The impressions of the first day(s) in another country are usually very strong and especially vivid. All senses are on full alert and I usually smell, taste, hear, see and even feel more intensive. Afterwards these feelings fade and everything appears more normal. Here are my impressions of arriving (once more) in Japan and what seems so familiar and typical of Japan (in random order).
The beautifully fan-shaped green leaves of Gingko trees, soft Tatami Mats and comfortable Futons, the light traditional Shoji (sliding paper doors and walls), tiny but elaborate toilets with heated toilet seats and several bidet features and sounds, the smell of fresh flowers (especially now during spring time), the tall and yellow-green coloured bamboo, tick-toe sound of traffic lights, the smell of small restaurants attracting the “salary men and women” in the evening, “Kawaii” and “Cuto” goods, considerate cyclists of any age or wealth, fast electric “Mama Bikes”, colorful Kimonos, Gongs of the ancient Shinto Shrines, wooden Jo’s (castles) and impressive Buddhist temples, tiptoeing Maiko’s (Geisha / Geiko student), fast Shinkansen and slow local trains, deep and respectful bow, well equipped gardening, Hot Springs (Onsen) and DIY shops, taste of riceballs and Edamame, polite voices from loudspeakers…………..and the many many playgrounds.