14 maio 2010

Japan Highlights (from Chocolate & Zucchini)

~ Eating splendid meals for next to nothing; Japan is said to be an expensive destination, but it's certainly not because of the food. Sure, there are many fancy restaurants, but these are not (at all) the ones we sought out, and we rarely spent more than ¥2000 each for a meal (about 16€ or $21) -- often a lot less.

~ Traveling by train and buying ekiben -- railway bento -- from the platform stands; thinking about the styrofoam sandwiches they sell on European trains and weeping for our civilization.

~ Finding the Japanese people we interacted with to be incredibly helpful and patient, trying their very best to get us where/what we wanted despite our lack of common language. On several occasions, the person whom we'd asked for directions went literally out of his way to accompany us to a place from which he could better show us where to go.

~ Having tea served at restaurants without having to ask (or pay) for it; learning to use the personal tea taps at kaiten-zushi (conveyor belt sushi) restaurants.

~ Finding ourselves completely alone (save for a white cat) in the most beautiful moss garden imaginable at the tiny Gio-ji temple in Arashiyama (Kyoto); deciding it will be my new imaginary destination when I'm trying to quiet my mind at night.

And so much more at Clotilde's blog ;D

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