Sunday, July 21, 2013

Excuse me...How do I find "real" Japan?

My second day in Japan and other then the fact that it is definitely Japan in a lot of ways I am actually confused by how much it isn't like Japan. Or at least the Japan that is seen in media portrayals or on the internet. For instance while Japanese TV may be a little different from American TV it doesn't have any of the ridiculous shows that I have seen on Youtube, at least that I've seen so far. And while there are vending machines everywhere that sell green tea and cold black coffee they don't seem to sell anything unusual like seaweed water or liquid sushi or something like that. Granted I don't understand Japanese so mostly I have to go by what images I can see on the packaging or the occasional English translation so its possible I just don't know enough or seen enough of Japan.

In any case I was able to see a shinto shrine and see some more of the interesting districts of Japan. And I've also done a great job eating only Japanese food...including Japanese drinks...well other than the Wendy's I had for dinner but that was my friends choice instead of mine so I don't think it should count against me. Speaking about food I have to say that the food I have had is super fact mostly everything is cheaper than I thought. That's not to say that everything is cheap, there are expensive places available but if you are hungry and want to grab a bowl of rice and chicken from the kitchen down the street it only cost 4 dollars and even after paying for subway rides, train tickets, food, souvenirs, and more drinks than I can count from vending machines I still haven't spent even the 100 dollars I exchanged at the airport when I arrived though I'm now down to my last thousand yen. (The airport exchange was operated by a bank and didn't charge commission so it actually made sense to exchange it there).

Tomorrow we are going to get out of Tokyo for a day trip so maybe I will notice some more of the eccentricities of Japanese culture there.

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