I would have posted earlier, but it took me awhile to figure how to get around the Great Firewall of China. The Chinese government censors my blogging platform.

Our imaginations and the power to choose is what separates us from the other animals. Otherwise we are just decaying bacteria with pants that had gills at one time. The worlds cultures have always been striving to elevate their minds into the clouds and leave their flawed physical natures behind. I admire the Japanese for taking responsibility of physical shortcomings so they can focus on mental well being and imagination. They have created a very high standard of living and the worlds longest life expectancy.

Every person we dealt with treated us with great amounts of respect and dignity. They showed me dignity I didn't know I had. Communication is very subtle. Every small gesture is appreciated and has meaning. For instance, a receptionist stopped typing on her computer and stepped away from the computer, then leaned forward over the counter before speaking to me. There were many demonstrations of respect that I've never experienced and don't fully understand. Many Asians live by "saving face", that is not embarrassing oneself or another. Saving face is about showing how you are able to acclimate into society. It's a combination of social standing, influence, and honor. It's amazing how every minute detail is taken care of to as close to perfection as possible so whomever is doing the job can save face. Japan is one of the highest ranking countries in contentment. It also has one of the highest suicide rates. I understand why! Quit while you're ahead. Go out on top. Everyone knows the house eventually wins. I kid, I kid.

Most Japanese food is very healthy. Fish is the primary protein, not meat. The portions are much smaller. The supersize at McDonalds is just a medium in the United States. Calories are listed on all food products and menu's. Except for sushi, I don't care for Japanese food. Everything tastes like miso soup

Hygiene is very important. Everything is super clean. The streets, public transportation, restaurants, hotels etc. Most hotels provide slippers for entering a room and then a second pair to wear in the shower. Seeing anyone touching in public is very rare (I've always thought shaking hands is a disgusting practice.) Bowing is used to show respect and humility. Even as a foreigner, I was bowing about 25 times a day. The angle of the bow shows the degree of respect. I stuck with a 5% angle so I wouldn't look like a phony. They talk and laugh very quietly. Unless drunk or trying to impress a superior. They also never eat or drink in public, unless at a restaurant. There is an electronic bidet installed in every toilet seat. With at least 10 buttons, which can be a wet and wild adventure for a traveler and anyone else that happens to be in the bathroom.

If I could only recommend one place for my friends to visit. It would be Japan. If the language barrier wasn't so huge, I would try to move there. I would probably never fit into Japanese society anyway. I would be like a gorilla at a ballet.


Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Kyoto
Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Kyoto
Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Kyoto
Anraku-ju Temple, Kyoto
Dōtonbori, Osaka
Fresh Sushi - Dōtonbori, Osaka
This machine places you at a wedding reception, at work or at a nightclub. Then you're supposed to get pissed at the people there and pound on the table. And then, when you just can't take it any more; you flip the table. Your score is based on how much force you used to flip the table and how much virtual destruction you caused.