What does “MARU” mean? – Tell me, Japanese people! Vol.16

Questions from tourists

Produced by Isao Tokuhashi
Edited by Kelly Sun
Mail to: info@myeyestokyo.com



The second largest city in Japan by population, after Tokyo. Yokohama developed rapidly as Japan’s prominent port city following the end of Japan’s relative isolation in the mid-19th century, and is today one of its major ports.
*Yokohama. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved November 6, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yokohama


Yamashita Park

A public park which was opened in 1930. It’s famous for its waterfront views of the Port of Yokohama.
*Yamashita Park. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved November 6, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamashita_Park


Students from Taiwan

We are sisters and we have come to Japan with our professor. We studied Japanese language in the past at school for about a year.

Today is our fourth day of the trip. This is our fourth time visiting Japan. We are here to attend a conference. We stay at a hotel in Yokohama and this time we have been sightseeing only around here. We went to the Beer Festival yesterday.

Last year when we came here, we also went to the Beer Festival. There were varieties of beer and different kinds of other alcohol. Most of the beer are from Japan, Germany and Belgian. We love beer!

Impressions about Japanese people:
1. When they go out, they tend to dress nicely. They really care about their appeals.
2. They have such good manners at forming and waiting in lines.
3. They drink beer often. Do they treat beer as water?
4. High school students finish school early.
*Chinese English Translations by Kelly Sun


Couple from Mainland China

This is our first time in Japan. We are going to stay for 7 days. Today is our second day. We arrived in Yokohama late last night.

We are not sure where we will be staying at everyday because we joined on a group tour. We just follow the tour guide for the whole trip. He will take us to sightseeing places and hotels. We did not get to plan the itinerary by ourselves.

Question: What do Japanese people think and feel about China when they visit there?
*Chinese English Translations by Kelly Sun


Yokohama Chinatown

The largest Chinatown in Asia. There are roughly 250 Chinese-owned/themed shops and restaurants scattered throughout the district, with the highest concentration centered on a 300 square meter area.
*Yokohama Chinatown. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved November 6, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yokohama_Chinatown


Mother and daughter from Germany

Mom: I came here for the first time and this is the second time to Japan for my daughter. It’s a very big experience for me being here.

Daughter: I was in Japan 13 years ago as an exchange student. I stayed with a Japanese family in Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture for one week and the next year we welcomed them to our home in Germany. So I know some Japanese words like “Arigato (Thank you)”, “Ohayo gozaimasu (Good morning)” and “Oyasumi nasai (Good night)”.

We’re staying in Tokyo and we have been in Japan for one week already. We will be going to Kyoto. We also want to visit Ise, Takayama, Hiroshima and some of the rural areas.

Mom: We are in Yokohama for a one-day trip because I like city by the sea and I wanted to visit the Chinatown. Actually it’s quite something!

We’ll return home in another two weeks which means we’ll stay in Japan for three weeks.

Daughter: Everything here is different from home, in a nice way. We have no “favorite places” because we love everywhere in Japan!

What they feel about Japan: It is a wonderful country where modernity and tradition are well-balanced.


Canadian man

This is my first time in Japan. I came here by myself because my wife refused to spend 13 hours on an airplane (laughed) . I’ve been in Japan for two weeks and I stayed in Tokyo, Kanazawa, Takayama and Yokohama. I’m going to Osaka tomorrow.

Since I’m interested in nature, museums and industrial things, I went to the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa. I’ll go to Kyoto to enjoying the nature, then I’ll go to the Mazda plant in Hiroshima. I’ll stay in Japan for 23 days.

I’ve travelled to many places here and there, mainly in Europe, Central America and the United States. There’s always something that annoys me or something that I may or may not love or something that I couldn’t agree with in the other countries I visited, but there’s nothing that annoys me here in Japan!

Question: Is it true that the Japanese educational system’s demands (three types of writing, two distinct forms of communications, etc.) do not allow enough time for students to develop English skills, comparable to, for instance, the European youth?


Aussie gentleman

I’m from Western Australia. I used to be an Electrical Inspector for mining. It was a very interesting job and I retired at 68.

I came to Japan with my wife (She is shopping right now). This is the third day in Japan and we are staying in Tokyo. We came to Yokohama to board on a cruise. We’ll be on the ship for 17 days sailing around the entire Japan, then we will continue to South Korea and Russia.

Japan is very nice, I really like it. It’s very clean and everybody we’ve met so far is very good, friendly and they tried to understand my language.

Question: What does “MARU” (in the names of Japanese ships) mean?


Thank you very much for your cooperation!

…Who wants to ask the next question?



*Interviews by Kelly Sun from KNS English Education (English/Chinese), Haruka Yoshikawa (English)
*Photos by Masanori Tsuchibuchi


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