My first impression of Japan: what a green country! On tv we always see skyscrapers and concrete as far as the eye can see. But believe it or not, there is a countryside in Japan and it is beautiful.
We were picked up at the airport by a very friendly driver. Mind the white gloves.
Upon arrival in the hotel ‘Hotel Toyota Castle‘ (everything is called toyota-something here), we had our first Japanese bath. One sits on the stool and scubs oneself down from head to toe. Once completely clean, you immerse yourself in steaming hot water. There’s nothing like it to recover from a 12h flight.
And of course there is the obligatory picture of the Japanese toilet – with pre-heated toilet seat. Again, I could get used to this. I haven’t worked up the nerve yet to press any of those buttons though.
Another impression: the humidity. It feels like a tropical country because of the heat and the humidity outside. Not ideal for people with frizzy hair! From now on, every day is a bad hair day.
Portuguese often appears on signs and official communication. It seems there is a large Japanese community in Brazil and many people from Brazil and Peru come to find jobs in Japan.
On our first day, we had dinner in an izakaya (bar/tavern). No easing into Japanese cuisine for us, we went straight for the raw squid. Yum! We got talking with the man sitting next to us. He immediately insisted on paying our dinner and taking us out again some other time. It seems that fortunately the stereotype about the reserved and shy Japanese does not always apply.