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Reisverslag The Land of the Rising Sun
26 februari 2014
The Land of the Rising Sun
Life in Japan is well-organised and structured, and people behave in a modest and polite way. But after India and China it is kind of hard to believe that people actually wait for a red light at a pedestrian crossing, with no cars in sight. The people were really friendly and sincerely helpful and they will actually come up to you to ask if you need help with directions when you look lost, or leave their stores for a moment to show you the right way. A lot of things - except for the immensely complex subway networks - are really convenient and make life more easy, for example the drinks - even beers - vending machines that are even in the most empty alleys. Vending machines seems like it is a Japanese thing, considering that you get hot drinks, ice cream or even sunglasses and toys from them. They also use them in small restaurants where you get tickets for the food you want to order, so they don't have to worry about the financial part.
The most awesome about Japan is definitely its subcultures. Cosplay, Anime, Robots, Gaming etc. are all pretty big things over here and are fanatically and shamelessly loved by many. You can walk around in big stores for hours, just amazing youself at the excentric - and as considered in the West as weird - items displayed. One of the highlights was a visit to a robot restaurant in Tokyo. I'm not going to describe too extensively, because I know I can't. But I can tell you that is an amazing show full of dancing robots, people in robot suits, vehicles, Japanese burlesque girls and a very deep and well-thought-of plot - or was I just imagining that? Anyway, it was an experience I have never had before and probably never will have again, but I enjoyed every second of it. In Tokyo I tried Fugu - the poisonous pufferfish, which had a tingling and pleasant effect. Together with the numerous amounts of - cheap! - sushi I had and some great simple dishes Japan definitely was the culinary hgihlight of my trip, although I kind of missed the spicy taste in a lot of dishes. But now that I am South-East Asia is waiting I am sure I will find some mouth-numbing spicy dishes!
I tried not too visit too many temples because I am quite templed out already, and I will still visit a lot in the remaining 6.5 weeks I have left. I only try to go for the biggest, the oldest and the most beautiful right now. Japan has been more about its big cities for me, and I haven't left the populated areas for a second. No, I actually really enjoyed being in this big mix of concrete, neon lights and innovative technology. I got a good view of how vast Tokyo really was when I was standing on the 450m high viewing balcony of the skytree, and I really enjoyed the shift from daylight to darkness over there, emerging the neon-light mass that I have gotten to know as Tokyo! I was taken by surprise by this crappy snowstorm and with soaking socks I managed to get to the hostel back before my toes would freeze off, but this is what you get when you are traveling in the winter in Japan.
Japan has been really comfortable to travel in, and this seems like a country where I could spend a couple of years working and living. Although I am sad to wave the sushi and technology goodbye, I am kind of excited to welcome warm weather and lower prices.
I had a stopover for one day in Kuala Lumpur before arriving in Hanoi (Vietnam), because it was cheaper to fly this way. It is actually kind of weird, considering I have flown more than 4000 km Southwest and then 2000 km to the North in the past few days. I have also been really close to this region when I was traveling in the south of China, but yeah, my itenary doesn't make a lot of sense. Actually it kind of does, I saved the most cheap, warm and party-rich places for the end of my journey, since right now - with this weather - I can't imagine being in a snowstorm anymore.
Kuala Lumpur seemed like a mix of all of the countries I have been in before and I was struck by how modern this city is. It is full of enormous skyscrapers, but still managed to preserve some lush green areas throughout the city, which looks really awesome. The heat and humidity were a good warm-up and a wake up call that I need to use sunscreen and work on my tan. Fortunately one day was all I need to see the city.
I am looking forward to my time here in Vietnam and I will have the oppurtunity to reunite with some friends made some time ago!
26 februari 2014 18:07 | Door: Joris
Super vet man! Ben toch ook wel heel benieuwd geworden naar Japan na je verhalen. Geniet van je laatste weken!
26 februari 2014 18:13 | Door: Stan Verlinden
Thanks! Volgende keer als ik je zie in Nederland kan ik je nog wel wat meer vertellen ;)