Why do you like your country? – Tell me, Japanese people! Vol. 24

Produced by Isao Tokuhashi
Edited by Jennifer A. Hoff
Mail to: info@myeyestokyo.com


Hamarikyu Gardens, Chuo-ku

Located at the mouth of the Sumida River, it was opened to the public April 1st, 1946. The park is surrounded by a seawater moat filled by Tokyo Bay. It was remodeled as a public garden park on the site of a villa of the Shogun Tokugawa family in the 17th century.
*Hamarikyu Gardens. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved January 27, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamarikyu_Gardens



Man from Australia

This is my first trip to Japan. There are seven of us on our trip and we stayed in Tokyo for four days and went to Hokkaido for a week, then I have one more day to rest here in Tokyo before I go back to Sydney tonight. When I went to Niseko, Hokkaido for skiing, it felt like I was back in Australia because all of the staff and ski instructors at the ski resort were from Australia. A few from our group are still skiing in Niseko.

I knew a lot about Niseko because everyone in Australia goes there for skiing. But apart from that I didn’t really know about Japan too much, just whatever my friends told me about Japan. A lot of people speak English or a little bit of English, so it’s easy to know where to go. Japan’s subway system is very easy to understand and travel with – I heard those things from my friends before coming to Japan. That was my initial impression from before I came, and I discovered that all of these things are true. Everyone is very friendly in Japan. I think there are lots of places to see in Japan and I’ve had a good time here.

We tried to eat only Japanese food here in Japan. We enjoyed even the food sold at convenience stores here, like Seicomart, the convenience store chain in Hokkaido; we had that for dinner because it was different for us. And I got a lot of things at Don Quijote for souvenirs such as shirts, caps and fridge magnets.

I found this garden because we are living just one kilometer down the road in Ginza. I just looked on Google Maps and I thought, well, I’ve already been to the Imperial Palace a week ago, and my friends are going there today, so I decided to come here instead because I thought it was very nice, so here should be nice as well.

1. What do you think of tourists?
2. Where are the best places to visit in Japan?


Couple from the US

Man & Woman: We came to Japan for the first time from Los Angeles.
Woman: We’ll be in Tokyo for three days and in Kyoto for three days. And then we’ll be back in Tokyo for a day. Today is our first day in Japan.

We found this garden on the internet looking through “What To Do In Japan For A Day”. We feel it’s quieter here. Where we live it’s a lot of noise, and rushing and talking. There was a tea house and it was so peaceful. We had a sweet potato steamed bun and lovely, beautiful matcha tasting there.

In Japan, you can get both, a lot of city and some nature. I thought it was going to be a lot busier with lots of people, but there are quiet spaces like this. This feels not crowded. So it’s very nice to walk here, too. You can walk everywhere. In Los Angeles, you have to drive in traffic.

Actually we have many friends who are coming to Japan right now, and we’re going to meet up with friends from Los Angeles on this trip. Almost everyone we talk to says they’re going right now, that they’ll go in a few months, or that they’ve been to Japan recently. Among most of our peers, that is, and we’re in our 30s. Japan is very popular right now.

I like sneakers so I want to buy a lot of them. Because they have so many different colors and types. And there are Japan’s exclusive sneakers in the big brands like Nike. They have some models only in Japan. And I will get some more traditional souvenirs. I always take matcha tea bags and he’ll buy Japanese whiskey. It’s very popular. There’s one brand of whiskey that you can’t find any more in Los Angeles.

I want to learn more of the culture, see some of the temples. We don’t know a lot about Japanese culture, so we want to know more about the people and see things that are different.

Question: What do you do for entertainment?


Woman from Denmark

I’ve been in Japan for four days and will stay here for a week. This is my first trip to Japan. I studied in Australia for one semester and I’m on my way back home. I wanted to experience something very different from Australia and Denmark, and I have a lot of free time now and didn’t want to go back home from Australia directly. Those are the reasons I came to Japan.

This park is very close to my hotel. I found it here on the guidebook and saw some nice photos. It looked like my ideal Japanese garden, that is, very beautiful. So I wanted to visit here.

I’ve been in Tokyo and made short trips to Kamakura, Yokohama and Fuji Five Lakes near Mt.Fuji. Kamakura was very nice and peaceful. There were beautiful shrines and temples. So I didn’t want to go back to Tokyo, the place where there are so many people everywhere. I like to experience both the traditional things and the pop culture in Japan, but I think I prefer the traditional Japanese places. I like seeing all of the different aspects of Japan.

“Thank you Japan for your great kindness and delicious udon.”


Family from Mexico

Daughter-in-Law: We’re from Guanajuato, a three-hour drive from Mexico City. This is our first day in Japan and we will be here for three weeks. We’re going to stay in Kyoto, then Osaka to visit Dotonbori (道頓堀, a popular nightlife and entertainment area in Osaka) at night.
Daughter: It’s far from home and the culture is so different from ours.
Daughter-in-Law: People here are so kind.
Daughter: All the people helped us in all the places we’ve been.
Daughter-in-Law: I’ve heard that Japanese people are cold, but our impression of them has changed completely.
I have two friends who are from Tokyo, I guess. We went to the same elementary school and they gave me some kawaii stuff. I love Hello Kitty! We’re going to Miyajima, Hiroshima Prefecture from Osaka by the Hello Kitty Shinkansen. We found it on the internet. But we didn’t come to Japan for Hello Kitty. We wanted to see its culture.
And Japan is very clean, safe and organized. We like those aspects of the country. It’s very beautiful. But Guanajuato, the town where we are from, is also beautiful. There are so many sightseeing spots and people are kind to tourists. You should come and visit there!

Question: Why do you like your country?


Thank you very much for your cooperation!

Question from our man from France: What do you think of the Western system today?

Questions from ladies from Hong Kong:
1. Why is Japan so clean and tidy?
2. Why are Japanese people so punctual?
*Translated by Jennifer A. Hoff


…Who wants to ask the next question?


Hamarikyu Gardens, Chuo-ku

*Interviews by Keiko Murayama, Tomomi Tada


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