Since an early age I had dreamed of traveling to many Asian countries, including Japan. As a child, I learned to eat with chopsticks at home (only later I realized there’s something called sticky rice), I had slept on a futon most of my life and insisted my table to be low enough for me to sit on the floor cross legged. Later on I discovered beautiful Japanese fabrics and learned to make origamis. Yet, most of this I had forgotten until my Japanese friend reminded me that I should visit. Finally, in January I booked my flights and soon it was time to go.
Japan is so compact that there are endless places and things to see… what I discovered on my trip included: cherry blossoms, busy streets of Tokyo, onsen at Hakone, hiking between the ancient towns of Magome and Tsumago, various shrines and Buddhist temples in Ise, Kyoto and Nikko, an art island Naoshima, Japanese gardens at Kanazawa, and plenty of other things.
I could write about the fancy toilet seats, the quality products and food, yet I was most impacted by the people who work unbelievable hours. Lack of time and energy clearly influences relationships and happiness, but many seemed to enjoy their work as well. It was a puzzle which made me think of my own values. Overall, it was an important trip which should have lasted a lot longer.