“Ramen Alley” is a famous area in the Susukino area of Sapporo. It is a very narrow Continue reading
Stories abound here of people losing things or leaving things on the train…wallets and purses, money, cameras, phones, etc. And the stories usually have happy endings, with the item returned with money/belongings intact and undisturbed. I witnessed something at a mall this week that illustrates the general integrity of the Japanese people.
To set the stage, we are in the midst of a Japanese Holiday – the biggest and most important Japanese Holiday – New Years! Many, dare I say most, Japanese people are off work for about a week and a half and this year will return to work January 6. So it was New Year’s Eve and my husband and I were at a very crowded, very busy mall. We got lunch at the all-too-familiar mall food court, although it Japan the food isn’t all that familiar to us. The food court was packed and people had to stand and wait with food in hand until tables were vacated to sit down and eat…except for one lady. She waited until a table was empty, put her purse in the middle of the table and walked half way across the food court to place an order. We were astounded. We watched for awhile and never saw the lady come back to the table (the lines were very long), but neither did we see anyone take her purse. Where I come from (sadly), that purse would have been gone in just a few minutes.
Then today, I was looking at the Facebook page of a group I am involved with when I saw this exchange:
• (PERSON 1)
Last night at XXXXXX I left my jacket, pink iphone 5C and wallet. The jacket is a long pea coat with purple, black and white plaid. If found please contact me at XXX XXXX XXXX. Thanks in advance!
You might try checking in with the local police. It’s pretty common for lost items to actually get turned in off base. I’ve know quite a few people who’ve lost/misplaced their wallets, purses, entire lives/etc on trains/bars/random places in Japan — and 9 x’s outta 10, they’ve been able to pick it up at the nearest police station! Good luck!
Thank you! I filed a report but didn’t hear anything back but luckily someone brought back the jacket and belongings yesterday. Nothing was tampered with. I appreciate everyone’s help though (:
WOW…another one of the many reasons I love Japan!
Our friends, L and K (owners of Joey the smiling bilingual terrier), invited us on a day trip to Kamakura to see the fall foliage. L told us that she had seen an article about the beautiful fall foliage in that area and so we decided to take the 52 mile train trip and also see the Great Buddha, which is the largest outdoor Buddha in Japan.
We took the train from Fussa and arrived at Hase station via electric streetcar. The area was really quaint with various small traditional shops selling Japanese food/snacks, t-shirts, kimonos/obis and a variety of souvenirs. We veered down a side street where we visited a large music box store and indulged in ice cream cones at a little stand outside the store. Continuing down the street, we found a temple at the end of the street, but decided not to go in. Near the temple we saw a really interesting tree with huge bumps up and down the trunk and some of the branches appeared to be hollow.
As we got a better view is the trees on the hillsides, we realized that we were too early. The Kamakura area is located SSE of Tokyo near Sagami Bay and so was a few weeks behind the Fussa area in terms of fall foliage. We decided that we would come back next year for leaf changing, but would focus on taking in the town itself and seeing Buddha.
The Great Buddha, also known as “Daibutsu,” was cast in bronze in 1252 and stands 43.8 feet tall. It was originally housed inside a temple, until the temple was washed away by a tsunami. Daibutsu has set outside ever since. The statue was really impressive and even had a passageway and staircase which allowed viewing of the inside of the Buddha. The winding staircase was incredibly narrow and the entryway was only about 5 feet high.
We had a wonderful lunch at a traditional Japanese (take your shoes off and sit on the floor) cafe and on the way back to the train station our friends spotted an octopus cracker shop. They wanted to try this crunchy-bits-of-dried-octopus pressed into a large, thin, almost translucent cracker. We had no such desire, but I did end up taking a bite…and it was ok…not delicious, but definitely ok.
On our return trip, I saw my first double-decker train. We decided to pay the additional small fee to ride on the upper level and be guaranteed a seat. It was much quieter, more comfortable and an attendant came around offering drinks, chips, etc much like a flight attendant on an airplane. Fun day, interesting trip, great friends!
I love my Japanese friends! We always seem to overcome the communication challenges one way or another. This very special adventure involved one of my Japanese friends (who I will refer to as “C”) taking me to an actual, honest-to- goodness traditional tea ceremony, which I thought was to be held in a home. I was very excited about the tea ceremony and honored to be able to visit a Japanese home! My husband dropped me off at the train station and I was off on the 16 minute train ride to Hachioji.
C was to meet me at the station, but I was a little anxious Continue reading
With no specific plans for Saturday, we decided to hop on the train to Mikata to find a specific location that we would be visiting Thursday next week. The trip involved not only riding the train, but also a city bus which we had never done before. We also wanted to time our trip, since our excursion next week would involve a specific appointment time.
Knowing that Golden Week (a national holiday in Japan) would begin on Monday, Continue reading
Our latest escapade was a birthday celebration for our friend and unofficial tour guide, Danny-san. The event was held at a Yakitori (Japanese skewered meat) cafe just a short, 1-train-stop hop from the Fussa (pronounced “Hussa” in Japan, because there is no “F” in their language) station. I will confess up front that I was somewhat hesitant about this adventure Continue reading