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Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics • Avi Albaum

Japan is a land of contrasts, ancient tradition alongside innovative technology. A tie-dyed manager on his way to a world-wide deal will enter the huge orange gate to the Shinto temple and clap his hands to summon the gods after getting off the "Shinkansen" train that covered six hundred kilometers in less than three hours. On his way out of the station, the one through which more than three million passengers a day will not encounter a single cigarette butt, wrapping paper or any other dirt on the shiny floor.

I am not an expert on Japan, I traveled a little and in a small part of it and was deeply impressed. In this article, mainly with the help of photographs, I will try to convey my impression.

Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)

Tokyo is the largest metropolis in the world

It is connected to the surrounding cities and has about forty million inhabitants. Like all of Canada, or all of Poland. We see the large amount of people but we don't feel, we don't push, we don't talk, we certainly don't shout and as mentioned we respect the environment, dirt should be in the pocket to the nearest trash can. The transportation system is probably the best and most efficient in the world as it transports millions of people from place to place in the shortest time.

Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)

Transportation in Japan

A word about the development of transportation in Japan - according to Japan's surrender agreements with the Allied Powers in World War II, the Japanese are not allowed to form an army, therefore specialization in air and sea has dropped from the chapter and Japan specializes in land transportation. Japanese engineers were sent to England, studied and excelled and built a highly developed and efficient system of public transport, roads, bridges and tunnels.

In Japan, traffic is conducted on the left of the road (as in England) since 1924. Japan is one of the few countries that are not former British colonies where traffic is conducted on the left of the road and the story (which is not necessarily true) that the reason is that the emperor received a British car as a gift and decided that the journey would be according to his car.

Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)

Japan is a car powerhouse

Toyota, Mazda, Subaru, Suzuki, Honda, Isuzu, Mitsubishi Nissan and others are names known to every car owner.

Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)

Religion and tradition - these are very serious issues in Japan

Japan is full of Shinto and Buddhism temples, there are only about 1 percent Christians and the number of Jews and Muslims is negligible. Buddhism came to Japan and won many hearts. Shinto and Buddhism live together in peace and in many places the temples are very close. There are many "mixed" marriages and the common solution is a "western" style wedding in order not to offend anyone.

Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)

Nara - the ancient capital of Japan

Nara is the ancient capital of Japan, before Kyoto and Tokyo. In Nara is the huge Buddha statue, inside the wooden structure which is considered to be the largest wooden structure in the world, but another and no less attractive attraction is the thousands of deer that roam freely in the city, mainly in the park leading to the temple.

Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)

Shoguns, samurai and ninjas

Shoguns, samurai and ninjas populate many stories in Japanese tradition. The shogun was chosen by his warriors, the samurai, the shogun's palaces are not European palaces full of rooms and furniture since most of the seating is on the floor, thin mats, and a small stage for sleeping and eating. The houses are big because the samurai lived in them for a long time and there are symbols of happiness such as gold and magnificent wall paintings.

Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)

The shogun is the military ruler (parallel to the emperor) and the shogun dynasties actually ruled until the middle of the nineteenth century mainly from the capital city that preceded Tokyo - Kyoto. The official reason Tokyo succeeded Kyoto as capital city is water. The river flowing in Kyoto was not enough to support all the population growth.

Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)

Japan is a land of mountains, rivers and forests

Lush nature that invites walks along shady paths, banks of flowing streams and mountains of varying heights. You can find itineraries of one to two hours and up to 45 days - the path of the eighty-eight temples, which is about 1200 km long. The desire to document is strong, so before each path you can equip yourself with a map that includes places to stamp at the various stations along the way.

Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)

Some of the paths pass through abandoned villages, Japan's population is aging and the birthrate is low. In one of the villages, a resident decided to populate the village with dolls. Large dolls, slightly human, occupy a considerable part of the village. A strange sight to say the least.

Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)

Not far from there are suspension bridges made only of vine ropes (there are two supporting steel cables - don't tell) ancient bridges that have become an attraction that attracts many tourists. We arrived at one of the bridges at night, in an old, very old bus - year of manufacture 1962 but well preserved.

Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)

Japanese are very busy with mobile

Like all of us and maybe a little more. On the trains this is the main occupation and more than once people have been seen holding two cell phones and even texting on both almost at the same time.

Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)

Wishes on small wooden boards

In the Shinto religion wishes are written, like in the Great Wall but on small wooden boards. And you also receive blessings, on paper notes. The good blessings are taken home and the bad ones are left hanging on a rope in the temple.

Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)
Japan - a land of honor, determination and aesthetics (Photo: Avi Albaum)

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The system lives here - Haifa News
The system lives here - Haifa News
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Articles related to this topic

5 תגובות

  1. In Japan's schools, the students wash the floor and clean the classrooms and the toilets.
    The students prepare and serve meals and wash dishes.
    There are thousands of videos on YouTube.

  2. The impression of tourists in Japan in 2024:
    Even the most polite Japanese lose patience with the huge amount of tourists. Millions of tourists to those sites every month.
    Some of the sites are already policed ​​by the police who are standing and trying to sort out the unbearable load
    As happens all over the world, the shops become tourist traps and of course there is a price for the locals in the restaurants and there is a price for the sucker tourist who doesn't understand the language.
    In Japan there is a system that in order to sit at the table you must first order an unnecessary dish that is served to you like mazats and you think oh how nice they served us a gift. It's a gift that sometimes costs more than the meal.
    The congestion during peak hours in the metro is unreasonable and turns people into robots who are pushed into cars. Especially in the big stations in Tokyo that look like huge and confusing underground bunker cities that are constantly under renovation
    The disorientation is huge. People stand there discouraged by confusing signage and stripes on the floor that lead in the opposite direction from the platform we wanted. It's just discouraging and be prepared to spend something like 2-3 hours in the major train stations
    Trying to understand what's going on.
    Organized trips may save you from walking around, but then everything is sterile from the perspective of a bus, and the Japanese make an organized trip look like they are watching you in a corral on wheels. They point at you, laugh at you, and all politely and quietly of course, but the looks say it all, they are amused by the groups of tourists that come
    To travel with other tourist groups in places full of tourist groups where everything is fake and artificial for tourists.
    All in all, it's the same experience of a country that has gone through an extreme westernization that adores everything cartoony and childish like childish animations that are almost everywhere. Loud music in every store.
    It's amazing that they talk about mutual respect and at the same time play loud music for you in every store over and over again.
    A country of contrasts and especially of beautiful pictures because they know how to maintain holy places and make them sites
    Aesthetics, which Judaism never knew how to do here with synagogues and holy sites that look very bad.

    • I don't know which Japan you are writing about? My partner and I returned from Japan for about two weeks. We traveled independently for about a month. We are 70+ years old, without knowing the Japanese language we discovered that it is so easy to get around and travel by public transport that a child can manage. Japanese people are charming, sociable, kind and have a sense of humor. The willingness to help is an outstanding feature. Amazing cleanliness, amazing service. Full of small, cheap and delicious restaurants. Spectacular and preserved nature. There is sometimes pressure in Metro, by the way there are funds for women only for those who want. There are more than 30 million people in Tokyo alone, so there are also rush hours in transportation.. Have we already said politeness, respect? Above us.

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