Mei is an avid traveller, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She
enjoys blogging about both her travel and gastronomic experiences.
Since she works for a Japanese company Mei has had the opportunity
to visit Japan a resounding 17 times. Her visits have included
Tokyo, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. We asked her
about the nicest experiences she recommends to other women travelling
to Japan. Here in words and pictures are her answers...
love watching the Shichi-Go-San
or 7-5-3 Festival because this is the time that little children
get dressed up in the Kimono and are taken by their parents
to the temple to pray. – This traditional custom happens
on the 15th of November and the kids are taken to be blessed
at the local Shinto shrine and to thank God for their good
health and pray for future blessings. Children are dressed
up in colourful kimonos and they are really adorable.
I love the art of kampai,
where after a long hard day of work, you, your colleagues
and your boss, head down to the restaurant for a drink before
dinner. It is customary to start with a glass of beer and
then move on to the Sake or Soju depending on your boss'
preference. I like the way everybody needs to wait to have
their glass filled, and then normally the most senior person
will lift up the glass in salute and yell "Kampai!".
Everybody yells "kampai" back and drinks their
sake. If your boss pours your drink for you, this is the
highest honour and you should drain your glass. I love partaking
in this act of camaraderie that is unique to the Japanese.
Slurping is a
I like the slurping
practice that goes along with eating a great bowl of ramen
(noodles). Ramen stalls are a dime a dozen in Tokyo and
especially in winter, these little stalls are packed with
regular customers, business men, working girls.. etc, etc..
all huddling close and slurping their wonderful bowl of
piping hot ramen. Apparently, the noisier you are, the better
it tastes and I am inclined to agree. Delicious!
Leave your shoes
at the door please...
I like the fact that when entering a home,
especially a traditional tatami styled abode, one should
always remove one's shoes.
Also, rolling of heavy bags or items on the Tatami floor
is a strict no-no. I love the soft way that the Japanese
scurry around on the tatami - so graceful, so light footed!
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