EXPERIENCING another culture is a wonderful and challenging adventure. I travelled to Japan with my sister and two friends and we certainly threw ourselves into the thick of things.
Here are some things I have learnt:
1. Japanese people are kind, considerate, polite and helpful. We have been overwhelmed with how lovely everyone has been. Despite our wayward attempts at some conversational Japanese, everyone has still had plenty of time for us.
2. Tidy Tokyo is a bustling wonderland. I was amazed at how clean Tokyo was. Everything was orderly and had its place. Despite bins being a rarity, there was no rubbish in sight and everything was pristine.
3. Being in a foreign country can be disorientating, so when your friend says they’ll be fine to leave the restaurant and go buy smokes, don’t let them because they’ll go missing for an hour. Luckily a very helpful local guided her back to us, illustrating the kindness of Japanese people.
4. You are never too old for Disneyland. When we arrived we skipped through the entrance, fought back tears and immediately purchased Mickey Mouse ears. Hopping from world to world, we were swept up in the magic of Disneyland and regressed to our younger selves. Almost 12 hours and over 25,000 steps later we had certainly gotten our money’s worth.
5. Sushi really is better in Japan. No surprises with this one but the step up in quality of the sushi is noticeable. We visited a standing sushi bar and ate an enormous amount of food. It took us a while to master how to grab the chef’s attention to order, but once we had, we were away. You simply tell the chef what variety you would like and he makes it in front of you, places in on your bamboo leaves and stands back while you wrestle with your chopsticks.
6. It’s always an appropriate time for a karaoke session. Whether it’s while you have your morning coffee or after an all you can eat meal, it’s always a good time to belt out a few tunes with your pals.
7. If you decide to feed the deer at Nara be warned. Once you have food they will swarm and they are relentless. While my friend Bree panicked and tried to escape the deer, my whole stack was snatched by one sneaky deer. Nicole was bitten on the bum by one and Alice enjoyed the whole ordeal. Maybe we should have just observed the deer.
Overall our trip has been a fantastic experience and I would definitely recommend visiting Japan to any keen travellers.
Jane Kuerschner completed a Bachelor of Journalism at the University of South Australia in 2014. She worked as an editorial messenger at The Advertiser before starting as a journalist at the Murray Pioneer before moving into the role of Editor. She grew up in Orroroo before completing her high school education and university studies in Adelaide. Jane is passionate about travel and hopes to travel for the first time soon with her new family.