A Few Things I Loved About Traveling in Japan
1) The free “old man” pajamas provided by the hotels
The red kimono almost made it into my suitcase. Almost.
2) Springtime is like no other
The daffodils and crocuses popping up around Boston are cute, but they’re just not the same.
3) Excellent customer service
No matter if you pull into a gas station, buy an onigiri (rice ball) from a kiosk at the train station, or ask for directions for a hotel (at the competing brand’s concierge desk), the customer service is excellent. Sometimes I wish people would just say thank you in the States more often. It does make a difference.
4) Public transportation is on time.
Without fail, the trains pull up to the station a minute ahead of departure, allow people to hop into the cars, and leave, exactly on time.
5) There’s always time for tea. And with tea, there’s cake.
Like my jet lag, I have yet to shake the habit of daily tea and sweets.
Any downtime my mom and I had, we’d pop into a cafe – at the train station, in the hotel or down a random road from temple – and order a pot or two of green tea. With tea came sweets (“Obviously,” my mom would say), and talk of what our plans would be for the remainder of the week.
The 13 hour flight home left me exhausted. But after I climbed the stairs up to the apartment, my stomach rumbled. And it wasn’t a meal I wanted. It was tea and cake.