Produced by Isao Tokuhashi
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A popular upscale shopping area of Tokyo, with numerous internationally renowned department stores, boutiques and restaurants. Ginza is recognized by many as one of the most luxurious shopping districts in the world, attracting visitors and regulars alike from across the globe. Each Saturday and Sunday, from 12:00 noon until 5:00 pm, the main street through Ginza is closed off to road traffic, allowing people to walk freely.
Interviewed by Risa Kobayashi
Photos by Masanori Tsuchibuchi
Edited by Daniel Penso
Man from Saudi Arabia
This is my first trip to Japan. We’ve just arrived here from South Korea yesterday morning. I came here with my wife for our honeymoon because we’re interested in East Asian countries. I’ll be in Japan for about a week and stay in Tokyo and Osaka; then I’ll go to Hong Kong.
The Japanese language is very difficult for me. Actually I can speak Korean because I studied the language at university in South Korea for a year and learned engineering there for 4 years. So I can speak Korean very well.
It’s really hot in South Arabia now, like 50C. So to me, it’s nice in Tokyo.
1. Why is the Japanese language difficult?
2. What do Japanese people think about Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabian people?
Woman from the United States
I came from New York. This is my first trip to Japan. I wanted to come to a totally different culture. I’ll be here for a week and go back to work. I’m a lawyer.
It’s expensive in Japan, like hotel, food etc. But this country is amazing. We have a metro system, but nothing like the Japanese transportation. People are so nice. Even the taxi drivers are so polite. Food is so fresh. It’s very clean compared to the US and New York. Those are what impresses us so much.
I’m Jewish and both of my parents survived the Holocaust. They came from former Czechoslovakia after the war and I was born in the US. I’m a first-generation American. I’m reading about Mr. Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who saved 10,000 Jews during WWII. He is really amazing.
Question; How do Japanese relax after work?
Families from Spain
This is our first trip to Japan. We’ve been to Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Hiroshima and Tokyo. We like Asian culture because it’s very different from ours so we went to China last year, then we decided to come here to enjoy shopping lol.
Question; What do you think about European people?
Men from Austria
We’re university students majoring in law and pharmacy. We’ll be in Tokyo for 10 days for sightseeing and clubbing.
Japan is cool. Some things in Japan are westernized, but on the other hand Japan is an orderly country. It’s very clean even though there’s a few trash boxes. We have to carry pet bottles home lol. You guys may be used to it, but it’s unusual for us.
We guess it’s because of the Japanese mentality. It’s very quiet in subways in Japan. In Europe, everybody talks over the phones on trains. Speaking of trains, it was striking that even businesspeople were reading comic magazines during travel to or from work.
We went to Akihabara and tried a “cat café”. It was cool but we felt a bit weird lol.
Question; Why don’t you have more garbage cans?
Question; Why are you so into maids & schoolgirls?
Couple from Spain
This is our first trip to Japan. I love it. It’s so different from our country. It’s cool because there are both traditional buildings like temples and modern ones like here in Ginza. And the food is great!
1. Why are fruits so expensive in Japan?
2. Why do Japanese people love standing in line so much?
Family from the Philippines
Father: This is my third trip to Japan, but I came here with my family for the first time.
Mother: Yes, this is our first trip to Tokyo.
Father: We’ll be only in Tokyo this time. We’re enjoying ourselves. Good food. What did you have for lunch?
Mother: She wants to buy Hello Kitty goods. As for me, I love sushi and sashimi. And shopping, too. We went to Mitsukoshi. There’s a duty-free shop in there.
Father: We bought Suntory liquors.
Mother: And green tea-flavored Kit Kat!
Question; How do you keep your country clean?
Family from Germany
We came from Munich. This is our first trip to Japan. It’s impressive. Traditional Japanese architectures, sushi, people, language… We went to Kyoto and it’s different from Tokyo. Tokyo is a big city, there are huge crowds, massive buildings, fashion, people speak English better than people in Kyoto lol. Anyway Japanese people are very, very polite like “Sumimasen!” (Excuse me!) “Ohayo Gozaimasu!” (Good morning!). We’ve learned some Japanese words.
As for food, we have bigger plates. They are cheaper than in Japan. But Japanese food is “Oishii!”(Yummy!)
Is beer cheaper than water in Germany? … It depends on which restaurant you go to lol.
Question; Why do so few Japanese people speak English?
Thank you very much for your cooperation!
… Who wants to be the next questioner?
Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Tell me, Japanese people! Vol.1 (Kamakura, Kanagawa Pref)
Tell me, Japanese people! Vol.2 (Haneda Airport)
Tell me, Japanese people! Vol.3 (Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square)
Tell me, Japanese people! Vol.4 (Meiji Jingu Shrine)