“You will like Japan – the Japanese are pretty much like the Germans but more friendly and crazy.”
Having left Osaka and Hiroshima behind I think my friend Ricky is right. In Japan I’ve hardly have any problems to adapt and get around – even if my Japanese is – well let’s name it “not existing”.
Everything is well organized and does not feel this different to Germany.
Even some houses look pretty similar to Germany and everywhere you can find a Biergarten where they offer warm pretzels and sausages. Feels like home – only that side by side with the sausage several sorts of squid are lining up at the grill rack. Besides beer you can also find sushi and sake at the menu.
Well Ricky, there obviously seem to be some differences. For examples the Japanese like to drive around in Ritter Sport cars („Quality. Car. Squared.“) – and they even do it at the left side. Furthermore, at the train station I am obviously the only one not taking photos of the bullet train Shinkansen from every possible angle 🙂
Apparently the also love kitsch – Nippon is definitively the worlds centre of “Nippes” (that’s how we call knickknackery in German). Shops with oversized plush ducks are neighbouring crazy vintage stores. At the streets you can find incredibly long comic shelves and restaurants are competing with each other for the biggest and strangest 3D sculpture above the entrance.
Just a few metro stops away serious businessmen are rushing around to their next important meeting. It seems that these are quite often continued in a liquid ways till the next morning – Kanpai (cheers).
Especially in Hiroshima the Japanese proved to be excellent hosts. It seems that the inhabitants endeavour to give the tourists a different idea about their city – that they have more to offer than just the atomic bomb story. Complete strangers are inviting me for dinner, others show the next chilled out bar to me – for any reason I never had to pay anything. By saying goodbye they gave me some more tips for my next destinations. Obviously hospitality is one of their cultural values.
After having had a great start in Osaka and Hiroshima I am passing forward through Japan with my extremely expensive Rail Pass – heading to Kobe, Kyoto, Fuji and Tokyo within just a few days. What a stressful traveller live 😉