Streets of Tokyo

This picture was taken at Asakusa in Central Tokyo. It is predominently a residential area with the most famous Sensoji Temple. The roads areimmaculately clean and the footpaths are paved and quite wide to enable a large crowd tomwalk around comfortably. 

The street signs are predominently in Japanese – written mostly in Kanji. So if you are learning Japanese then this will be the perfect way to effortlessly study Kanji in a fun way. 

The lanes are in pristine condition, and a pedestrian is given the most prominence in this country. The vehicles take a back seat, and the pedestrian is given precedence. 


Incase you have an emergency, or you notice the traffic is sporadic – you can request for a pedestrian crossing anytime you want. 

At Yotsuya Sanchome I was waiting for the pedestrian sign, when a Japanese gentleman came over and showed me the device where I could request a gree signal if I need it in the future. They are pretty stict rules about navigating on the streets and it is a pleasure to see so many amenities that benefit at an individual level. 

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My first Sashimi Lunch

On my first day in Tokyo I set out at 8am to visit the famous Sensoji temple and then headed out to lunch. I was wondering what I could eat and I saw a small resturaunt that served ‘Hiru Gohan’ (Japanese word for lunch). There was already a small line outside the store and I stood in line, when the lady came to take my order while I waited in line – I told her in Japanese that I would love to sit at the common table outside the restaurant and she immediately made space for me, when a diner left.

I ordered a Salmon & Tuna Sashimi and it took me about 20 mins to take my first bite of my meal. In India it is unheard of for people to eat anything raw. It was the first time I was seeing any raw meat in my bowl, and it took decades of mental conditioning to undo that. I closed my eyes and picked up the Tuna to enjoy the first morsel of the scrumptious Sashimi. I am glad I took this first step to break into the whole new world of delicious, healthy and IchiBan spread of nutritious cuisine.

I loved the freshness of the Tuna, Salmon, the see weed on rice, sweet ginger slices, and the dominant flavor of Wasabi. One of the main reasons I will return to Japan is for the food 🙂 Makes me so happy to eat the freshest, tastiest, and nutritious food. The Tuna, Ikura, Salmon, Sushi all were a treat to my soul.

For the rest of my days in Japan, I had a fabulous time trying out a variety of cuisine from Hokkaido, Kanazawa, Osaka, Kyoto and Kyushuu. I am a now the greatest fan of a new line of IchiBan Japanese cuisine.

 

 

Tokyo’s Digital HQ @Akihabara

A visit to the digital shopping complex – Yodobashi camera is a must. Even if you do not plan on shopping for gadgets, you will see a wide range of brands and the latest technology on display.

The special aspect of Japan made products are that they are indeed a class apart in terms of quality and are more advanced. The products made in Japan have the latest innovations imbibed into them.

You can visit the various sections of this digital mall and appreciate the variety of products and their sleek features. While parents go about trying to see what best gadget would suit them the kids have a ball at the 4D video games section.

I visited Yodobashi Camera in Akhihabara Tokyo, Kyoto and at Osaka. Their range of cameras are astonishing and I was hunting for a Canon Powershot G series. I love my Canon G11 and wanted to see the center of its creation. #canon #g11 #madeinjapan

Japan’s Jaw-dropping Technology

The first thing that grabbed my attention was how liberally technology was splashed onto every inch of Japan. The moment I landed in the airport I saw how technologically savvy the country was, the digital displays and the infrastructure looked exquisite and futuristic. One incident that I recollect is about the first encounter I had with their astounding technology. The bus I boarded at the airport to reach Tokyo at 2 am was gunning down the road at breakneck speed and I saw a metal barricade. Usually in India the vehicles stops at this metal barricade and then the bar lifts up slowly. But I could see that we were about to collide, and the bar lifts swiftly as I braced for impact. When I saw what happened I soon realized that it was an automated security checkpoint. Right there the technology had made its presence.

I reached Asakusa in central Tokyo and I was taken aback by how brilliantly the city center was lit with neon lights. What I liked most were the lamps that can be clipped to any bedpost and the fancy buttons that come along with it. Each one is unique and have great features. The appliances in Japan are a world apart and these are designed only for the Japanese. These are much more advanced in features and efficiency than the export units. Every day is amusing as you will see some new innovation that will leave you speechless. It could be as simple as a lamp or a toaster. The elegance and sophistication of the usage of technology is astounding and impressive.

Romancing the Japanese Language

The first memory I have associated with Japan, was when I was a small school girl trying to pronounce Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku & Kyushuu 🙂 my Geography teacher tried her best to get us to say the names of Japan’s 4 main islands. From that moment it was hook, liner, sink for me!
I was enthralled by the stories my father told me about this great country. That it was one of the best countries in the world, that it was the land of the rising sun, that the people had very strong ethics and principles.

Few stories and incidents about the kindness displayed by the Japanese to total strangers left me speechless. I would often wonder – could this be just a tale,
could a person be this kind and offer unconditional service to another?

The first real connection I had with the Japanese was during my backpacking trip to Mainland China. I met 3 Japanese tourists who displayed disproportional levels of
courtesy, manners and offered assistance. These 3 individuals sold the concept of their entire country to me, and they dint even know the impact it had on me.
They were their country’s ambassadors and they did a fine job without even knowing that they were unconsciously advertising their country’s morals, ethics , principles and culture.
They all thought they were just touring as tourists – Wrong! They were samurais in their own way, and the living epitome of the most ideal prototype of how humanity really should be like.

Several other instances finally led me to enroll for the beginners course & I have been studying the Japanese language since August 2016.
Its been a wonderful experience, learning Hiragana, Katakana & Kanji. Everyday I learn something beautiful about the culture and eve the
conversations between characters in textbooks revels how respectful they are of each other.

I have just struck upon an endless reserve of knowledge that can keep me occupied for the rest of my life. Beautiful Japanese Language – Kireina Nihongo!