Pretty sure Japan is the place where I belong.
Everything is hella cheap, it is POLITE to loudly slurp your food, and no matter how many times I keep losing my phone some kind soul always turns it into the ‘lost and found’.Yeah, spot on I reckon. Japan is the place for me.
Well… except for the crippling cold… and the ‘sardine tin’ cramped subway carriages… and the fact that it is the native habitat to one of my natural arch nemeses… Monkeys*!
(*Please refer to my Bali holiday where I was VICIOUSLY** attacked in the Monkey Forest!)
(**Massive exaggeration, a baby monkey didn’t even break my skin and I forced my partner and our driver to take me to the hospital.)
However, different to the sweltering humidity of the Bali Monkey Forest, the Snow Monkey Park of Japan is beautiful and serene (excluding the odd screech of some unsuspecting tourist who is not used to the slippery, icy path). I threw a snowball (tick THAT one off the bucket list!) I got hit by a snowball (so tick that one off too.)
It was a big day of firsts.
- ✔️First ride on a bullet train (Wahhoooo!)
- ✔️First time missing the bullet train and having to rebook a ticket for the next (not so ‘wahoo’).
- ✔️First time seeing Snow Monkeys 🐒
- ✔️First time going to a stand up noodle shop 🍜
The tiny, cheery woman of the stand up noodle shop was a total powerhouse. Ten seconds after the final coins of my ¥310 purchase clinked into the machine she proudly served my dish sliding it with ease across the metal countertop. Now THAT is service, my friends! As we were slurping away (as loudly as I could muster) she took off around her teeny shop wiping down tables, collecting dishes, cleaning and drying in the kitchen and then whipping up another meal, lightning fast, for another customer. All the while she was smiling and calling out ‘Arigatou Gozaimasu!’ (“Thank you!”) it was so fun and welcoming!!
It was a delightfully adventurous day and once again reason to post something filled with recommendations.
Oh, wait! And totally improving my Japanese check it out:
“Toiree wa doko desku?”
(“Where is the bathroom?”)
See!? I’m basically a local, mate!