Japan 2013

Japan – the land of the rising sun

From ever I was interested Japanese culture and lifestyle. I imagine in my dreams that I’m there but Japan always has been far away, even unavailable country for me. I knew Japan only therefrom what I read in books, saw in movies and in television travel programmes. I have always been impressed what I read and saw on a screen.

I’m fascinated the most culture of geisha. They are from childhood educated by dance, sing and play by Japanese music instruments. Geishas also learning a good breeding, get to know literature and poetry. They are standing alone in dress, exquisite hairstyles, make up and expensive jewels. Geishas are champions in art of conversation, singing, dancing during events and they are ceremony of tea experts.

Never crossed my mind that I will be spending holidays in Japan. I found a cheap flight, made a quick decision and I bought tickets. I was very excited although I was horrified of 11 hours flight. However travel went quickly. I had one plane changes: Warsaw – Paris – Tokyo. When we were landing in Tokyo from plane was beautiful view on the rice field. I couldn’t believe that one of my dreams was came true. During my first trip to Japan I was in Tokyo, Nikko, Kamakura, Hiroshima, Kyoto and in Osaka.

My Japanese adventure started on Tokyo airport when I landed in completely different world: foreign people, absolutely unclear language for me and everywhere Japanese letters – “bushes”. It was indescribable. At the airport I found JP Pass office where I could activate my JP Pass warrant me to free travels by Japanese trains „shinkansen” and I exchanged money for Japanese yen’s. The shinkansen speed get to 300 kmph but it’s not feel and travel is very comfortable. When I went metro to hotel I was surprised prevailing there a silence. In Japan each passenger is listening to music with headphones, playing games on the phone or reading comics what is there very popular. In metro is the prohibition of using telephone call and the phone must be on the silence mode. I started sightseeing the city from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office. This building has got two towers on floor 45 (202 meters), there is an observatory terrace with amazing view for whole Tokyo. Entry is free. The next point of visit was Caesarean Palace. This is a central residence Emperor of Japan. All surface of palace with gardens amount to 341 hectares. The most of part ground of palace is close for normal people. The Caesarean Palace is available for tourists only twice a year: on Emperor birthday (23 of December) and on New Year’s Day (2 of January). Japanese gardens are wonderful. That’s part of them culture. There are a lot of beautiful flowers, bushes and many ponds with plants, turtles and golden carps. It’s a perfect place to walk. In the first days of my stay in Japan I was fascinate of generally regnant orderliness there. I couldn’t believe that anywhere in the world can be so cleanly but this is residents merit who just care of own country. What surprise me further that vending machines with cold drinks (delicious Japanese green tea) are next to all streets. Brilliant solution for hot days.

Temples in Tokyo, Kamakura and Nikko stick in my mind the most. The way to temples lead through gates „torii” of typical shape encounter only in Japan. Before entrance to temples everyone have to clean by wash your hands in stony water tank. In Kamakura is amazing bamboo grove where tourists can taste a natural, fresh made green tea and statue of 15 meters Big Buddha. Nikko fascinated me of traditional red bridge and complex of temples with beautiful gilts.

The next stopover my trip was Hiroshima – City of Peace. After terrible episode from 1945, when in some-day thousands of people were killed, this city became holy place for Japanese. In the city centre standing ruins of A-bomb Dome which are important memorial in Hiroshima. In Memorial Peace Park also is Sadako monument – the girl which got ill of leukaemia after atomic bomb explosion. She had one and simple dream – recover. Around the monument are a lot of origami paper cranes and other plastic works made in memoriam to children which died there. The stay in Hiroshima is reason for slowdown life and reflection about sense of life.

The last stopover my tour was Kyoto and Osaka. In Kyoto I was fascinated a Golden Pavilion, but primary point of visit was Gion district – geishas district. I could see geisha in person, her clothes, make-up, how and where they live. It was amazing experience. In Osaka I spent all day on the shopping. I bought a lot of souvenirs and gifts for my family and friends. I came back home witch backpack of unforgettable time and experience.

I will come back here.