First impressions of Japan
Trip Start Oct 03, 2007
88Trip End Mar 19, 2008
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Another top attraction were the toilets: It felt like being in a Hilton bathroom - I could have happily slept on the bathroom floor so clean was it, and the toilet itself looked like it came straight from the 22nd century. Needless to say that I tried to push all the buttons!
Then I hear an announcement over the speakers asking everybody to copulate. Fairplay I thought, but then I lemembeled that Japanese sometimes have ploblems with the lettel "r". Cooperate - there you go!
Taking the train into Tokyo I was almost a bit disappointed how easy everything was: everything was spelled biligual, there were enough seats for everybody, etc etc. That changed in Shinjuku though, where I wanted to get a bus to Kawaguchiko. Shijuku station is like a big underground city, and huge! Plus, busses were not made for tourists, hence there was little to non English, and with 5 national bus stations in Shinjuku I'm not sure if I would have ever found my bus if the Japanese were not really friendly and helpful. Once I had my (Japanese) ticket I still had 40 minutes for a first wander through Shinjuku district (above the ground).
Just having arrived I immediately started to like this place. I hadn't expected much but was impressed with how different everything was. I browsed through some uber-dimensional electronics stores and was surrounded by goths, schoolgirls, a werewolf and weird-haircut-guys who all seemed to have jumped straight out of a Final Fantasy video game. And you immediately realise that there is much more to Shinjuku than electronics: at night it is Tokyo's biggest entertainment district and everyone cooperates. Or so I heard!
The bus ride to Kawaguchiko was quite eventless: the hills/mountains through which it drove were quite different and beautiful - so much greener than anywhere else, maybe only comparable to the endless green hills of China. The road signs provided some entertainment because most of them were in Japanese only and I had no clue were I was - fortunately I made friends with an old man sitting next to me who talked to me in Japanese all the way (maybe he thougth I would eventually learn it?) and finally pointed out the right stop. Cheers!
In Kawaguchiko it was a short walk to the hostel, where I met some other Germans (who had retreated from halfway up Mount Fuji the day before) and a Finnish guy called Esko who was a writer looking for science fiction inspiration in Japan. Good choice! Since Esko wanted to climb Mount Fuji too we were making plans to go up there together, but he later changed his mind. The supermarket was an experience, too: Now I know what an analphabetic feels like when shopping: looking at the pictures and wondering:
*is it food or decoration?
*how do I cook it?
*am I actually still hungry?