Monday, May 23, 2016

Copy the best but not all from Japan

Copy the best but not all from Japan
(mitha mitha gap gap, kadava kadava thoo)

The new generation of Japan is chasing a modern life style. Majority of the population is alcoholic. Not only the boys but the girls are also drinking alcohol regularly. Beer, wine, sake, cocktail and Sochu are their favourite drinks. After the work hours they prefer pub hours. All pubs and restaurants are full with youngsters holding jars of alcohol. We saw two 'talli' at Otomachi Tozai line metro station. Both were holding shoulders of each other, some how managing to climb down the ladder steps, but knowing well, where they were going. It reminded me the pair of Ashok Kumar and Pran in film 'do jasus'. The rail police man supported the guys from falling down the stairs. Baring this incident, we have noticed their appearances at public places all normal.

Society in general is orthodox, but with the fall of caste structure, the modern youths are mixing more. All are individualised with their cell phone, mostly playing games and are connected with their friends through air. Girls like life of fashion. They wear clothes with purse, shoes, nail colour, wrist rings, etc, in matching. They cover their big forehead with Japanese hair style. Boys have limited choice of fashion, but can earn and spend after the girl of their choice.

You may pick up some words to coordinate talk with locals: ichi, nee, sun, she, go, rok, nena, hach, kyu, ju (1-10); hi (yes), eehe (no), sme mase (excuse me), migi (right), hidari (left), vatashiva (to introduce), konichiva (to welcome), arigato gozimas (to thank).

Japan is a country of islands: major 4 and surrounded by 7000 more. These are Hokkaido (22%), Honshu (61%), Ryukyu (11%), Shikoku (5%) and the famous Okinawa islands. It is 380,000 sqm in land area, smaller than Germany and bigger than UK. The population is 127m.

Rice miso soup and fish is a staple food. Vasani (cabbage family) roots are used as spice to imitate fragrance and it is used with Susi. 7 spices are commonly used for getting taste of Japan. Half cooked food is available in all family marts. Soya products (beer with beans, tofu, meat, sauce, stick, chunks, etc) is very popular. Youngsters enjoy noodles with soya sauce and chilly paste. Varieties of pickles are eaten. Green leafy vegetables are eaten either boiled or half cooked.  Paddy is the main crop. It's a short grain variety, need more water to grow and to cook too. But as the new generation is moving to the new food of toast, ham, bacon, salads, etc, the area under rice cultivation is decreasing. Rice farmers demand subsidy for rice cultivation.

They believe in superstition. 4 (dead) and 9 (suffering) are unlucky numbers. Some hospitals and hotels don't keep room with number 4 and 9. 7 (happy) and 8 (better) are lucky numbers. Number 8 is a lucky number for China too, therefore their Olympics games were inaugurated on 8-08-2008, and became successful.

99% people are cremated after death. 4 sqm land costs $ 4 m in the posh area. It is expensive to die if buried!

Cats are the companion and lucky pets of old ladies. The old ladies save money from their meal but feed the cat so much that the cats become fatty. Fat cat walk like a dog behind the lady.

Japanese squat toilets are same like India but little different from the front in design (can imagine the reverse). Both care for non touching the toilet seat to avoid illness spread through contact transmission. The western toilet (washlets) are unhygienic from this angle.

They pray Goddess, the goddess of mercy. In the ancient temple of Susonji, the idol of the goddess is covered with a curtain and the visitors can see her vehicle, the peacock. One has to imagine the picture of the goddess in mind by closed eyes. The entrance of the temple is very attractive and the streets are full of shops selling thousands of sovenure sand food stuff items. Away from the crowded city of Tokyo, the place offers you peace of mind. The river Subeda, mother river of Japan is flowing just 100 metre away from the temple.

Tokyo is the costliest city inhabited by 13 m people. Large population lives in the suburb of Tokyo. Therefore, the total population is 35 m. Metro train network has solved many problems of their commutation. In rush hours (morning:  ; evening 5.30 pm to 9.00 pm), the trains go jam pack, as packed as sushi (sardines).

In May, once every year, Tokyo blossom with Azania flowers. All streets look beautiful with pinkish flowers everywhere.

Ginza is one of the most costliest and expensive streets of the world. Gin means Silver. It was a street of Jwellers, now become the centre of the wealth of Tokyo. You can see the best of the brands of the world but if you see the price tags, you may return empty hands without buying! They are replacing small buildings with the high risers. One after another, systematically, they are rebuilding the structures and accommodate more in the street of Ginza. Can't we too make our markets new?

Once you learn how to use metro, things are very easy to commute in Tokyo. The entire city with its suburbs are connected with metro rail network. The tourist has to carry a map and follow the colour code of the different metro lines and change as much as train required to reach to the destination. A ticket purchase once will carry the journey in the rout. A day pass allows you unlimited journey during the day. The trains are punctual. Each minute, there is a stop, stop of 12 seconds. Left doors open for the even numbered stations and right doors for the odd numbered stations. Within such a short time the passengers depart and enter smoothly.

Shinkansen bullet train is a wonder of the world. With an installed capacity of 350 km/h, the train runs at an average speed of 250 km/h. A train with 500 km/h will be ready by 2027. There are three categories of Shinkansen: Nozomi, Kodoma and Hikari. Nozomi stops at few stations. There are reserve and non reserve coaches. For Kadoma 1-7 and 13-15 and for Hikari 1-5 coaches are unreserved for the passengers. The tourist can stand accordingly in the queue of the coach. Japan Rail Pass works in Sincansen and JR lines.

There is an elevator code to use. The persons stand must stay on left side of the elevator and leave the right for the people who can climb up or down on it. It has left hand drive like India.

One must learn tourism promotion from Japan. Site maps are available at all public places in plenty. Each tourist site is neat and clean and has basic amenities of rest rooms, food court and souvenir shop for the tourists. The tickets carry picture of the site with few lines of narration becomes the souvenir of the tour.

It has 80,000 hot springs (40-45 degree celcius), of which 350 are located in the Hakone, the natural beauty area of Kanagawa prefecture, the favourite destination of the tourists. Each spring has different minerals with different effect. Bath in a hot spring relaxes the body and the mind. It cures skin problems and give relief in joint pains. To get the benefits of the bath, one has to bath nude! One may rap a small towel while going to the bath area, but as soon as you enter into the water, keep the towel aside.

Japan has a force of volunteers (250,000) named as SDF (Self Defence Force) used for PKO (peace keeping operation), and for rescue and relief operations during natural calamities.

Let us copy their best practices and leave the rest for their generation. Mitha mitha gap gap, kadava kadava thoo.

22 May 2016


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