The decision to visit Japan was one of the best I ever took. Without it I would have never known what being humble truly meant. I was a foreigner and yet I felt warm. I didn’t know a single word in Japanese and yet everything seemed to make sense. It gave me a feeling of belonging.
Japan is advanced in terms of technological advancements and yet very grounded and connected to its roots. Its traditions exist alongside its modernity. There are two types of rooms in Japanese hotels: English style and Japanese style. Considering the fact that I was a foreigner, I was given an English room but later I switched to a Japanese room to experience the culture. I used to get a kimono ( Japanese dress) everyday to wear. I didn’t have to use my personal clothes at all. The surprising thing was that even the men would wear a kimono. Everyone, irrespective of age, size, gender wore the same dress to dinner. It was simple.
Also, the Japanese rooms are very different from regular rooms . They have foldable beds which u make every day before sleeping and then put it in the cupboard the next morning. The Japanese people use the same space for other activities, including eating, reading , sleeping . Japan is a small country, so they utilise space efficiently. Also, they often do not use chairs. They sit on floor to eat. They also drink tap water as Japan is an island nation and they import a lot of their water.
The kindness of the Japanese people is something that has stayed with me. I remember I was in Kyoto and wanted to dress the traditional way. It’s common in Japan, especially at tourist destinations, to dress you up like a local, wearing a kimono, with a suitable hairstyle and traditional accessories. I went to a store and the lady at the store was very kind to me and made sure I chose the best colour combination for my dress. She even did my makeup for free because she found Indians beautiful.
One thing I noticed about Japan is that they love deer. You will find deer gardens at every corner. And the deer are super friendly and quiet .You can play with them and take pictures and they even pose for you. It's fascinating.
People in Japan have amazing skin. I believe that drinking their amazing green teas on a daily basis has something to do with that. They also have a culture of communal hot water baths, called sento. The water in these contains various minerals which help keep the skin rejuvenated and the body protected from various diseases .
Wakame Kelp, which is a kind of seaweed, is also commonly consumed as part of their diet. It helps to burn fatty tissue, purify the blood and helps eliminate toxins. It helps improve the hair and skin.
Japan is a country where the old and new, the traditional and the modern exist in perfect harmony. For this reason, and so many others, it will forever hold a special place in my heart.
The Japanese people have an obsession for the maple tree. They even make cookies in the shape of the maple tree. This sweet delight is made with different flavours and their shapes are simply astonishing.