First impressions

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.

Green countryside between Nagoya and Toyota City

We were picked up at the airport by a very friendly driver. Mind the white gloves.

Our driver, who gave us a Japanese vocabulary lesson

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.

Scrubbing area

the bath is deeper than european baths, so it is possible to be completely immersed instead of having to choose between your shoulders or your knees

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.

High tech toilet

control panel for high tech toilet

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.

Portugese signalisation in city hall

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.

Raw squid

Sashimi a.k.a. more raw squid (and other assorted marine creatures)

Asahi-san, our new Japanese friend

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3 thoughts on “First impressions

  1. Pingback: Life in Japan today « Bùn Phù sa

  2. Pingback: Making friends at the izakaya « Dennis and Helena in Japan

  3. Dag Helena en Dennis , fijn dat jullie goed zijn toegekomen en dat jullie zo goed verwend worden.
    Het is jullie gegund. Door de foto’s is alles heel
    duidelijk en spreekt het voor zich, hetgeen jullie ervaren hebben. Tof dat Japan toch ook zoveel groen heeft. Leve de natuur.
    Wens jullie nog veel plezier en rust en verbazingwekkende momenten. Enjoy !

    Greetzzzzz
    Els

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