Japan an amazing place

Trip Start May 13, 2010
Trip End May 12, 2011

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Flag of Japan  , Kanto,
Thursday, November 25, 2010

We had a bit of a lay in again today and missed breakfast for the second day running, this was a good thing, no regrets for missing salad and miso soup. We headed off to have a look at a local garden and it is one of the oldest gardens in Tokyo kyu-shiba-rikyu gardens, we were only doing this to fill a bit of time before our train to the airport but it turned out to be one of the most beautiful gardens we have been to. The layout of the gardens round the pond was excellent with lots of hills incorporated in the design where you could get an excellent view of the whole garden. We just sat at various points round the garden and enjoyed the scenery; all the trees were quite old and had been sculpted into shapes to make them look even older. I would love to have a garden that had all the elements included in this garden; it is so Japanese and very stylish. To visit the garden when the wisteria and Hydrangeas are flowering must be an amazing sight.

Then it was off to the station to get on the Narita express train , just one hour from Tokyo station.

Our plane to Singapore leaves at 17:55.

So how do you describe Japan to someone who has never been there?

I am just going to list some good and bad and just Crazy things...

The train system is brilliant and the stations are huge, so easy to get lost, but once you are on the train they are great, clean, on time and very fast. The guards on the trains do this strange pointing thing, before the train arrives and while it is in the platform and again after the train leaves, we never did work out whet it is all about.

Toilets, they are the most hi tech toilets in the world, they play sounds to disguise embarrassing sounds, squirt from all directions and at varying levels, and the seats are all heated, i miss the heated seats.

Music, or should i say crazy tunes, they come at you from all directions crossing the road opening a door getting on a train, even just waiting at a station they play bird calls through the sound system.

Food, it is so different to what we eat, and unless you are quite adventurous with your food it is difficult, thank goodness for Mc Donalds and starbucks. Even reading a menu is impossible in most restaurants, and the bowls of plastic food outside most restaurants really don't help.

The people, we didn't meet many who spoke english and most of them looked quite grumpy. Just occasionally you would see people laughing, but it was a rare sight. Their fashion is very strange to us particularly the young people.
The old people will barge you out of the way if they want to get in front of you, and they would then turn and bow and say sorry.

They seem to have this strong desire to control nature, all the parks and gardens have trees and bushes that have been sculpted into attractive shapes.

The streets are incredibly clean.

We walked around Tokyo and Kyoto and felt quite safe.

The Ryokans are great places to stay if you don't mind living on the floor and washing outside. We loved them.

It is the most expensive place we have been to.

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