Plastic world

When I relocated to Japan, I had never contemplated the fact that this country could not be very focused on sustainability.

My lifestyle changed drastically from there as all of a sudden, buying organic was no longer an option (could not read, not available), checking product origin was not displayed or in Japanese I could not read. All items are over wrapped. Bananas come in plastic bags, all products are wrapped once or twice, something 3 layers of plastic.

We officially recycle, I have 19 different categories at home but by far the package bag is the biggest every week !

Japan will need to address it as anyone else and removing straws is NOT a progress, rather a drop in the ocean

 

check this out – https://japantoday.com/category/national/not-so-fantastic-can-japan-end-its-love-affair-with-plastic?

Rice

The other day, wandering around Daikanyama, supposed to be a trendy upbeat tiny area, I found that very old Rice shop, offering so many different types from all regions of Japan, sold in pack or by the kilo

travel back in the time – slow food!

 

Coffee time

Everything is about nice, esthetics, kawaii in this country. Even going to the cafe is an experience and people (ladies should I say) spend hours queuing to get a coffee in a trendy place on the Saturday afternoon

Kobe

Kobe? Here is a provincial city that feels like a town in the Kansai region. Again, I did not find much to visit there apart from the Kitano area where a lot of European style houses are built along the hill and the garden at the top, you may use the cable car or hike there.

However, I really like the city for the hills and the seaside, the many ramen and small shops and restaurants under the bridges and train rails, The city center has a European flair, arcades, small boutique, cafes with terraces, a walk on the seaside, the place is quieter than Osaka or Tokyo, so this is really a pleasure to spend an afternoon in Kobe

When Japan opened to the world, Dutch and Portuguese were the first to arrive in Nagasaki and then in Kobe because this was the port closer to Kyoto, the imperial city. Nowadays, some houses remain and Kobe is famous for the cakes and the bread because of this past times

Of course, the great earthquake in 1995 means most of the city is modern and rebuild, but sometimes, a good surprise and a nice building pops up.

Osaka – Light and Life

Osaka is such a contrast compared to Tokyo, very lively, this is the 3rd city of Japan, after Yokohama, and it is a great location 40mn from Kyoto by local train (20mn with the shinkansen), 50mn to Nara, 30mn to Kobe (15mn with shinkansen). People laugh, shout, scream, talk loudly in the streets and bars, there is a special atmosphere here.

Enjoy the capital of streetfood, and shopping, the numerous malls, and the modern buildings, Temma, Dotombori, Namba, Umeda, so much to enjoy, not much to visit but guaranteed great time. After that, I am privileged enough to get the sweets in my room with a view

 

Department stores

Japan is a consumer market, people love to spend, buy, they love brands, but they also love details, nice things, brands, luxury, quality. Along with that, for over a century, there have been a lot of department stores (Takashimaya, Matsuzakaya, Isetan, Mitsukoshi, etc)

My favourite remains Isetan for the B1F, food department and the 5F, tableware. I must say I also like Takashimaya historical building in Nihombashi for the architecture and the style.

They sell beautiful cakes made by Dominique Ansel and delicious Swiss Chocolate Laederach that I highly recommend

If you ever read The Ginger Tree, wonderful book written by Oswald Wynd, you will read part of the development of these stores in the early 1900’s

 

Anime

Japan has a fascination with cartoons, manga, anime of all sorts. What a surprise to find in one of those anime shops that you can buy THE Willy Wonka Chocolate….

 

 

Should I check whether I get the golden pass in one of those?