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Travel, Teach, Live in Japan

First Impressions On My First Trip To Japan
By:Stuart Cheese

One of the perks of being the UK Director of Operations for a travel company is… you get to travel a lot.

A recent destination One World Tours decided to add was Japan and I was thrilled to get to go there for 10 days fact finding. It certainly was a a trip I will never forget.

Where do you start with Japan. For me it’s the people. I am old fashioned and respect is a huge issue to me, so visiting somewhere like Japan was just heaven. The people are polite, the streets feel safe and you just don’t get hassled…ever !

The next thing that I completely loved was getting around. The trains in Japan are amazing. Everyone has heard of their Bullet Trains of course and yes these are great and a fantastic way to get from place to place in no time at all. But just your standard trains are incredible too. Not only are they almost always on time, spotlessly clean and bilingual, but when you stand on the platform, the train actually stops in exactly the right place (the car numbers are written on the platform) and when the doors open up, everyone waits, civilly and allows people to get off before boarding.

As if this was not good enough, if you buy a Japan Rail Pass before arriving, you can also get unlimited use of not only these trains, but also the fabled Bullet Trains – meaning for not much cash, you can race around Japan at your leisure !

Another things (which is just a personal thing to me) I stayed in Shinjuku in Tokyo and in this area is a Sega Arcade. I don not know the actual names of the machines, but we call them grabby machines (people may know them as prize claw machines. Anyway, you put in a pund / dollar / yen etc and you try, usually unsuccessfully, to grab a prize. Well in these arcades in Japan, a) The prizes are superb – digital cameras, foot high, top quality, Manga Charicters etc. but also if you are not wining, the staff are just as likely to come and open the machine and put a prize so close to the win drop, it’s impossible not to get it !

I should also note here that another really nice thing is that when you win prizes in places like this, people actually cheer and say well done. It just seems to be part of the Japanese psychy of genuinely just being nice. You’ll even find they run off and get you a Sega bag too to put you items in – It’s a very different world.

There are loads of other great things to say about Japan. There is great food and for the non Japanese speakers among us, they have “mock ups” of the food in front of the restaurants and the menus are either in English too or the have pictures on the menus.

There is also the amazing history, beautiful scenery – the list really is endless.

In closing, if you get the chance you really should think about going to Japan. It really is a destination you will never forget.

Stuart Cheese is the UK Director of Operations for One World Tours and having visited over 110 countries, has a wealth of travel experience. One World Tours / The Holidays in Japan Specialists http://www.oneworldtours.co.uk/japan

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