When in Japan, do as the Japanese do.
As a person who’s never been abroad before, I never really thought so much about this saying until I came to Japan. I’ve heard about the good and the bad (and the shocking) sides to this country but nothing could have prepared me for the actual experience itself. I’ve stayed here for a month and everyday is almost always a new episode for me. I guess this is what they say “culture shock”. And so with this, I’ve listed down the things that amazed (and somehow surprised me) about Japan.
1. The roads are wide.
Or at least wider from where I came from. There’s rarely heavy traffic on the streets. I prefer the view of the streets at night though. It has some sort of dramatic and romantic vibe to it especially when the streetlights are lit.
2. The temples
As a retrophiliac, this definitely got my attention. It was breathtaking. I even got the chance to try the rituals done when going inside the temples.
3. The homeless
I didn’t actually believe my students at first when they told me about this but when I saw these people, I felt less intimidated by the fact that Japan also has these problems. However, I still think Japan’s poor is richer than our poor.
They’re everywhere! And people of different ages and statuses use it. Besides, it’s a good form of exercise (unless you can afford your own car.)
5. The train
One of the highlights from the day I arrived in Japan was riding the train for the first time. It felt surreal since I usually just see it on TV. Although I kinda miss the thrill and paranoia you get when you’re inside the jeepney.
6. My quiet neighborhood.
It feels like living in the countryside. I don’t know any of my neighbors and I don’t see them either. Or maybe perhaps I don’t go out so much? (awkward laugh)
7. The TALL buildings
(Neck) brace yourself. I could literally strain my neck from looking at buildings as high as 50 floors. Nah, I’m just exaggerating.
*Me talking to myself: It might be possible you know.
(then checks the internet for answers)
8. Keep left
I’m a righty than a lefty so there are still some times I confuse putting myself on the right side of the escalator thinking I’m on the left. It’s the same thing with walking on the streets then meeting a person on a bicycle heading to your right. Chances of survival? Depends on how fast your reflexes are.
So there you have it! A list of things that amazed (and surprised) me about Japan in the almost one month stay I’ve had. This doesn’t stop here as this list might go on and on. In short, I’m not even done with the best parts as I have yet to experience them soon. And that’s something we ought to look forward to in my next blogs. But until that time, Nihon o tanoshimou!