Before our first trip to Japan I started looking into how we could access the internet from our smart phones. We had free wifi at the hotel, so that was good, but I really wanted to be able to use the internet wherever I was in Tokyo. I started to look up how it was with free wifi hot-spots but I gave up in the end. Sure you can go to Apple Store to use in store wifi and a lot of cafes have wifi, but I needed internet on the go while I was in Tokyo.
The main reason I needed internet on the go was so I could use some of the apps on my smart phone, like Google maps, since I always get lost while in Tokyo, and transport information apps, and of course I wanted to be able to use Facebook and check-in whenever and where I was and also be able to use Skype to so I could call home if needed.
I love sushi. Its been my favourite food for years and something I buy when I want to treat myself. But I always knew the kind of Sushi we eat here in Sweden is no where near as good as the one you get in Japan. So it was a given I had to try real Japanese sushi the first time we went there.
We stayed at a hotel in Shinjuku, and a couple of block from the hotel I found a nice looking sushi place called Tsukiji Sushiko. Its on Yasukuni street, next to the English pub Hub. Tsukiji Sushiko have pictures of the sushi bites on display outside, and once inside I was presented with a menu with pictures, so all I had to do was point at whatever I wanted and tell them I wanted it as take away. “Take out” is what you say in Japan, by the way.
They asked us to sit and wait for the sushi, which is prepared fresh, and while we waited they gave us green tea. Such a nice thing!
The way the sushi was packaged surprised me. I was only having it as take away, but still it was wrapped like it was a special gift. They used a wooden box with a lid and laid the sushi bites on green leaves. Then the box was wrapped in nice paper and then put in a sturdy paper bag. Amazing! In Sweden the sushi just gets thrown into polystyrene takeaway boxes.
Before when I knew very little of Japan and its character culture, the only character I had really evey heard of and seen was the very well known Hello Kitty. It’s hard not to have missed Hello Kitty it since she’s on anything you can turn pink and put a cat on. You name it – from cans of fizzy drinks to clothes and even hotel rooms that are coved in the lovable kitty one might say.
After seeing videos on YouTube of some other character that also came from Japan it started to become more fun. Hello Kitty seems so boring to me now because she can be seen and brought all over the world.
But there are certain character that are very popular in Japan to those in the know that I had no idea about. Every character seems to have a world built around it, where almost every week there a new product is coming out in Japan with a character either on it or a character promoting a product for another company.
You end up becoming a bit obsessed with them. One week you buy a drink just because you favorite character is on the can. Even if you don’t like the drink you like the character so you just have to have it. I’m very much the same when I’m in Japan. I will buy almost everything with my favorite character on.
Over the next months I will post all about the characters I know and love from Japan.
What Japanese characters do you like? Please share in the comments!
WhySoJapan is a blog all about Japan from a view of someone living on the other side of the world. After visting Japan a few times I was hooked. I was hooked on how it was so different to what I was used to. It felt so refreshing to start to just think different about things. Even though some things I just diden’t understand at all, I guess that’s what really got me hooked. It’s like learning something new in the beginning you don’t always get it, but the more interested you become the more you start to understand. Even though I still know very little about Japan, I’ve found myself hooked and I’ve got a passion for Japan and it’s ways.
In this blog I would like to share what I’ve ended up liking with Japan – from culture to music, from style to it’s cuteness and love of characters. I’m not saying I know it all, cause I dont. I feel I’ve just started to learn about Japan. But after visiting Tokyo a few times I think I could share tips and trix with the world of what I found was hard to understand from the beginning.
I would like to share my knowledge of what I have of Tokyo – from places to go to things to see and do and so on. I’ve been to different sides of the world, but it’s Japan that I’ve gotten hooked on and will return to it again and again. Hopefully by reading this blog I can share with you why Japan is so different and then you might understand WhySoJapan.