some older people doing that exercising on sacred ground, if I find the name I will come back and put it in, you will recognize what they are doing.

OK FACT - There are a lot of skinny girls here. When I say skinny, I mean tiny skinny, bones. There are some heavy people, but seem to be the rare.
MY IDEAS - on this. They eat what looks like greasy fish with their breakfast and some other things I could not recognize. Surprising they also have bread and butter out at breakfast buffet and eat it. So is the secret in that raw looking hunks of fish. I'll have to stay fat. Second thought of mine is by all of those water and drink machines, they have as many cigarettes machines - but no candy or snack machines. Who is healthier them or us??? Also they are walking and running to get these trains and subways, it seems constantly the crowd is moving. Another idea - you should see these women shop ( see picture of shoe department on a late Sunday night-it was unreal), maybe I'm not shopping enough????? Another thought - they have McDonalds, KFC, and Subways going up everywhere and that may catch up with them????? OK at the bath house I was not the only fat girl, and that was good!!!!!(Japanese Bath House story to come- some of you may want to skip it ha ha )

OK FACT - They have an area called Harajuku. It is very popular with the young people. They come and hang out on a bridge in front of one of the Shrines. Many are dressed like characters. I'm not sure if they are cartoon or serious. Yujiro said they come and get their picture taken in hopes of becoming models, but look at the pictures. I just didn't understand it I think. This is also a big shopping area that is expensive and looks very American. Well maybe in New York. I have never seen this many people walking the streets, crossing the streets, and just hanging out - even in Disney ha ha. I mean we are talking masses of people from early to very late, and bikes parked up and down every street surrounding these shopping areas.

OK FACT - Businesses would never make it in America in similar situations such as this. OK Yijuro gets on his phone ( more advanced than our system) it has a sort of GPS system. But he said it was something else. I ask him to find a place that sales handmade bamboo fly fishing rods. Seemed like something you would have to travel far for -right? Wrong - he starts heading up the street we are on, a street with fancy shops (Dior and such). He said he found a shop and the phone would tell us where to go, when to turn "we need to turn right at 200 meters" ????????? Really just like that we go down this alley to what looks like a neighborhood. Go in the back of a building that looks like an apartment building. He calls the number and we go to the 3rd floor - cats are running around in the halls - and we go to door 304, it has a tiny little picture of a fishing fly on the door - that was it - no name - not nothing. Knock , go in and it is a fly fishing shop, seriously. Their it was - the rod my mother dreams of. He asked me to sit because it would take AWHILE to get my card approved. I asked how long, he said about 5 minutes as he was shaking his head as if that was forever. They were great and of course we all took pictures. He said it was every fly fishers dream to fish in America. I told him it was American dream to have one of Japans bamboo rods..........
So now you know what is coming Mom. I will leave it at your house before I leave for Europe............

I mean no dishonor to the Japanese people with these ideas, they are very gracious people.
This was a great day and Yijuro was very tolerant of me.
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niara_aisha on

Well, Smartie Figured it Out on Her Own...
... (the pieces of paper and such at the shrines and temples). Sounds a bit like your type of place Beverly - with the shopping at least... lol

My daddy woulda LOVED that fishin rod... bamboo rods were his absolute favorite... missed him as I read your story. Your mom's is a lucky lady!!!

niara_aisha on

... about those people on the bridge waiting for their photo to be taken. I can't remember for the life of me what that is called - but apparently it is HIGH fashion stuff and big money!

They had an episode about it on 'America's Next Top Model' a couple years ago I think. I guess it's sorta like couture fashion - no average 'normal' person would wear (nor afford) the majority of it. You see it in fashion shows and sometimes wonder how that could be High Fashion... anyhow...

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