WHO IS NATIA? ~ SCUBA ~ TRAVEL ~ FOOD ~ FRIENDS & FAMILY ~ MORE STUFF ~ EMAIL

Welcome to Japan!
The land of the Rising Sun

Summer 1996 -- AIESEC Cultural & Commercial Tour (2 weeks)

For two weeks, myself and 10 other Canadian AIESECers were introduced to the cultural and commercial elements of Japan (touring Japan with 10-30 Japanese AIESECers).

Travelling through Japan we saw various buddhist temples, shinto shrines, ancient castles, buddha statues, noodle restaurants, and busy subways...

...unfortunately, no one wanted to go to Karaoke bars or Pachinko Parlours (Unique Japanese Gambling) with me!

This was my first trip out of North America -- What an experience!

CITIES VISITED: Tokyo (Downtown, Asakusa, Kamakura), Hiroshima, Kobe, Kyoto, and Osaka, all on the island of Honshu.

TOP TEN THINGS TO DO/SEE IN JAPAN

1. Kamakura, Tokyo -- Traditional Temple District (Big Buddha)

2. Asakusa, Tokyo -- Traditional Temple District (very different from Kamakura)

3. Namba, Osaka -- Osaka's crazy downtown marketplace (a real marketing realm)

4. Osaka and Hiroshima Castles -- Very beautiful buildings, and the museums inside are cool as well!

5. Golden Pavillion, Kobe -- A gold plated temple on water

6. Myajima Island and Tori Temple, Kobe -- Sacred island with freely roaming deer and the floating temple is also a marvel to see

7. Go to a traditional restaurant (there are all types of Japanese restaurants in Japan -- sounds funny but it is true!) Plus, you must try the green tea ice cream, Japan's #1 selling flavour!

8. Traditional Kyoto Area -- See geisha, travel on lantern lit boats, go to a tea room, see the old pleaure quarters.

9. Shibuya or Shinjuku, Downtown Tokyo -- Two popular areas in downtown Tokyo for shopping, meeting friends, promenades.

10. Hiroshima Peace Park (A memorial to the 2nd World War)



BEST MEMORIES FROM JAPAN

PICTURE BOOTH PHOTOS

GUYS WITH HELLO KITTY STICKERS ON THEIR CELLPHONE

HAMBURGER VENDING MACHINES

REALLY THIN POP CANS (...and then mega-cans 2X the size of Canadian cans)

CHOPSTICK HOLDERS (in various shapes -- vegetables, fish, bamboo, etc.)

SLURPING NOODLES (it's considered a compliment to slurp!)

BEING PART OF A TRADITIONAL TEA CEREMONY

DRESSING UP IN A KIMONO



FAVOURITE FOODS / DRINKS IN JAPAN

GREEN TEA ICE CREAM -- #1 Selling Ice Cream in Japan

RED BEAN ICE CREAM

REAL BENTO BOX (the Bento boxes in Canada don't come with the same goodies!)

WARM SAKE

PANCAKE / OMELETTE WITH SWEET SOY SAUCE (from Hiroshima)

SENBAI CRACKERS (Small glossy salty crackers rolled in seeweed strips)



REALLY WEIRD FOOD / DRINKS
(SOME EVEN I COULDN'T GATHER THE COURAGE TO TRY!)

I tried this breakfast dish that I wasn't very impressed with... it's called Naro (grain with egg whites... need I say more?).

Also, I wasn't crazy about dried squid; this and other dried fish are commonly munched on as snacks in Japan.

Potato ice cream was a little flavourless... but at least I gave it a try!


PHOTO GALLERY

DOING BUSINESS IN JAPAN

For those of you interested in learning about doing business in Japan, we visited several companies during our stay, including Mazda, Mitsubishi, Yasuda Insurance, the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and the Quebec Tourism Office (yes, there actually is one in Japan!). Also, the Canadian Embassy with the Japanese AIESEC students coordinated a conference whereby the topics of Canadian-Japanese International Relations, Japanese vs. Western Media, Teaching in Japan, and Canadian Trade with Japan were covered.

I even developed a document that reviews some insights on Doing Business in Japan that I have gained through this trip for the University of Western Ontario, which sponsored part of my trip.

LEARNING JAPANESE

For those of you interested in learning japanese, I have returned with some neat catch phrases;

GREETINGS:

Pleased to meet you -- Hajmemashite (Haje-may-ma-shee-tay)

Good Morning / Day -- Ohayo (O-hi-o)

Good Evening -- Konichiwa (Ko-nee-chee-wah)

Good Night -- Gomen Nasai (Go-men-nah-sa-ee)


POLITE PHRASES:

Thank you -- Domo Arigato (Doe-moe-ah-ree-gah-toe)

Thank you (polite) -- Domo Arigato Gozaimasu (Doe-moe-ah-ree-gah-toe-goe-za-ee-mahss)

Click here for More Japanese Expressions!



WHAT WOULD I DO IN JAPAN WHEN I RETURN?

Copyright ©2018