Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Japan Holiday – Day 10 (Final day)

We decided to use our final full-day here by travelling by train to Yokohama. So, after the predictable lack-lustre breakfast at the Marriott and arranging transport to the Airport tomorrow, we headed for the subway station, just down the road.
finalAround 45 minutes later, we were in Yokohama, and after a short walk, the Harbour bay area. There was a training ship permanently in dock and a large final (1)ferris-wheel – they do like their ferris-wheels out here!

We then took the train to Chinatown (apparently the largest one in the world!) and it was packed! We sought refuge in the nearest Starbuck's, but when we came out, it was still as busy! Still, we were  able to get some good photographs. Every other shop P1000710seemed to be a restaurant tempting passers-by to eat at theirs. They didn't seem to be attracting much custom as everyone was doing the  same as us – just wandering up-and-down, admiring the views.

final (4)After wandering up-and-down, the humidity was getting to us, so we decided to head back to the Hotel. We walked back to Bashamichi Station ,which  looked very new and like all of Japan, spotlessly clean) – within the hour, we were back in our room. After a short snooze, Ann tried the gym and I tried the TV!

P1000700We're flying home tomorrow – should be in by 7pm. It's been a great holiday and much easier in terms of language and 'getting-about' that we thought it would be. The people are very service orientated and willing to help, even if they don't speak English.

Things we've learned about Japan/Japanese

  • They smile a lot and they seem very happy in their work
  • The tip about 'covering teeth' when laughing doesn't seem to be true
  • They're always very polite and respectful
  • No-one jay-walks (it may be against the law!)
  • Bowing is a big part of the service culture
  • The waiting-staff have excellent anticipation skills
  • There is a lot of young people on the streets (we hardly saw any really old people)
  • In spite of the heat/humidity, many wear lots of layers (denim jackets + shirt + t-shirt and it's 32 degrees!)
  • The young girls like furry boots. Hot pants and mini-skirts are still fashionable
  • The trains seem to be busy ALL day
  • The rail network is really simple
  • All the restaurants have replica models of the food on show in the window or outside
  • They have the most technologically advanced toilet seats in the world
  • Where are all the dogs and cats?
  • Customer service is excellent everywhere
  • The department stores are very large
  • Taxis are everywhere – some drivers don't speak English
  • Cash machines are quite rare, but most places take plastic
  • Chicken sausages look as bad as they taste – avoid!
  • Generally, eating-out is cheaper than the UK
  • Very few western channels on TV
  • Most hotels have a variety of electrical sockets – UK included – in the room
  • Everywhere is spotlessly clean
  • 3G signal on mobiles all the time everywhere – even on the Metro (Underground)
  • Most hotels charge for internet in the room, but it's free in the lobby area