Japan is where I'd love to be in. Be it to live, to shop or to go for a holiday. It's #1 for me as a country because many things in Japan appeals to me (not so sure about Japanese men but I could be persuaded, lol...).
My first visit to Japan was when I was about 10 years old. It was an experience akin to Cinderella going to the ball of her life! It has been more than 20x since that first visit, yet, at times I still feel like that little girl when visiting this country.
Japan is a very unique country and has its own unique culture to go along with it.
I was fascinated by Japan since my first visit to Tokyo many years ago. Japan is the most fascinating country in the world, even after my many visits to this country since the age of 10. I love Japan for many reasons. If I could have my wish, I’d say I wish I’m living there right now this moment in time!
Now that I’m living in China though, having this fascination with once an enemy of the Chinese (World War II and remnants of hatred from those days) is a bit awkward at times. Although for the younger generation, this is not that critical a subject matter. However, for some of the older folks, the Rape of Nanking
is not a matter to be forgotten and forgiven. Such is what wars do to people, including the younger generations. Forgive and forget are easier said than done.
I didn’t grow up in China or Japan and didn’t really study the history of both countries. For that very reason and also my love for both countries, it is a lot easier for me to accept each of them the way it is. These are 2 powerful countries economically, culturally and historically. A lot to be said for each; yet each is different in its own right. I already did a review on China
and this is my 2nd
review on a country. I must qualify though that Japan is my most favorite country in the entire world.
The wonders of Japan… where should I start?
History & Arts
The history of Japan dates back to some 2500 years ago. With civilization as ancient as those of China, both Japan & China have influences from the past in its arts and literature. Naturally, there were many periods in the past that were golden era in these fields. Japan is now the only country that has an Emperor (wait, may be Korea too). While China had rich dynasties in its history, a lot of its treasures and arts were either stolen or taken away (to Taiwan). Hence, the only country where Asian arts still predominantly found in its place of birth is in Japan. This is the best place to look out for Japanese Arts.
Culture & Everyday Life
Japanese has a very unique culture, found nowhere else on planet Earth. Kimono, the tea ceremony and 90 degree bowing are some of these distinctive cultures. Gift wrapping & packaging becomes an art in this country. It is these practices that not only make it a unique country but also one that appreciates beauty in everyday life. I have not been to anywhere else in the world that appreciates beauty in such details as the Japanese do!
Religion & Customs
This is a land where you will see monks walking in their robes and Geisha ‘waltzing’ among the crowds in their beautiful and colorful Kimonos. The practice of Zen is highly observed in garden layout and temples’ designs.
Here in Japan, sport is of a different kind. Think Sumo, think Judo and think Kendo. See, they are all not your usual kind of sports, are they? Other more familiar sport that the Japanese enjoy tremendously is baseball.
Science & Technology
Japan is a leading nation in scientific and robotic research. It has vast investment in biomedical and aerospace engineering. I’m looking forward to my very own personal robot who’d do all my housework for me real soon! :p
Shinkansen is a joy to travel in. It’s no longer as new a technology to have bullet trains in the world as it used to be. China now has its first bullet train and Europe has had its TGV for awhile. Still, bullet trains at 400 km/h is something to be marvel at.