Some unnecessary knowledge about Japan

Japan can be a strange country sometimes, but that’s one more reason I love it so much! I’ve researched some of my favorite facts about this extraordinary place on earth to share them with you:

You can buy isles in Japan!
They may not be cheap or too big but hey, an isle in Japan! If you are interested anyway, go check out www.aqua-styles.com/island_japan.html

The biggest crossing in the world
is of course, the famous Shibuya Crossing! Everytime the light goes green, up to 15’000 people are crossing the street!

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The Shibuya crossing from above, right next to the Shibuya train station.

Oshiya – Pushing people for a living? 
Maybe you’ve already seen it on TV or social media; a man in uniform, that pushes people into a full train – and that’s his job! Well, what else do you expect in a 40 million people city at rush hour? (Ps. Oshiyas exist since 1955)

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A very old picture of Oshiyas, pushing commutes into the train!

Hikikomori?
Japanese people, mostly young people, that live in their room. Only their room. For months or worse – even years! Yes, like the nerds in the movies that only watch Animes & play video games the whole day, but that’s not funny at all! They are overwhelmed by the tough Japanese society. Even the parents are ashamed to have a Hikikomori in their family, so they don’t talkabout it. Because of that reason, many Hikikomoris don’t get the help they’d need.

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Illustration of a Hikikomori

Fell asleep at work? Totally OK in Japan!

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“He must have been working hard”


Inemuri – that’s how they call it. Which means being awake physically but asleep in mind. There are any reasons: The Japanese have very long working hours & u
sually long trips to work, so there’s no time for sleep. So if you sleep at work, your colleagues will think “he must have been working very hard”

 

What does the chicken say?
In Japan, they use animal sounds (like meow or bark) for some animals, we wouldn’t even guess! some examples:

Cat/Neko                                    “Nya” (kinda accurate)
Dog/Inu                                      “Wan Wan” (hmm)
Chicken/Niwatori                     “kokekokko” (I mean, what?)
Kickup/Kakkou                         “ho hokekyo”    (say it loud!)
Horse/Uma                                 “hihiin“(depends on the pronunciation, I guess)
Monkey/Saru                             “kikii“(Never, ever heard a monkey speak)

Of course there are many more strange things about Japan, but for now this must be enough. Stay tuned for more soon!

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“KOKEKOKKO !!”

All pictures in this posts are not mine and belong to their creators

Animal Cafés in Japan! (Cats, Bunnies, Owls & Reptiles!)

(I’ve decided to do a German translation as well – see below)

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Small Rabbit Café in Shibuya, Tokyo

Japan is not the biggest country, but one of the most populated on earth. With such a minimum of space, it’s getting tight for living room, especially in big cities like Tokyo. Many Japanese people can’t afford to own pets or even have no space for them. But there’s a solution for this problem: Animal Cafés!

 

 

 

 

There are Cat, Bunny, Owl and even Reptile Cafés in Japan! Relaxing and drinking a cup of or coffee while petting 3 cats, what else could you want?

On my trip to Japan in 2015, I’ve been visiting Owl, Cat and Bunny Cafés. I liked the Owl Café the most, they had the most space for the animals & even closed the Café from time to time due to “Animal Breaks”.

 

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Very small Cat Café, right next to the Bunny Café

 

 

(Ich habe mich entschieden den Blog auch auf Deutsch zu führen)

Japan ist zwar nicht das grösste Land, aber eines der meistbevölkerten der Welt. Bei so wenig Platz wird es immer enger mit dem Wohnraum, vor allem in Grossstädten wie in Tokio. Sehr viele Japaner können sich deshalb keine Haustiere leisten geschweige denn , haben Platz dafür. Doch dafür gibt es eine Lösung: Tiercafés!

Katzen, Hasen, Eulen und sogar Reptilien Cafés gibt es! Gemütlich einen Tee oder Café trinken, und nebenbei mit 3 Katzen spielen, was will man mehr?

Bei meinem Japan Trip im April 2015, habe ich ein Eulen, Katzen und Hasen Café besucht. Das Eulen Café mochte ich am meisten, die Tiere dort haben viel Platz und das Café wird auch mal wegen “Tierpausen” geschlossen.

When the sun goes down in Tokyo

If you want to see the city view of Tokyo from above for free, (not like Tokyo Tower or Tokyo Skytree) then your option is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building!

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building has a height of 243 meters. If you enter the building, go to the elevators – there’s an extra elevator that only goes to floor 45,which is free of charge!

You can look out of the windows and enjoy the view of beautiful Tokyo. There are even gift stores and Cafes! So amazing, I wish I’d have spent more time there.

Unfortunately, there were some clouds at the horizon, orherwise I would have spotted Mount Fuji!

 

「The Japanese Hospitality 日本のお持て成し」

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Shinjuku, Tokyo

You sure may have heard, that the Japanese hospitality is pretty warm. They love to show foreigners their country and are very proud of it.

I can confirm and the reason I can, is my letterfriend. I actually stayed in Tokyo 東京, but she lives in Kōbe 神戸(about 3 hours distance). Anyway, I travelled with the bullet train (Shinkansen 新幹線) from Tokyo to Kōbe. She waited at the Shin Osaka train station for me, and we went to her parent’s apartment together. Her parents were already excited to meet me, they even made a “Welcome to Japan, Sabrina” cake for me! I did’nt expect something like this!

I could spend the night there, it’s been such a dream to sleepover at a real Japanese family. The next morning, Mayo san’s (my letterfriend) mother made us some Onigiri. What a feeling, sitting at the table with a Japanese family, feets under the Kotatsu 炬燵 (low, wooden table frame covered by a futon or heavy blanket, upon which a table top sits. Underneath is a heat source which keeps you warm) and biting in to a still warm Onigiri おにぎり.

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Rikscha ride through Gion, the Geisha town in Kyōto 

We spent some days together, she showed me the best spots around Kyōto and even visited the Universal Studio Japan (USJ) together with me. During my stay in Japan, i had the best time while traveling with Mayo san. It’s so much easier to travel and enjoy, when you are with someone that speaks the language, in a country where not everyone speaks english.

On my last day, I could experience the Japanese hospitality one last time for my stay. My flight back home was in the morning. I had to take the shuttle from Shinjuku Station 新宿区駅 to the airport. When I arrived at the Shinjuku Station, the shuttle was already full. Luckily, I was early enough to wait for the next one. I thought “hey, I should go to a Japanese supermarket for one last time!” So I started looking for a Family Mart, Seven Eleven or Lawson. When I found one, there was a little stair to reach the store. As you can imagine, my suitcase was pretty heavy so I could’nt lift it up those stairs. On behalf of the low criminality rate in Japan, i thought I’ll just leave it outside for a min. Before I entered the store, i picked my wallet and sorted out my last coins… So, a young, 18 years old girl, no make up & hair done, wearing a training suit and holding a suitcase and looking for her last coins. Must have looked funny, anyway a Japanese lady walked out of the store, holding for a second, then walked away. But she came back and gave me a piece of bread with two hands (respectfully). I took it, also with 2 hands and whispered “Arigato Gozaimasu!”. As fast as she came, the fast she’s gone. This story still makes me smile, whenever I think of it!

Sorry for that long post, here’s a picture of my Mayo san & me in Kimonos.

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My letter friend Mayo san & me in Kimonos