Saturday, May 1, 2010

Impressions of Japan

I had a chance to go to Japan, meeting up with Steve when he had a business trip there. He took one week off after he finished his job, and we visited several places in Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Himeji and Otsu.

The first thing that impressed me about Japan was the cleanliness. I rarely saw trash on the ground, but also did not see trash bins everywhere. Japan emphasizes the image, clean is beautiful!

I can’t speak Japanese, but I expected some Japanese people would try to speak Japanese to me. I smiled and shook my head, and it surprised them when Steve spoke Japanese to tell them I am Malaysian.

Most people go places using the train, subway and bus, so they are always crowded. They have signs that the old, handicapped, pregnant and people carrying babies have priority seating, but I rarely saw people offer their seat. Once, we both had a seat on the subway. When it was at a stop, a young guy with his cane came in, and Steve offered his seat to him. And when it was at another stop, a crowd including an old lady came in. I couldn’t offer my seat to her because there were several people between me and her and I didn’t see others who were close to her offer seats. However, when at another stop, the crowd went out. My side was empty and we showed her to sit. She saw Steve was standing in front of me, and she wanted Steve to sit, but we shook our heads that we wanted her to sit. She was glad to sit down and talked Japanese with me. I didn’t know what she said. However, I sensed the humble of Japanese old ladies. I heard in the old culture women were subservient, is it true?

I think not only about women, the handicapped too! I saw a crowd go in an elevator, leaving behind a man in a wheelchair with his two companions. They watched the door close and pressed the button for the next, but the elevator hadn’t gone and the door opened again. The crowd inside looked at them. I was thinking to ask them out and let the handicapped person go in; that was my impulsive thought. The door closed again, leaving behind…my fleeting thought.

Let’s see the Sakura (cherry blossoms)! It was the blossom season, blossoms were everywhere. And other spring flowers, so beautiful!

I didn’t know much about Japanese Buddhism. I was doubtful when I saw the monk/nun standing for alms…

Let’s talk about hotel rooms! I had a chance to use a toilet with a butt shower, so I just tried and enjoyed it. Haha… not bad!

We had a strange experience when we stayed in a hotel near the airport on the last night. The hotel is quite new and better than the hotel we stayed at in Osaka.

After that we went out to dinner at the airport food court and then back to the room. We set the alarm clock for 4.30am the next morning. Steve was laying down, and I did something then I got in bed too. That was nearly 9pm. Before closing my eyes, the light stand on my side was on, so I asked Steve, where to turn off the light? “Turn the button to off.” I did, oh, dark. We heard loud & noisy ladies talking out in the hall 2-3 times. I didn't have a deep sleeping (the previous nights in Osaka, we were tired after sight seeing and had good sleep every night), I didn't know what time it was, and felt like I needed to go to toilet, but I didn't want to get up so I continued to sleep. I was not sure whether I went back sleep or not, but when I opened my eyes, the room was bright and I saw the stand light was on!! I asked, why is the light on? (I heard Steve moving so I knew he was not sleeping well too.) Steve said, “I don't know.” I got up to go to the toilet, then came back to bed and turned off the light again. I closed my eyes not daring to open… until I was awakened by the alarm clock. Then I turned on the light.
When we were in the airport, I talked about 'the light on' and I forgot to see what time it was when I got up to go to the toilet (a clock was hanging on the wall in the room), Steve said, “It might have been a ghost. Maybe around 2am.”

All right, this is my sharing; I am looking forward to Steve’s next business trip, and having a chance to visit other places in Japan. I hope the above sharing does not disturb you. May all sentient beings be well, happy and peaceful.



晴空天下 said...


eHeart said...

佛是無相的,是人情思出來的,那人要佛陀有胡须的,不就是有胡须咯.. haha..