I’m a bit suspicious to talk about Japan, but here we go.
Japan is a funny place, magic, catchy, weird and unique. Full of surprises each place you go and walk.
November 2008, we arrived for the first time, it was supposed to be a few months trip only but we end up staying for 2 years. I got a job, kids in school and life went on, living as locals.
Japan is practical, simple, has good food, culture and the way things works here. Full of issues and far from being the best country to live, still I just fall in love.
FIRST TIME, 2008
Everything was new. Language, culture, way people live and work. It was not the first time in a new country, but it was Japan!
A country where English was not enough for day to day conversation and sometimes only mess it up your head. Lost count how many times I’ve ordered food and came back with more than it should be.
Japanese work a lot, some people, every day. They have time to start but never time to finish. Schools, in the majority, are public and follow the ministry of education rules, no alternatives.
They are thankful for everything and everyone. Food, information, money, work and for being alive.
Whatever you go or do, there are rules. To eat, to use transport, to use the escalator, to introduce yourself, to study, to work and honestly, this is what makes Japan special, incredible, polite and practical, but of course, some rules are hard to understand and makes you sad. Wonder why Japan has a high suicide index.
A place where men are simply the provider and the family has to be thankful for their work and money provided and women are always subordinated to men.
SECOND TIME, 2016
There is a music from a Brazilian musician, Renato Russo, that says: “the seasons changed, but nothing has changed, I know something has happened, everything is so different”.
After 6 years: English now is common than before, work and school, however, are still the same, following rules and long working hours. But, at the same time I see young couples starting families, happy couples holding hands, men taking care of their kids, families playing in parks, people testing their boundaries, the first woman mayor in Tokyo. I can see a bit less, just a bit, “men driving” country and I hope to see much, much more.
Visiting Japan now was completely different, I knew the language, culture and way things work, while things were the same, I can see changes, they can be small for us occidentals, but they are huge for them. Happy for it!
Definitely, it was not the last visit and I hope not wait another 6 years to stop by. Looking forward to changes!
And you? Have you ever visited Japan? What are your thoughts about it?