My Travel Diaries of



Currency: Yen
Capital: Tokyo

Drink like a local: sake (rice schnapps)

Special Facts:

  • Japan is a different world. It fulfills all the clichés you know from the stories and is also surprising.
  • Bowing is part of normal interaction. When you give someone something in your hand you bow, when you receive something you bow, take it, and bow again.
  • Using the bus is not easy at all. Here, too, you have to follow a lot of rules in order not to appear rude.
  • If you ask Japanese people about their religion they will say they don’t have one. Even if they pray every day. There is no God and no obligation in Shintoism. Shintoism is not a religion.
  • In such a populous country, I expected to be ignored. But outside the city, I felt as if people saw me as a lost little kitten that everyone was trying to help as best they could.
  • It’s easy to strike up a conversation with Japanese people, especially over a bottle of sake, even if no one understands the other person.


Japanese is a mystery to me as a European. However, I didn’t delve deeply into the language either. As far as I’ve learned, there are several parallel languages, depending on how politely you want to express yourself. If you, as a foreigner, naively express yourself directly using the most polite forms of expression, you can see shy Japanese people suddenly freaking out with joy.


In Japan, payments are made in yen. However, I rarely had cash in my hand. It is possible to pay with credit card almost everywhere. It was a big help to me, especially in the small shops like 24Seven. I often ate here because the restaurants are expensive.

  • Hello – konnichiwa
  • Goodbye – Sayonara
  • Thank you – Arigato
  • Thank you very much – Domo Arigato
  • Thank you so much, I want to kiss your feet – Domo arigato go sai mas (that makes every Japanese happy)
  • You are welcome – Douitashimashite
  • Please – Kudasai
  • Sorry – sumimasen
  • Excuse me – go men nasai
  • How are you? – o gen ki des ka
  • I am fine, how are you? – ego ga hanasemas ka
  • I don’t understand – wakarimasen

My Lesson:

Japan is another planet

Travel Diaries

If I were Alice, who fell down the rabbit hole, or Dorothy, who was carried on the wind to the Land of Oz, I would be no less amazed by the magic and wonder of Japan. In my mind, the clichés about Japan couldn’t be true; I thought they were exaggerated. On the other hand, I was put off by some of the ideas. I’m not a manga or sushi fan. I have seen, read and heard many stories from Japan and also trained in ninjutsu for several years.

But I was hesitant to visit Japan and realized that there was nothing left of the country’s exoticism and that I would just have to squeeze through the crowds of people that we know from pictures of squares and the subways in Tokyo. How wrong should I be?

The Japanese welcomed me with open arms, the food was a new pleasant surprise every day and a new miracle was waiting around every corner.



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