Japan: An Overview

Japan is one of the most amazing countries to visit. It is filled with so much rich culture, history, and tradition. Depending on where you go in Japan, you will be pleasantly surprised by how different each city and region is from each other. There is something different about their way of life and focus. In Japan, most people do not speak English so getting around will be difficult without a travel guide. The people are amazingly friendly and the food is out of this world! It is best to learn a couple of phrases that are pertinent to understanding Japanese culture. If you need help, most individuals in Japan will not hesitate. Although I’ve heard that if you are a man asking for help, they are less inclined to do so than for females. In any case, some may be hesitant to talk to you because of the fact their English is slightly lacking and they prefer not to speak it.  For now, I will provide a brief overview of what I think overall about the food, the people, the culture, and the type of ambiance you will walk into when visiting some of the different cities in Japan.

FOOD

I have so many great things to say about the food in Japan. Culinary Art is very important to the culture and most ingredients that go into meals are purely elemental. Japanese people stray away from mixing too many strong flavors together. What is amazing about Japanese cuisine is that each flavor is distinct in the dish no matter how subtle the flavor may be. The way it is organized is quite strategic and each part of the dish plays an important role. The togetherness of the community is reflected also in the food. They believe in harmony and a balance of flavors. Although there are certain dishes that are popular in japan and made in different regions, each region has their own spin on takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and other dishes. Food expense are not pricey unless you go to more touristy type restaurants. The best restaurants, however, are the hole in the wall kinds of restaurants. Even their fast food is so tasty and is seriously amazing. 

Culture & Ambiance

The Japanese pride themselves in their politeness. They are amazingly polite and respectful. When going to Japan, it is best to be cognizant about the rituals and traditions that they observe religiously. You MUST finish your food, it is quite an insult to the chef if the food is not entirely finished. Japanese people pride themselves in their culture and are more likely to help you if you try to learn and understand their way of life. The politeness is uniform across the board for all Japanese regions and you can learn new things from every place that you visit. Their temples, their attire, their mannerisms all say a lot about them.

The uniqueness of each area in Japan is vast. In Kyoto, you’ll immerse yourself in so much history. Kyoto is a great place to understand their history and the way the houses and buildings are structured, makes it a sight for sore eyes. Osaka is one of the most amazing places to indulge in different food, desserts, and drinks. If you’re a foodie, Osaka is a MUST. Himeji also has its historical routes that give you a glimpse of what castles were like in the past. Kobe is not just about the beef, the sights around the area are to die for and the outskirts of Kobe in the local neighborhoods are so quaint. Of course Tokyo is a landmark for fashion and a shopping district for unique souvenirs and goodies. It culminates and encompasses food and culture gathered throughout the Kanto Region.

Japan’s culture is unlike any other culture out there. It is certainly a must see for everyone. Guaranteed when you come back, you’ll be planning your next trip. I will explain and be more detailed in other blogs to come. 🙂

Until then, ja ne!

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