I’ve been here almost four days and little by little I am getting used to the idea that I will spend the next five months here. Somehow it has been hard to grasp the thought of me spending next few months here. Maybe it is because the environment is so different from what I am used to. But I really like it here :-) no big culture shocks or irritations so far.
The locals have been really nice! So sweet and helpful although not many have been speaking English (except our super nice tutors). The communication with the Japanese has been a mix of words of English, Japanese and hand signs.
Other things that I’ve noticed so far: the streets are clean, you can see many people wear Kimonos (the traditional Japanese garment), green tea has been utilized in many products (cake, chocolate, ice cream, and so on), at tourist sites you can taste many products and Japanese queue like the Finns (yey!!). I didn’t expect to see so many people wearing Kimonos because I thought it is a very special garment that is worn rarely. Japanese wear a Kimono when they have special occasion (e.g. a date or a classy party) or when they just feel like dressing up and going for a stroll.
I also found some things where I need some practice. I found that sitting at a low table is extremely difficult and painful for me, haha. Add to that a steaming hot bowl of noodle soup. I got a new meaning for hot. I sweat like a pig.
We went to visit Kiyomisu temple that is one of the oldest temples in Kyoto. On the way to the temple there are many stands for tourists that sell lots of kitsch, souvenirs and sweets. I didn’t try yet but the most fascinating was a cucumber on a stick. Also sweets made of potato was quite strange but actually really tasty.
At the temple one could pray for lots of things in many ways and of course I also tried to pray for a wish. I paid 4 yens (0,03 euros) for that wish. At the temple one can get rid of problems by writing them on a piece of paper and putting it in the water where the paper and the problems will fade away. There was also a Jishu Shrine which is called “the Cupid of Japan”. There young singles can pray for a boyfriend or a girlfriend in many different ways which will bring love to their life. I didn’t try that, yet! :-D
And I found an adaptor that works, yey :-)