Japan, 2002 - Our latest travel lead us to the Far East again: Tokyo was the goal of
a nearly 24 hours journey (ok, no more British Airways next time). Tired and exhausted we arrived in the Land of
the Rising Sun on a sunny morning - and our timing could not have been better: The famous hanami, the time
of the Cherry Blossoms had just begun (and indeed those trees look nice).
Cherry blossoms are everywhere
Japan - or at least the Tokyo area where we have been - has it all. Diversity is the best way
to describe the feeling we had. The buildings look very Western, sometimes you feel like standing in an US city,
modern and neo-classic buildings, with the only difference that the signs are written in Kanji, Chinese letters.
And when you turn around and you stand next to a shrine, a Buddistic temple or a Japanese bath-house and it feels
very Eastern. But when you end up in a district that looks totally Eastern, it might just be Chinatown, like in
any other metropolis ...
Bright lights, big city
East and West is also mixed a lot in Japanese writings. They do love English and German words
a lot. You can find them on signs, products and a lot of t-shirts. This will also bring a smile on your face often
because their love for foreign languages is bigger than their knowledge of them. This speech barrier is a real
problem, most Japanese do not speak English and tourists can easily feel locked out.
There are not many foreign tourists in Tokyo and therefore there is not much support for travellers at all. Even
the search for a simple postcard can take weeks... But of course all the problems did not stop me from my never
ending adventurous search for "Indy Jones" (Japanese like to shorten things a lot! So our hero's famous
yellow-red logo only reads "Indy Jones" instead of "Indiana Jones")!
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