Thursday, March 26, 2009

Japan Trek Day 1

I'm reliving the scene from Lost in Translation, where Bill Murray is jet-lagged and up at 3 AM sipping Suntori Time Whisky. Its been less than 24 hours in Japan and I'm already in love with this country. And, this has nothing to do with the fact that I'll be interning for Japan's largest investment bank.
For starters, the flight here was easy and I'm glad I splurged my points on business class. We're staying at the Four Seasons Chinzan-So and the Japanese garden makes reaching Zen-like bliss a walk in the park.

I just love how the people, in general, are incredibly polite and helpful. I mean the concierge and bell-boys at the hotel go as far as walking you to the elevator and pressing the button to your floor before stepping out and then formally bowing as the door closes. And, if thats not enough, they wave their arms in front of sliding doors, just so you do not have to inconvenience yourself by setting off the motion sensors.

The toilet does everything except talk to me. And the subway rides start and stop smoothtly unlike the jerky rides on the Tube that send standing passengers careening into each other. And the landscape is spellbinding -- even "the outdoors" are perfectly manicured, with pine and cypress trees planted in rows on top of perfectly shaped ridges. They do know how to get their feng shui right around here with industrial, commercial and residential buildings all melding seamlessly into each other. Its not jarring, how the city is laid out unlike say NYC - short building, tall building, warehouse or London - brick, stone, brick, stone. The lines flow cleanly from rooftops to flyovers to canals to parks and fountains.

Pocari Sweat, Is it in you?

Why is this person resting her bum on an extremely large tongue?

The language does inject hilarity for the accidental tourist. Starting with swear-words (of course), the biggest dis is to tell someone that their mother has an outie. And the unfortunate use of English at times makes for silly double entendres. For example, the ubiquitious vending machines (1 for every 25 people) sell a sports drink called "Pocari Sweat"! And, I'm so buying a T-shirt with garbled English signage... something that says "Try Touching American Meat Goat - Heavenshow!"

Tomorrow, we're visiting the Toshiba factory, Roppongi and Akihabara for some manga subculture fun. I have Coldplay's "Lovers in Japan" running through my head.... "dreaming of the Osaka sun, dreaming of when the morning comes!" More later! Sayonara!

1 comment:

Caroline said...

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