Produced by Isao Tokuhashi
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Meiji Jingu Shrine
The Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji (明治天皇) and his wife, Empress Shoken (昭憲皇后). Founded on November 1, 1920.
*Meiji Shrine. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved June 6, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meiji_Shrine
Interviewed by Risa Kobayashi
Photos by Masanori Tsuchibuchi
Edited by Daniel Penso
Women from USA and Israel
Woman from New York: I’m Sheri from New York (*Shown at far left in the photo above) and both of them are Naomi from New York and Israel. We’ve been friends for many years. Naomi from Israel has been here several times and 2 Naomis brought me here.
2 Naomis: We’re attracted to Japanese culture, like appreciation of nature, beauty, people, the way everybody treats everybody, children, older people, guests – that’s totally different for me and wonderful. Japanese people are helpful. Every time we ask them if somebody doesn’t know somewhere, they google and take us to the place where we want to go. We really appreciate that your subways, trains sometimes have some English words so that we know where we go.
Everything in Japan is in order and on time. And Japan is very, very safe. Everything in Japan is beautiful. Even small things such as wrapping your bag and hand it to us nicely in the stores.
Woman from New York: People take care to pick out the weeds at shrines and parks. We hope you keep passing this culture to your children because it’s so beautiful.
Question: What advice do you have for American parents?
Man from Los Angeles, USA
This is my first trip to Japan. I’ll be here for 20 days and visit Kyoto, Nara, Osaka and Tokyo. My wife really wanted to visit here.
Japan is very calm even in the busy parts like Tokyo. It’s very different from the US and I really like it. I also like the order. I love that about Japan. It’s just beautiful.
Personally I’ve been familiar with anime just a little bit, but I got moved by “Attack on Titan” when I saw it on a plane. So I started trying to watch more of that.
I’ve always seen temples, shrines and samurai culture only in movies. I grew up watching a lot of it on television, so I wanted to see that when I came here.
Question: Why do Japanese teens take so many selfies?
Man & women from Europe
We’re from Romania, Switzerland and Estonia. We met with each other in Geneva, Switzerland, when we were in a school.
Woman from Estonia: I’ve been living in Japan for a year and a half. I came here with my husband who works for the Brazilian embassy in Tokyo.
Woman from Romania and man from Switzerland: We’re engaged and now living in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Man from Switzerland: I used to be in Japan for half a year to study a couple of years ago, but I’ve never experienced Japan in the spring. It’s nice.
Woman from Romania: This is my first trip to Japan. We’ve heard about how beautiful his experience in Tokyo was for some years. Actually we love Japan because it’s very organized, very clean, people are very polite and respectable. Nobody bothers you. Food is amazing!
Question: How do Japanese people integrate knowledge from abroad in their livelihood?
Girls from Indonesia
This is our first trip to Japan. We met with each other at a Japanese language school in Jakarta. Coming to Japan was our dream. We really wanted to go sightseeing and shopping here.
We love both Japanese traditional and pop culture. We love AKB48 and of course JKT48, the Indonesia version of AKB48, is popular there. We love also L’Arc-en-Ciel and Arashi.
In Indonesia, there are so many motorcycles and this causes terrible traffic jams. On the other hand in Japan, most people use trains and subways. That’s a big difference.
Question: Why Japanese people rarely using social media (Facebook/Instagram)?
Man from France
I came here with my colleagues to discover something. We are instructors of a management system which came from Japan. We came here from India and there is a big gap between those countries.
There are a lot of rules here in Japan. Everybody takes care of each other. They are really polite. Nobody robs your car, bike or helmet.
In France, there are so many ways of thinking. On the other hand, in Japan, there is almost one way of thinking in my impression.
Question: Why girls are or seem to be shy and do a lot of picture with the Y hand (*=V sign)?
Thank you very much for your cooperation!
… Who wants to be the next questioner?
Meiji Jingu Shrine
1-1, Yoyogi Kamizono-cho, Shibuya-ku Tokyo