Charles さんと Marciaさんの日本旅行のご感想
Kiyo-san, you asked about our trip to Japan. It is always
go to a country where you can't understand the language and you can't read
the alphabet. I was lucky that I had Charles around to do some
interpreting.. But, there was never a shortage of people willing to
whether they spoke English or not. Whenever I looked the least
confused, someone would come up and ask if they could help.
Japan has a wonderful transit system that is well organized. It didn't
take us very long to figure out how to get around.
I loved the plastic food displays that made ordering dinner easy.
There are so many things to see in Japanese temples, museums, gardens,
walks, street art, and the people that we were never bored.
We sometimes had a problem with fatigue from being so active.
We are very aware that there are customs in Japan with which we are not
familiar. We tried to behave properly and not offend anyone.
The Japanese are very forgiving of a stranger's ignorance.
We very much appreciated the tea ceremony which we knew took a lot of
preparation and effort, and having lunch with your family.
Meeting your mother was the highlight of our trip.
Can't tell you how appreciative we were of your sister-in-law preparing
such a wonderful meal.
I also enjoyed having dinner with everyone involved in the tea ceremony.
Have never had "Nabe" with a group, and thought it was great fun.
For me, meeting and getting to know the people in another country is always
the best part of the trip. (Marcia)
2.) Impressions of Japan:
Before traveling to Japan, I had no idea of how impressive a country I would
Japan is a unique combination of the ancient and modern.
The culture is deeply connected with a rich historical past but at the same time
is able to be at the cutting edge of modern techno-culture.
I think this ability to balance old and new is an extraordinary cultural feat.
So ancient temples coexist with modern train stations (Kyoto & Kanazawa) and
old roads and narrow paths coexist with Shinkansen.
The trains and subways of Japan are a wonder to behold.
The food of Japan was a constant adventure for us. We loved trying
cuisines and everywhere seeing and savoring Japanese food. From
pickled dishes to incredible desserts---we loved it all and look forward
more Japanese food on future trips.
Physical Japan was also constantly interesting to us. The
energy of the cities, the hum of people bent on doing their work, and the
endless parade of humanity walking the streets always made me feel
invigorated. And the beauty of the countryside-- mountains, seashore, and
countless fields of vegetables, rice, and tea---these things are
impossible to forget and make us want to see more of your country.
And finally the best thing about Japan---its people. I think
people are the kindest and most helpful people I have ever met.
They consistently act with grace and beauty. People would willingly
with my horrible Japanese or would stop us in train stations asking (in
if they could help us find something. The level of courtesy and
afforded to the other person is the hallmark of Japanese culture and one
of its highest accomplishments in my opinion.
I often thought myself the somewhat "savage American" as I tried
navigate the language, customs, and culture of Japan.
The level of refinement, attention to detail, and commitment to quality seemed
to be evident everywhere in Japan whether being a guest, riding a train,
buying a gift, strolling through a garden, or eating a meal.
(Pachinko parlors notwithstanding! They seem like an irrational
to Japanese excellence. Every country has such things, desu ne?)
Doumo arigato gozaimasu, Nihon-jin!