Thursday, December 27, 2007

12-27-07: Back from Japan

Well, all I can say is that it was a wonderful, pleasant trip to the Land of the Rising Sun. I got off the plane about three hours ago, and I haven't slept in almost 24 hours, but I think I'm good for now. Need a little nap, but I'll get over the jet lag eventually.

As far as immediate observations about Japan go, I have a few:

First, if you like sushi (or can even just tolerate it), I'd strongly recommend a sushi diet, especially if you're in Japan. Japan is expensive, but you can find good, cheap sushi places. My girlfriend lives near a good one that had really great sushi for 100 yen (~$1) per plate. 10 plates can feed two people, and it's really good stuff. That was definitely a shock.

Second, they're extremely efficient and believe strongly in conservation. Their recycling is widespread, and they're very good with the space they have. It's cramped, but it's not too bad. My girlfriend's apartment is quite big for a single person to have by Japanese standards, but it's not necessarily huge. It is quite nice, though.

Third, the internet there is faster than you can imagine. It's simply outrageously, disgustingly fast. And, there's wireless nearly everywhere you go. It's really neat. And, from what I heard, their cell phone coverage is second to none. For a mountainous country, that's remarkable. If you've read The World is Flat, the author talks about this, but you have to see it firsthand.

And finally (as far as initial observations from me in my jet-lagged and exhausted state), they're the safest people you'll ever meet. You can leave you car unlocked and running, and you're more likely to come back to it with some one watching it for you than stealing something. They're a wonderfully safe people. Now if only they'd catch on to nuclear power, they'd be all set (though I can see why they'd be testy with that; sorry, that's an awful joke, in poor taste).

Do try the sushi. I recommend the salmon. Check out my slide show of the trip, by the way (it should be up within a day or two).

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