Japan Insights

Last week I wrote about our time in Japan and some things I learned. I wanted to continue with that thought and some additional insights I gained.

Different is good. There were so many new sights and tastes that I was overwhelmed for the first two days. With pictures, miming, and a little bit of English sprinkled throughout the country, you learn to communicate. There were many food items I could not even fashion a guess, but I did try some pretty yummy dishes (while navigating chopsticks!) including Japanese beef, vegetarian Raman, and soba noodles.

The Japanese drive and walk on the opposite side of what we do, so this took some getting used to at first. After a while, you become a pro and walk on the left-hand side of the escalator to allow others to pass. Take away: Appreciate the differences of others; I am glad God didn’t create us all the same.  Life would be boring.

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Be patient. While walking the busy and crowded streets of Tokyo I only heard one car honk its horn. Pedestrians cross the streets without fear of being run over and people wait at corners for the lights to turn green.  People wait in long lines for food, but I never sensed anyone to be grumpy or complaining. Take away: In this “instant society”, may I take the time to let others go before me, may I wait in line patiently and dwell on all the good things of life. Who cares if I have to wait for a minute or longer than I thought I should?

Be respectful. My daughter-in-law has told me that the Japanese culture treats their teachers with great respect and elders are given preferential treatment. I like that on both accounts since I am a teacher, and well, I am getting older. lol Take away:”Do unto as others as you would have them do unto you.”  May I always treat others better than I want to be treated.

Remember my past.  While in Toko, I saw several older women walking to the market who were bent at 90-degree angles. They had worked in the rice fields all their lives and were now living in the city, being taken care of by their children and grandchildren. Japanese families make sure the elderly are cared for during their golden years. Take away: May I take care to tell my grandchildren stories of their great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents. I want to leave a legacy for them to remember and uphold.

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Diet and exercise. I ate a lot of rice while in Japan, but the biggest thing I did was walk 100 miles in 12 days! It’s a good thing I enjoy walking. Most of the time you come home from vacation and wish you had eaten less because now you have gained a few pounds, right? This was quite the opposite! I lost weight and now have to maintain that weight, or lose even more. lol It is a rare sight to see in Japan is an overweight person.  Small quantities are eaten and you don’t see super-size portions. People walk everywhere too! I didn’t see any Fit Bits because they don’t need them. Take away: I will continue to eat small portions and exercise more. However, I probably won’t be able to maintain that walking pace. 😦  Picture below: Kyoto where we walked over 10 miles that day!

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I have made a word find for you to download for your children. Happy searching!

Japan Word Find

Have a great week!

~ Lisa ~

 

 

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