After nearly 3 months in the country of the raising sun, I am writing my final report with a heavy heart. I felt even more deeply in love with Japan during my two-weeks trip with the Japan Railpass. The 18 places I visited showed me once again the best faces of this country. As I don’t want to bore anyone with a straight list, I prefer showing you all the wonderful things I experienced using pictures instead.
Mt. Fuji & Yokohama
Kamakura & Inyuama
Nagoya & Ise
Toba & Futami-ga-ura
Those pictures shell show the worth of a trip to Japan. There is a huge variety of activities for every type of traveler: Countless World Heritage Sites for cultural interested; traditional as well as modern elements in museums and architecture for artist; breathtaking landscapes in the mountains as well as in the flatland and at the sea for nature lovers; exciting hiking and cycling trails for adventurers; many Onsen and excellent food for enjoyers; the best system of public transportation and low criminality for backpackers; recent inventions from innovative companies for tech-freaks. An endless list. If you find yourself in one of those travel-characters, I would be happy to advice you during your planning for a trip to Japan.
Okayama & Naoshima
Kurashiki & Hiroshima
However, this listing leaks in the most important thing of this culture. The Japanese people! Conventions, norms and habits, unique in the world, were developed during the history of this country, separated from the mainland. This makes it even sadder that often the positives aspects of this history seem to hide the more negative ones. I wish that people will discuss this uncomfortable history more often so that the recent generation can learn from the mistakes their ancestors made.
Now I want to focus on one element of the Japanese everyday life. Umbrellas are in Japan not only used as a protection from wetness but also from the sun. It’s because beauty is here not defined by the darkest tan but by an elegant white skin. Even companies prefer if their employees, especially in sales positions, aren’t tanned. Of course the Japanese developed even for this unhandy utensil a practical solution. In front of every public building you will find a locker especially designed for umbrellas and some bicycles are even equipped with a holder for this protector from wetness and sun.
Finally I want to express my highest thankfulness to Mr. Okamoto and his wife, the board of Grünwald Foundation as well as to Rotary Club Grünwald. All of these parties made my stay possible, which many people are quite jealous of. In the last three month I made many new friends and developed myself through out many experiences, opinions and observations. In the same time I felt in love with all faces Japan offers.