JAPAN (March 2014)

Over the years, H and I have traveled in a variety of ways: on our own, in small groups, and in large groups. Each has its pros and cons, though none have ever been as annoying as this tour of Japan. A large group (40+) on a large bus is never a lot of fun. Add to this a guide whose English seems to worsen by the day and an itinerary that calls for 8 to 10 hour driving days on said bus, and one is not setup for the best of times. Throw in a goodly amount of rude individuals and English tourists who don't know how to queue (didn't know such a thing existed), and only the country can save the trip.

Japan is a country where one feels foreign upon arrival. From the automated toilets (so many buttons but none seem to be the flush), breakfast selections (some of the best lunches I had were served during breakfast), and women's fashion, its all new and unexpected. Speaking of fashion, Japanese men seem to come in only two varieties--slightly older businessmen in dark suits carrying briefcases and slightly younger men with shaggy hair--but the women seem to be individual. There are trends, such as the numerous Lolita fashions, but everyone seems to have there own approach to them.

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All text and photographs Copyright © 2006-2014 by Jeremiah A. Gilbert.
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