Over the summer of 2008, I decided to join my cousins in their trip to Japan. I must describe my trip in 3 words: adventurous, amazing, and appreciative. One of my cousins had been there before, so instead of following a tour guide, we roamed under the city lights of Japan on our own.
My favorite place in Japan was Nara Park, home of the deer. Once I set foot in Nara Park, I couldn’t take my eyes off the deer. As I walked a little closer, hoping to pet them, I was worried if it was safe to touch them and I was afraid they would bite me. After my cousin had told me it was safe, I was more willing to pet them, and to my surprise, they were very welcoming. After taking many pictures of the deer and with them, we walked further in to see the temples and shrines. After feeling sad that we had to move on, there were even more deer near the shrines.
We saw other tourists buying crackers that were meant for the deer’s to eat, so we bought 2 packets; each with about 10 thin round pieces wrapped in paper. Once we bought the crackers, the deer came rushing towards us. I ran away while trying to feed them. They were practically attacking me, trying to steal the crackers. I never knew they were that hungry, but they weren’t so vigorous after the crackers ran out. Exploring Nara and coming into such close contact with the deer was an adventure I’ll never forget.
An incredible feature I thought of whenever I think of Japan now, is the copious amounts of people subways and above it on the streets. We took subways and trains to just about everywhere we went. It was especially amazing to see Japanese ladies standing in 4inch heels and texting while the subway train was moving, without holding onto any hand rails. Some of the busiest train stations and subways were even more shocking. During the busiest hour at one of the busiest train stations, we pushed ourselves into a jam-packed train. It didn’t matter if we waited for the next 5 or 6 trains to pass. They were all the same. I didn’t and couldn’t even hold onto anything. All the bodies stuffed around me were enough to keep me standing in place. I’ve never felt anything like that before.
One thing I looked forward to was shopping! Shibuya 109 was appreciative. I loved the Japanese fashion. Everything was so pretty, in-style and maybe even beyond that. Even though I didn’t buy much because everything there was expensive, it was still very admiring and because things were expensive, I appreciated visiting the 100-Yen and 315-Yen stores. In Akihabara, there were many electronics and anime items. My cousins were in search of Zojirushi branded rice cookers because they were expensive and hard to find in America. After buying 2 rice cookers, people stared at us wherever we carried them, especially at the airport in Japan.
I enjoyed visiting Japan and I knew there were many more places that I haven’t been to. Their culture is very interesting and hoping to learn even more, I enrolled in Japanese I for my school year of 2008-2009. I hope to visit Japan again with the rest of my family and friends. Maybe I’ll even be able to communicate by speaking Japanese. The best advice I would give to the next traveler, is to learn some Japanese before going to Japan, because it makes asking for directions much easier.
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