delete
Clear Instructions: It’s Just Different Here

Clear Instructions: It’s Just Diff...

We like to tell our clients that they will be able to find signs in English in most of the train stations in the central part of Japan.  And, for the most part, that’s true.   What we can’t promise is that the English will be very useful in finding your train…
delete

Cultural Immersion Visits: Yuzen Dyer

The series of videos that we’ve been working on is starting to come together.  Here is the one from the November 2010 trip to Kyoto about a Yuzen dyer who is creating some amazingly contemporary pieces using traditional techniques.
delete
Cultural Experiences: Shrine Weddings

Cultural Experiences: Shrine Weddings

There’s rarely anything as sweet and sentimental when traveling as encountering a wedding.   Fresh faced young couples pledging their troth in the customs of the local culture.   The Japanese have all sorts of formalities to their weddings, precluding the possibility that a stray tourist would be invited to celebrate, as might be the case in other countries.  But they also tend to have their weddings in some very public places, so you can often catch glimpses of the bride and groom, dressed in their traditional wedding regalia, if you know when and where to look. ...
delete
Crocs vs. Geta: It’s Just Different Here

Crocs vs. Geta: It’s Just Differen...

Then again, maybe it’s not THAT different.   We spotted this accommodating father while touring at Hachiman-gu Shrine in Kamakura on a beautiful autumn day.   Lots of families get fully decked out – the women and girls in their kimono and geta, the men in their best suits.  Lots of family shots were being taken.  We sure hope this young lady remembered to change her shoes before they started taking the pictures…
delete
Hanging On: It’s Just Different Here

Hanging On: It’s Just Different He...

Maybe this happens all the time in cities with subways… but in Tokyo, the trains run on time. That means they leave the station with the doors closed, regardless of what’s hanging outside the door. In this case, the young lady’s handbag, which she clung to for the ride between stations.
delete
Everything including the Kitchen Sink: It’s Just Different Here

Everything including the Kitchen Sink: I...

OK, so I know there’s been a lot of concern about H1N1 throughout the world.  Hand sanitizer as a hotel guest welcome sign is the new “in”.  However, we never thought the Japanese would take it to such lengths.  This interesting platform necessity was spotted in Matsumoto JR train station.   We really couldn’t figure out who would use it and when.