Patrick: Well, I got back from Japan. I don't know how quite to sum up the whole experience. Japan is very very humid. The people are nice but don't speak as much english as I thought they would. In all the countries that I've been in I haven't felt as lost as I did in Japan. In European countries, if you don't know a word, you feel comfortable looking it up. You recognize the letters for the most part. Kanji, or the characters of Japan, look so alien that you just don't know where to start.
The stereotype is that Asian people are smaller. That is somewhat true but they give huge portions of food at restaurants. I thought that was interesting.
All the bicycles have baskets.
The drive on the left, which isn't bad unless you're trying to cross the street and your mind goes blitzo and you don't know which way to look.
Tokyo is like any other big city. Downtown is shiny and modern. Everywhere else has lost its polish.
They don't do dollars and cents (100 cents equals a dollar). 100 yen is 100 yen. It's a better system.
Next time, I'm hitting some hot springs and the beach.
Here's the pictures with commentary if you care.