Random post.

Posted By: Creator of Zsup

Its been 25 in Japan already, not a very long time away considering that my last trip was about 3 weeks in Malaysia. The trepidation of this trip was immense knowing that it was going to be much longer than this. Several reasons were the cause of that trepidation, the weather, the culture, the people, the uncertainty that even research cannot dispel. However, much of that fear has been expelled from my mind after experiencing Japan for almost 4 weeks!

First off, the weather has been hell on me, but thats mainly because I cannot stand cold. It gets EXTREMELY cold when it rains, regardless of the severity of the rain, and it gets real hot when the sun beats down on you (I for one would prefer hot, hence I believe I probably am better off staying in the tropics). I have seen snow here, and ice forming and all the beautiful things associated with temperate countries, but I have also experienced 3 days of continuous rain and several days of zero degree temperatures. However, it has all been a refreshing and excellent experience.

The culture has astounded me. The politeness, the verying degrees of acceptance we see in the people' s eyes, the plethora of sub-cultures and dressing that can be seen on the streets that are NEVER frowned upon. Japan is really a buffet for the eyes, even without venturing far from the city.

The people are the main topic for this post though. Japan has been renowned for its manners, the people's helpfulness, and overall the kindness of the population is immense. From my trip so far, I have met quite a number whom have gone out of their way to help me. First up would be the nice restaurant owner from Choshi, even though she did not understand our half baked Japanese or English, she still helped us to find a hotel with available rooms! Then on the train to Nagoya, a nice uncle stepped up to ask if we needed help, something that surprised me totally. After that, while we were in Nagoya, another old man stopped to enquire about our well-being, whether we had eaten, whether we had a room. Our next encounter would be in Kyoto, where a customer in an internet cafe was requested to help explain to us the rules and packages offered by the cafe, and he did so with much patience. He even struck up a conversation with us after, talking about Singapore and all.

One encounter which I would like to mention would be in JR Kyoto Station, a restaurant named PASTAMORE. We headed in to have a meal shared between us, but when we found out that the restaurant had rules for ordering, i.e. each person had to order 1 each, we thought of leaving the place because we couldn't eat so much. This was the point that the nice waitress asked us to wait for a moment, and she went to check with the manager for permission for us to order 1 set to be shared. she returned moments later with a smile and told us we could, whereupon we ordered our share of food and guzzled it down. She never had to go out of her way to do this, and just let us leave, hence I feel very strongly for their service. If you even have to have a meal in Kyoto, try this place out, prices are decent even for 1 person, the food is excellent, and service is no doubt extremely good.

The last one on the list but definitely not the least, is a middle-aged man who sold Takoyaki from the back of a Van at JR Kyoto Station Hachijo Exit. His hospitality is boundless from the first time we bought a box of 6 Takoyaki from him, which was when he inquired where we were from, upon knowing that we were travelling from overseas, he immediately went 'Service Service!' and promptly changed the box to a larger box and gave up 10 balls instead! This happened the next 2 times as well, without fail and he never ever gave us the feeling that he wouldn't have done so for repeat customers. I definitely recommend anyone and everyone who visits Kyoto, Japan to have a go at the nice uncle who sells Takoyaki. You can find him at night parked outside JR Kyoto Hachijo Exit, with his Lantern hung to a white van, sitting in there cooking his Takoyaki!

Aforementioned Takoyaki Van and uncle with me!

I believe we will only meet more of these kinds of people as we move on in our journey through Japan, so I look forward to having these encounters of the nice kind. They keep my spirit up even in the cold.

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS
Read Comments

0 zsupplets: