Having already mentioned the fact that culture and tradition are so prevalent in everyday life everywhere in Japan this is pretty similar but worth a mention on its own I think.
Japan is a working synchronisation of old and new which is witnessed everywhere, but especially so in some of the big cities. I don’t think that there is anywhere else in the world where this contrast is so obvious and no matter how big or small, adds to the overall Japan experience. This contrast is one of the reasons why Japan is so great.
When planning a trip for people travelling for the first time to Japan, there are quite a few people who say something like, “I want to experience culture and tradition, but am not too bothered about spending time Tokyo – it’s a just a big city”…..it’s not JUST a big city….well it is, but it is here where you begin to notice the differences. There are many super hi-tec elements to Tokyo with its sleek skyscrapers, neon lights and trains that pass you overhead and underground. However, you will also find traditional areas such as Asakusa built around the Sensoji Temple or the quiet Shibamata district with single-rise wooden buildings, traditional shops and small shrines or the old fashioned Arakawa tram system that runs through Tokyo’s Otsuka district to name some of the more obvious differences.
One of the biggest contrasts to hit me, was when buying a gadget in an electronics store in Japan. This may not happen so often in the more popular districts of Tokyo, but you can still head into a small electronics stores and buy the latest electronic device.When it comes to making payment, the shopkeeper may tot up your bill on an abacus or tap in a figure to a big fat-fingered calculator. Meanwhile, the shop is being kept warm by a kerosene heater which is also being used to heat up a little kettle of water for the next cup of green tea. You know that there is the capability for a register to scan a bar code and bring up the price or a radiator/air-con device to heat up the room and a kettle that plugs into the mains….but it is kind of nice to see and seems right somehow. It seems very Japanese.
This is just one example of how Japan is full of the traditional and the modern living side-by-side and working well. It is quite cute in a way and is one of the reasons in my mind as to why Japan is so great.
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