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Irashaimase! To the land of the rising sun...

  • Jan 9, 2010
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.
Irashaimase! To the land of the rising sun... Irashaimase! To the land of the rising sun... Irashaimase! To the land of the rising sun... Irashaimase! To the land of the rising sun...

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September 21, 2011
I enjoyed the presentation immensely.
September 28, 2011
Thank you! I'm glad :)
September 28, 2011
You are very welcome.
January 12, 2010
Wonderful look at Japan. Thanks for putting it together for us all to enjoy.
September 28, 2011
You're most welcome!
January 10, 2010
Lovely review, Sharrie. My first visit to Japan was around that age, too. I was most fascinated with the food ;P I know what you mean about some animosity between the older Chinese and Japanese generations. It's actually coincidental that I was talking to a friend about this today. I was telling them about how my Chinese cousin was seeing a Japanese man.  No one in my cousin's generation batted an eyelash, nor did anyone in her parents generation really, but her grandparents were pretty uncomfortable with it.  They've come to accept her partner though since they dated for many years and just recently got engaged.  Just takes some warming up and opening of the mind :)  But I digress...

I love these unique things that you pointed out about Japanese culture.  Some of these things need to be adopted in the States.  Especially the bullet train!
January 10, 2010
Thanks, Debbie! One can write more than just a review on Japan, books in fact. But anyway, since it's just Lunch & I don't get paid for writing them, hehe... just a review it is ;-) U do know trips to Japan are super costly, not to mention the shopping... ah, if only I'm living there! May be I should contemplate on that. Will have to discuss it with my Japanese friends when they come visiting next month!
January 10, 2010
Well, Lunch was made for review writing afterall ;)  And yes, Japan is super costly!  You'd think the food would be cheaper there, but it's not!  And the shopping.  Oooh, the shopping... :D
January 09, 2010
Love this place! I think it's my favorite place next to SF. Domo arigato, Sharrie.
September 28, 2011
There is nowhere like Japan, despite its recent natural disaster!
More Japan reviews
Quick Tip by . January 07, 2010
I love being in this country. It's one that blends both the old and the new effortlessly. A most distinctive and unique culture in the world
About the reviewer
Sharrie ()
Ranked #3
I'm a traveler at heart & have been nicknamed Travel Queen by friends & colleagues alike. Traveling has been my life passion for the last decade or so. As we enter a new decade, I'm excited … more
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Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, People's Republic of China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. The characters which make up Japan's name mean "sun-origin", which is why Japan is sometimes identified as the "Land of the Rising Sun".

Japan is an archipelago of 6,852 islands. The four largest islands are Honshū, Hokkaidō, Kyūshū and Shikoku, together accounting for 97% of Japan's land area. Most of the islands are mountainous, many volcanic; for example, Japan’s highest peak, Mount Fuji, is a volcano. Japan has the world's tenth-largest population, with about 128 million people. The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the de facto capital city ofTokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.

Archaeological research indicates that people were living on the islands of Japan as early as the Upper Paleolithic period. The first written mention of Japan begins with brief appearances in Chinese history texts from the first century A.D. Influence from the outside world followed by long periods of isolation has characterized Japan's history. Since adopting its constitution in 1947, Japan has maintained a unitaryconstitutional monarchy with an emperor and an elected parliament, the Diet.

A major economic ...
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