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Asian adventure Pt. 2 アジアアドベンチャー 第二回

June 5, 2011

Ok, so you’d have to be living on a different planet not to know that Japan, particularly northern Japan has been having a hell of a time since March 11th.  Not only do the after effects of the quake and tsunami continue to plague the country physically but tourists are staying away in droves at a time when the country needs their support the most.  A week after the tsunami hit, even my own travel agent called to wonder if I was still planning on going to Japan at Easter.  I was going to Kansai, 1000 km south west of the affected area, why would I need to cancel?  The lack of tourists was very evident everywhere we went; hardly any non-Japanese faces to be found in tourist areas that would normally be packed with them.  Good for us though.

I guess my parents being seniors makes them less threatening.  They were absolute magnets for people everywhere we went, except when we went to Ginkaku-ji in Kyoto, then I was the attraction for the groups of junior and senior high school students out for their graduation trips.  With my folks though, people wanted to know lots about them but also what they thought of Japan.  In many cases, people with very little English were being brave and trying to ask in which case I’d translate for them to make it easier.  My translation skills got a really good workout that trip.  Dad made the comment that he thought it was sadly ironic that it was easier to meet people in a foreign country than it was making friends with neighbours back home.

Like in Hong Kong, I tried to give them a wide-ranging experience and they absolutely loved Japan.  They could now finally fathom why I think it’s such an amazing place and why I would return to live there in a heartbeat given the right opportunity.  In typical spring fashion, the weather didn’t know what it wanted to do most days, particularly on the day we went to Arashiyama in western Kyoto.  We did two days in Kyoto, first to Higashiyama and then Arashiyama and then a day in Nara.  At first I couldn’t figure out why there were so many high school students around then a friend reminded me that it was time for the graduation trip.  Of course Kyoto and Nara are high on the list of places to visit.  Now if school kids in western countries were half as well behaved…  Mom and Dad might have been a hit with the older set but even Mom remarked how the school kids, even with other westerners around, made a bee-line for me to chat.  Fun times especially when I can do both languages, they really open up.


こ の旅行は6日なのにたくさん所を紹介したいんだった。どこでもに行った、人々は両親と話しました。ちょっとびっくりしました。両親は優しそうお祖母さんと おじいさんので脅迫的じゃないでしょう。両親は嬉しかったですよ。その季節中に卒業旅行が多いですね。特に京都の東山と嵐山と奈良にたくさん学生がいまし た。殊に銀閣寺に行った時学生はとっても気安いでした。奈良にもたくさん人を会いましたがその人は全部大人でした。残念事は少ない友達を会いました。高見 家族を会いました。円教寺に行った後、姫路市に会いました。居酒屋で晩ご飯を食べました。旅行中両親は和食ばかりを食べました。お好み焼きとかトンカツと か寿司も「美味しい」と思いました。お箸を使うが難しかったのに頑張りました。


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