myadventure-romee.reismee.nl

~I'm a couple hundred miles from Japan~

The plain touches the ground, tokyo! I am actually in Japan wow!

I find my way through the airport and it doesnt take me long after I am standing on a perron waiting for my train. Before I hop on the train I go to the toilet which seems like a weird thing to say hahah but I have to mention it. I immediately know I’m in Japan, because my seat is warmed, there are a lot of buttons which at that point I didn’t know the purposes off and when I sat down music began to play, birds chirping for privacy hahahhaha amazing.

I feel like the normal trains also go quicker then ours, the platform has security gates, which open if the train has arrived. Japanese are very polite, they line up for the train and would never push into a train, they wait. 

After my train and walk I arrive in my first accomodation, my hostel room is 8 beds but instead of a bunkbed you each have a little cabinet with a curtain so it’s very private, nice. I am very tired as my flight was only 5 hours and during the night so I take a shower and rest for a bit. 

At midday I walk around the area, Asakusa. A beautiful Pagade and a tempel, I walk through a street with little shops and get some groceries at the supermarket. Funny how I also see the mario cars on the street, dressed up in characters racing over the streets, very cool! A lot of people in kimono’s, it looks beautiful but if it’s comfortabel, not at all.

Even tho I’m stil tired I decide to meet up with Justin, who is in my tourgroup to, he is in Tokyo allready as well. We manage to meet up at one of the hundred exits of the station, it’s crazy, and we go to the Golden Gai to explore the area. The Golden Gai is an area with narrow streets which has around 250 tiny bars. Some of which would only fit 4 people in, all tiny and cozy, good for barhopping and meeting people. Some bars don’t allow tourists and are only for Japanese but most bars are fine. Also some bars have a cover charge to get in. The first bar we try out is a Japanese whisky bar and it’s very little, we order a drink and the Japanese of the bar make jokes to us and another couple joins us in the bar, it’s an experience haha what can I say. We not long after go to a next bar, we choose to walk up some stairs and discover what’s upstairs. It’s bigger and all covered in notes, here we drink something too and talk to a big group of friends from all over, India, China and go on.

As we leave our third bar we try to find our way to the station and we are in a bit of a rush. We are not sure what time the last train is but it’s getting close to half past 11 and we have to find our way back. I end up walking after my second train and after some running too I finally find my way to the second train and I ended up having the last one. Lucky! I was back at the hostel around a kwarter to one. A fun night I’m glad I went to have a look at Golden Gai.

Day 1 

I have to switch rooms for my tour, so from a 8 bed dorm I move to a twin share room for the next 3 nights, better! I still have the day for myself as the tour starts at night. Time for some Tokyo exploring, I hopped on the train and went to Shibuya walked around in the busy crowd as it was saturday. I found a hedgehog cafe, apparently the only one in the world and ofcourse I went in there! Super cute, you get a table and there is all little hedgehogs you get to hold, with or without gloves. You pay to get in for half an hour or an hour. I love walking around in Japan and hopping in some shops, it’s all beautiful.

At 7 pm. I go down to the lobby to find the rest of the group waiting there. We introduce ourselves and then go for dinner all together. The group isn’t too big, 17 people. The tourguides Adam, Simon and for the first days in Tokyo Joe. Then Debi and Andy and Joshua and Angela as couples. Travelling together are Gulia and Camilla and Shenelle with Nicole. Then last travelling alone, Steph, Fenix, Justin, Joel, Emma, Zach, Veronica. A nice mix of people, a fun group. Dinner is a pot with boiling water where we can basically put in noodles, vegetables and meat and eat it all together when its cooked. It’s fun cooking it yourself and doing it together. After we are back in the hostel we get to do whatever but I’m heading into my room. Tomorrow is a big day.

Day 2

Rise and shine, today is going to be a vey exciting and busy day!

After breakfast we start of with a Japanese history lesson and some Japanese words. It was so interesting and very handy as well to have at the beginning of the trip! 

We learned about the Jakuza, the maffia of Japan, you can recognize them basically on their tattoos. Japanese don’t do tattoos for fun, if you see someone covered in tattoos or with some tattoos it’s highly likely a Jakuza. What I also found interesting is that Stephanie, (she’s Dutch by the way, funny) who gave us the lesson told us how if you apply for a job they check if you have tattoos anywhere... yep, and if so you won’t get hired. We learned about the shinkansen, which is the bullettrain. I’m on the bullettrain at this moment while writing, haha! Anyhow, the bullettrain used to go 210 km per hour but when the French came with a faster train the wanted to be even faster and made a new one. This is the current one and it goes up to 320 km per hour. They’re also working on a next one which will maybe be working in 2027 and it will go up to 500 km per hour! Fascinating...

We learned about the 3 different Sake’s and only to have the premium (80%) or super premium (50%) and it’s good to mix with umami fruit as the flavour itself is umami too.

We also learned some Japanese etiquettes, and I’m sure you didn’t know most of them.

~take your shoes off on time, a lot of the times there is a step to a house, make sure not to put you’re shoes on there to take them off! This is allready concidered as a non shoe area, clean.

~get the noise down in public transfer,  you’ll find that it’s often very quiet in public transfer and it’s very appreciated if you do so to, keep the voice down when with a big group, which is hard I can tell you haha.

~you don’t eat and walk at the same time, this is more from mindfullnes of doing 1 thing at the time and have your focus on that, as well as they don’t like making a mess.

~the point I found surprising, don’t tip. That’s right, don’t give tips, Japanese culture is always doing as best as they can to serve you. It’s not a matter of you did well so now you get tipped at the end. Also they find it awkward and don’t like awkward moments. 

~you’ll find yourself bowing back when someone bows at you, don’t.

~don’t customize your meal, everybody has done it, can I please have this dish but without the union and can I add some more of this. Simple don’t do this as it’s very offensive to the chef. You can however do this if you’ve got allergy’s or anything, just make that clear.

~there is a dress code, don’t really reveal your shoulders or wear tops that are low cut out or even tops that are not that revealing. You can wear them, it’s just you will be looked at and it’s whether you’re comfortable with that.

~wait in line. If you walk anywhere, guaranteed you’ll see a line somewhere, the advice is just stand in line and wait. Japanese people love to stand in line and wait, it’s part of the experience, who know’s what goods is behind the line.

~smoking in public is a thing. There once was a law suit because a men was smoking on a street and it came in the face of a kid, the mom said something to the men and he said I can smoke wherever. The women won the law suit and ever since there is some little smoke areas in the city where people can smoke, a bit covered from the people walking the streets.

And then a fact about Japan which I realized quite soon when I was exploring around... the weirdest thing to me. There is no rubbish bins, hardly any rubbish bins! In 2004 there was an attack where there were bombs or anything but in the bins, that’s why. But you’ll see, the streets are super clean even tho there no rubbish bins. People take rubbish home and throw it in the bin there.

About the Japanese language:

Learning the language:

~It takes kids around 10 years to learn Japanese writing.

~if you know 2000 symbols then you can read like an adult.

~3- to 4000 symbols is a lot to know, more is actually highly unusual.

~there is 3 different types of symbols, kids begin learning hiragana which is 48 characters and they don’t have a meaning that’s just a sound. Then there is catacana which has 48 and then there is congi. (not sure if I spell them correct that’s how you would pronounce it)

Some japanese phrases that are usefull:

Sumimosen- excuse me

Ja ne- informal bye

Itadaki masu- before a meal

Gochisou samu deshi -after a meal

Arigatou - thankyou


So yes I learned lots and now you did too, about Japan. I found it so interesting all these different cultures everywhere, beautiful. 

After the usefull lesson we had little time to walk around asakusa buy some souvenirs and because the schedule was tight, so much to see, we got on the train to Omote-Sando. The champselysee of Japan is this street, expensive brands the shops. We went for lunch and I had my first dumplings, yammie. 

Takeshita street, or how I can remember the name Take A Shit street hahah, does sound like it.. anyway thats not what the street is like. It’s very narrow, very busy! You have to go with the flow while walking in. There’s lot’s of little shops and food places, crepes with lotsss of toppings everywhere! I went to an owl place with Joshua and Angela, we had to pay little entree and could walk around in this beautiful decorated place and pet the owl. Beautiful.

When walking out of the street we were happy the next stop was to escape the business for a bit, yoyogi park, located just next to it. A beautiful huge park in the middle of Shibuya, with the Meiji shrine in there we went to visit.

When walking in the park you enter through a gate, bow as you want to enter and when coming out turn around and bow again before leaving. The Meiji shrine was beautiful and it’s very inspiring and emotional walking around there. There is people hanging their wished and prayers around the tree, beautiful to read. I made one myself too. The last stop before we went back to the hostel for a bit was the Shibuya crossing intersection. This is considered the times square of Japan and it’s a huge crossing! Also fun fact for the Starbucks lovers, (aka me) the starbucks on the crossing is the busiest one in the world! 

We had a little time to rest back in the hostel and make ready for the night.

Dinner with the whole group in Akihabara in a foodcourt where you can order your food at a machine and then pick it up at the restaurant, very futuristic. Akihabara is the electric town and this is where SEGA centres are, mangas, animes, it’s awesome! After my ramen we went to a maidcafe.. A real experience for when in Japan but you should go there without many expectations and very open minded. So that’s what we did, we went in open minded. It’s basically young girls dressed up as maids and it’s for older men to come after work and destress there. It’s like a fantasy and the maids have really high voices and are very cute. You have to pay a cover fee and atleast get a drink and then once you’re sitting there will be men buying a dance or something so you can see a performance. We were lucky and saw I guess 3 or 4 performances, a girl dancing on the little stage to Japanese music, getting the crowd to do movements to or one act was with glowsticks. It was a fun experience, very Japanese with their weird things haha. When we walked out we crossed the streets and went into a huge SEGA shop which is all games, virtual reality, photoboots.  The Japanese are sick in playing their games and crazy crazy fast so definately cool to have a look there. Then me, Steph, Shenelle and Nicole went into a photobooth. Funny thing is after youre done you can totally customize and edit the photo’s and make it cute with big eyes and emojis, hahahhaha. 

Day 3:

Ohayo?

Today we head out to visit the famous tsukiji fish market. It all looks delicious and it’s nice to have a walk around. I’m not trying anything as I don’t like seafood that much and it’s only morning. I have a cold drink somewhere as it’s warm and then we head out to the cooking class, a short walk. We all got on our aparon and ready to make some sushi! We made sushi rolls, nigiri sushi, deep fried tofu and the lady made us miso soup. It was so much fun and it looked very pretty, at the end we got to eat it all. So for lunch that was sushi rolls, nigiri sushi, deep fried tofu and misu sum, de-li-cious! 

A few hours later we were heading to the next spot which was the  Tokyo metropolitan government building. Very high and big, beautiful architecture! We went upstairs to the 47th floor and had a beautiful 360 view over Tokyo. Dinner time! We walked through Shinjuku and got to what is called piss alley by people, this is because as you guessed people used to take a pie there. Nowadays that’s not its purpose anymore and it’s renovated and there is all little restaurants. It’s very nice to grab some dinner here, it’s mainly known for the skewers they have everywhere.

Finally it’s time! We get to the Robot cafe!! For this one you will just have to watch video's I'll put in the vlog later, it's the most amazing experience I've had here and I'm so glad I went!! The robots are so close and the public is quiet small too. Absolutely amazing hahaha.

What a day again, so many impressions and things to see in Tokyo! We go to the shibuya crossing one more time as we take the train home, but this time it’s night time and we actually cross over to be a part of the business haha. Check crossed it. There is also a dog statue of the dog Haichiku. This is a based on a true story of a dog coming there everyday to meet his owner after work, when the owner passed away the dog kept coming for 7 years after. The simble stands for loyalty and nowayds it’s a meeting point for the Japanese.

Also when I'm not responding on WhatsApp or anywhere, I'm just enjoying without my mobile as much as possible!

Reacties

Reacties

Oma Lydia

En dit in 3 dagen...😳 weer een heel anderee wereld danVietnam zo te lezen( gelukkig niet in t Japans nog😜) geniet nog ff😘

Opa Jan

Het is maar goed dat je binnenkort naar huis komt :-) anders begin je vast in het Japans te schrijven.. daar kan ik natuurlijk niks van bakken. Engels gaat me goed af en begrijp wel dat je weer erg veel meemaakt. Dat neemt niemand van je af. Ik zag ook op de app een filmpje van jou op ‘Timesquare van Tokyo’ waar de Jappen zeer gedisciplineerd oversteken. Wat geweldig is dat zeg. Niet te geloven gewoon. Heb het al aan veel van mijn klanten laten zien. Iedereen is verbaasd.
Nou, nog een weekje en dan zien we je weer in levende lijve. Geniet nog van je vrijheid en See You soon...😘

Mama

Hoi schat! Heb gisteren je blog al gelezen maar kon geen reactie plaatsen😬. Wat een geweldige blog weer, alsof we het zelf meemaken, zo gedetailleerd! Japan is écht bijzonder he?? Fijn dat je zo’n leuke groep mensen hebt om alles mee te beleven! Nou wereldreizigster, tot snel!! 😍😍😍😍

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