Monday, April 15, 2013

Japan

Yeah, I know, I talk about it a lot.  But it was my life for most of a decade.  Very recently.  So, it is still on my mind.  I can't help it...it is going to bubble up because I was there for so long and it had such an impact on me.

Plus, a very good friend of mine who is still there and had been there for farrrr longer than I was, is finally leaving Japan herself.  She started posting on Facebook about things she is going to miss when she goes.  So, that inspired me to post my own list of things that I do miss about life there.  Listed, of course, in no particular order...


  • Ramen.  Really good ramen, with a great broth.
  • Fried Rice - soooo much better there.  And not coated with soya sauce.  Love it!
Even better...ramen AND fried rice!  Heaven.
  • Trains - I really, really miss getting around on the trains there.  Where I am living now, I know that a bus goes by once an hour at a stop that does not seem to be marked, so I have yet to figure out where the heck that is.  Where I lived before, well you couldn't miss the station...train stations are kind of obvious.  But I remember we thought our local train line was inconvenient because the train only ran every 15 minutes!
  • Cherry Blossoms - nothing says lovin' life like getting tipsy under a cherry blossom tree.  Best time of year in Japan, hands down.  The trees start to bloom, tarps suddenly cover the ground, protecting picnickers from getting dirty as they sit there for hours eating and drinking.  There is some getting up and walking around, talking to complete strangers like you have been the best of friends since childhood...there could even be an attractive stranger sit down and sing to you and your friend who then offer him a beer and some food!  And not to mention, you could be attending one of these cherry blossom parties and meet the man you are going to marry!!!

  • Microwave ovens - Brilliant!  They have settings for microwave, grill, and oven.  I could bake stuff in them, heat stuff up and make toast.  Why on earth don't we have those here?
  • Taxis - I love the taxis in Japan.  Drivers are always wearing a black suit and often are even wearing white gloves.  The cars are always so clean and you don't have to open or close the car door!  There is a mechanism that opens and closes the door for you...and the driver doesn't even have to get out to do it.  
  • Izakayas - So much better when the norm is to order food that everyone shares than to have your own plate.  The all-you-can-drink and all-you-can-eat deals rock at these places too!
  • The Post Office - Every one I have been in had really nice, helpful staff.  The overall service is great too!  Whether the post office or a courier, if they deliver to your place and you are not home, they will leave you a slip...you get the choice of going to pick up the item, setting up a time for the driver to come back or if you don't call at all, they will come again anyway the next day.  Then there was the struggle we were having with moving overseas, having no car and wondering how we were going to get our boxes to the post office to mail them.  Turns out that for free, they will come to your house with a set of scales, weigh it all, you pay them and off your stuff goes!!!  I reeeallly miss that.
  • No Tipping - Best service I had anywhere ever...always nice, always with a smile, super prompt and polite...and they don't have extra incentive to do it!  So different from here:  good service is hit or miss and tips are pretty much obligatory...even if you server is surly.  
  • Japanese curry - Not really sure how to describe it....I guess I could say that it looks pretty much like beef stew but doesn't taste like it.  Someone once described it to me as the Japanese version of the British version of Indian curry.  I don't know if that is accurate or not.  All I know is I like all kinds of curry, including Japanese, but that is the one kind I cannot get around here.
  • Festivals - There are festivals for nearly everything here.  Every time I turn around, there is another festival for something.  I love it!
No festival is complete without food!



That was all I could think of off the top of my head, folks!

6 comments:

  1. I completely interested in your Japan posts, I've never been and it sounds like an amazing place. I was just thinking of ramen the other day too.

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    1. That is good to hear! I am sure I will have more of them before I am done! I really miss it there! As for ramen...it is awesome, isn't it?

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  3. One of my friends from university went to live in Japan. I went to visit her, and spent 2 weeks in the amazing country (it wasn't long enough). Everyone was so helpful and friendly, and the food was out of this world. I will definitely go back when I can!

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  4. I am so terribly, terribly jealous of you right now! Japan is on the top of my wishlist for places to visit. I doubt that will ever happen though, so you keep talking about it, and I'll live vicariously through you...deal?

    Happy blogging!
    Kaye Draper at Write Me

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  5. Sounds like a delightful place. I am not very adventurous and I REALLY hate to fly, so I doubt I will ever go there, but your experiences sound like they were delightful.

    Just dropping by from the A to Z Road Trip to say Hi!
    tm
    zoecottage.blogspot.com

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