1) the Land of Manga and Anime
no matter where you turn, there's always something greeting you in anime/manga form. whether it's people reading the latest manga magazines at the convenience stores, a poster, or even an anime character strap dangling on someone's mobile.
2) Mobile phones!
probably 80% of the population owns a flip mobile. but what is different is the variety of colors to suit each individual person, and the different mobile straps dangling from each mobile. even full-grown men have a strap or two, so you know it's not just the ladies. it's a culture!
Japan has by far the best sales service among all the countries i've been to. the people are polite and patient, they really try their best to help you find what you want. and even if you end up not buying anything, they don't lose their smiles and waves you goodbye. you would feel compelled to buy something just to make their effort worth!
thoroughly enjoyed myself there, even with the unexpected rain in the afternoon. i haven't had the chance to try all the rides in Disneyland, so a second trip is definitely warranted. it's no wonder you can keep going back there. definitely the happiest place on earth.
it was a hurried 3 days that we spent in Kyoto, which is hardly enough to really explore the place, so i would love to go back and walk through it more thoroughly. i love the architecture, where you can see glimpse of olden japan surrounded by the much newer buildings.
6) Mt Fuji
another place where we had lots of fun. though we couldn't see Fuji-san in its fine glory, clouds totally covered the peak on the 2 days we were there, we totally enjoyed the onsen stay at Kawaguchiko's Sunnide Resort. highly recommend everyone to stay there and enjoy the scrumptious dinner provided. the onsen is a definite must-try, and make your money's worth by going for a morning dip before breakfast!
aside from the slightly expensive pricing, the food is delicious. well, except for natto. tried it on my last day there. ugghh. totally agree that it is not everyone's cup-of-tea, mine included. other than that, most other food items were delicious, even the rice taste different. YUMMY!
our trips to Akihabara, 2 days in all, saw me and ah gu going back with tons of stuff in our hands. whatever we missed on the first trip, we made up for it on our second trip. ohohohohohoho. but that also means we came back with more than our cupboards can take. =P
9) Ghibli Museum
if you're a Miyazaki Hayao fan, you must go to the museum to feel the magic. the only complaint i have is not being able to take photos inside the building. there's like 101 things i would love to snap photos of! other than that, just by seeing the mock-up of Miyazaki-sensei's animation studio, you will realize how much effort he puts into his hand-drawn animation. the latest Ghibli film, The Borrower Arrietty, has been out in Japan cinemas since July. i can't wait for it to be released in Singapore.
10) Vending Machines
where you can find hot drinks on an especially cold day! very important to have that bottle/can of ocha in your hand! of course, there's vending machines for meals, ties, cigarette and almost everything under the sun. vending machines are also important at restaurants where you just have to give the service staff your meal tickets and hot pipping food will be served to you without the hassle of having to converse to service staff with your minimal japanese.
photos in my next post~