We’re back!

by brendan on 12/4/2009

Just in time for the crazy Thanksgiving shopping weekend, we returned from Japan. It was a great trip.

A few sweeping generalizations:

The Japanese are very polite. Frank told me ahead of time to remember Sumimasen, a phrase meaning Excuse Me, and it was probably the most useful thing I took to Japan. The country is clean, and face masks in public and ads for hand sanitizer would have you think it was almost an obsession. They also weren’t as short as I might have been led to believe ahead of time. I towered over anybody that was 60 plus, but anybody close to my age was just as tall as I was, if not taller.

How polite? We were on the Shinkansen to Kyoto and the woman next to me spilled literally a few drops of water on my rain-jacket covered arm. I hardly noticed, and she apologized to the point that I started to feel bad. She even tried to give me the water bottle (I declined). 30 minutes later, as Ladyfriend and I were packing up to get off at our stop, she surprised me with a small decorative bag of candy. Graham cracker walnut candy with a squirrel on it. I was caught off guard, and didn’t want her to start apologizing again, so I accepted. That seemed to make her really happy. Who carries around gift bags of apology candy? Japanese women on bullet trains, apparently.

Our hotel was nice, the trains were plentiful and efficient, the people were friendly, the food was good, and the sights were impressive. I even got to buy a computer mouse from one of the massive electronics superstores. All around a good time had by all.

My pictures and Ladyfriend’s pictures are online. You should check them out if you want to know more about our trip. They tell the story better than a blog post by me ever could.

No comments yet.

Write a comment: