I have just returned from a five-day trip of Japan and my first impression, as most of us from India travelling to a developed nation would say, was WOW!
And why not? They have systems that work… systems that are maintained and are fabulously well organised… what hurts even more, is that some of these have been developed, deployed and maintained by Indian companies…
Be that as it may (coz it will be!)… the country is a pleasure to be in… the people are extrememly warm and hospitable and normally go out of their way to help you. Politeness is something they seem to have in excess… I mean, imagine someone waiting to let pedestrians cross through before driving on… in India, the pedestrian would have been on his way to the hospital!
There are some obvious problems too, though, like high cost of living and skyrocketing costs of real estate. Never-ending, serpentine traffic jams are also more the norm than exception. Interestingly, though, these happen without any fuss and drivers wait patiently without honking or cutting lanes to get ahead.
Food, though, for the uninitiated and the vegeterian in particular can be a nightmare! We had a couple of them in our group and they almost died of hunger! For the Japanese, seafood is vegeterian! Eat that!
I had sushi and once I got over my initial apprehensions, it was delicious! Salmon turned out to be my favourite and was spicy as hell without any garnish or even seasoning! Shrimp and squid are something I really like and no one makes them better than the Japanese! If you ever get a chance to sample the exotic cuisine of the Far East, go for it. A word of caution, though: stay away from the Tofu. After one meal (seven courses of Tofu!), I could almost throw up!
But if a Jap ever serves you Tofu, please eat it. They feel bad if you refuse!
I'll add more to this series regularly… I am so impressed, my thoughts are totally mixed up! Need some time to clear my mind!


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