All over Japan you can see the modern collide with tradition, but there are some places that remain somewhat unspoiled. At least in terms of general appearance when looking at the typical street view. This place is Kyoto and it’s one of the most popular turistic destinations in Japan.
It’s packed with old houses, one after another.. in fact the whole city is one big wooden museum. But there is a lot to the city than just visiting temples and shrines, the city has a big student population as well as hosts a wide variety of artists, artisans and those who think out of the box. It’s the melting pot of creativity with one contradiction however that is unique to the city.
The old people who live there have a very traditional style of living, especially in ways of thining. Appearance is important to the peope of Kyoto and many rules of conduct as well as behavior can be observed. While the young people have to obey some of these rules, the already blooming artistic culture has it’s totally new way of thinking. It wishes to create new, while respecting tradition and picking up the customs that are benefitial.. the first step is to understand them, and later on transform these ideas into benefitial concepts in modern society.
Indeed, Kyoto is an exiting place to visit and live in Japan!
Just recently Japan celebrated the biggest Yurukyara (ゆるきゃら) festival in Japan. Yurukara refers to mascot characters in Japanese. Yurui meaning gentle and Kyara meaning character. These characters are indeed soft and cuddly.. as well as most of them look adorable.
At the Hikone (彦根市) festival, the most famous mascots from all over Japan gathered together for their loyal fans in 2013. All kinds of events take place, but most importantly this is the chance for fans to buy goods of their favorite mascots such as stickers, t-shirts, pens, posters and books.
One of the most interesting characters at the event was Tobitakun (とび太くん) which is already 40 years of age! But he hasn’t been a yurukyara all this time, instead the face is more known from street corners and intersections around Shiga (滋賀県) and surrounding areas. The purpose of tobitakun, is to remind drivers to be careful not to run into accidents. Especially concerning smaller kids who are crossing the row.
Because it’s historical significant as the first of such characters in Japan, there are already numerous fans around the country. Also the tobitakun goods being sold are becoming popular. See their homepage for more information.
The buzzling city street view in downtown Akihabara
A big city, I mean senseless big. Impossible to go through in a few days but a few weeks can be enough to run through the most important parts of the city. So that’s the minimum if you want to just see all the most important stuff.
The magnificent sunset over the metropolis
Some common places like Tokyo Tower and Disneyland can be skipped, especially if you don’t like very touristic places. There are many temples and parks but first and for most it’s metropolis with sights that concentrate on the city life.
A typical capsule hotel where you can easily catch a good nights sleep
Every part of the city has it’s own special features, so according to your personal likings you can choose those areas that fit you the best. Asakusa is the more traditional side of Tokyo, with temples and some older buildings. Ginza is for the high class and very commercial. Harajuku is popular for all kinds of fashion and Roppongi is definitely the center of nightlife. Shibuya contains the most famous “mad busy” crossroad and lots of record stores, clothing stores and arcades. Akihabara is a must for all the Otaku fans with its numerous electronic and anime shops. As for Shinjuku, that’s the place for the busiest railway station in the world and it’s filled with skyscrapers and nightlife.
People getting drunk on plum whine and feasting at the park
You can also make day trips outside of the borders from Tokyo. The bullet train will take you to see the Fuji-mountain in just a few hours and other places worth noting are the historical city of Kamakura, the skyscrapers of Yokohama and China Town. All are accessible by what can be seen as “local transportation”, Yokohama an hour or two while Kamakura would be two hours away.
Delicious dish of the famous Sushi
We recommend www.fuckedgaijin.com for those adventurous spirits that want to know more about Japan.