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10 cool things about Japan

These are my first impressions on my August 2005 trip to Japan, a country I've wanted to visit for many years.

1) Though Japan is a very densely populated country, riding the trains and walking the streets is not stressful, as people are calm and well-ordered.

2) Shop assistants arrange your change on both hands for you to check before closing it into your palm.

3) Japan is train heaven, there more train types, more lines and more destinations than you could ever imagine, and they're reasonably priced and easy to use.

4) In Yoyogi park you'll see way out Japanese youth with weird outfits and dyed hair, proving that Japan is not as conformist as you might think.

5) On the Bullet Train, when the ticket inspector enters every carriage, he takes off his hat and bows to the passengers.

6) Japan is toy heaven. Toy shops have an astounding range of products from tiny food miniatures to full size robots.

7) On the Tokyo Metro you see grown men reading manga comics.

8) In Tokyo you can go from the future at Akihabara Electric City to the ancient past at Toshogu Shrine in Ueno park in the space of 15 minutes.

9) The Tokyo Metro looks like multicolour spaghetti, but it's easy to find your way around because all lines and stations are numbered.

10) Some of the taxis in Tokyo have a Japanese lantern style rooftop light with the company name and taxi number.

Click to see the Japan Portfolio, created - and first photos uploaded - Saturday 27 August 2005 using the free wi-fi service at the Holiday Inn Hotel, Kyoto.

Written by Aidan O'Rourke
Posted/Updated 2005-08-27

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