24.08.2011 32 °C
I already heard that few japanese people could speak english fluently, but I didn't expect it would be so bad. Just to give you an example... I went to a shop to buy some cloths and simply wanted to ask a question about the my size. The employ than called the manager and once the manager arrived, she just let me understand that she didn't understand any English. First I was disapointed and almost a liitle bit angry. But than it made me thing... why should I expect the japanese people to speak english if I didn't even made the effort to learn a few sentences in Japanese myself. After the japanese industry don't rely much on tourism. So now i really regret that beside a few really basic sentences, I'm not able to speak any Japanese. Especially since japanese people seem to be really nice people, even though they are also really shy around strangers.
One thing I already learned to appreciate is the japanese food. The night of my arrival I bought some food at the convenience store next door without expecting too much, but it turned out to be even better than a lot of wannabee japanese restaurants in Germany. Today I also ate the best "ramen" I ever had at a small and inexpensive restaurant. I was especially delighted by the fact that they prepared the noodles exactely how you wanted. From the size of the noodles to the thickness of the sauce, everything could be customly choosen.
My trip on the first day was to Sensoji, since it's only 5 minutes away on foot. Sensoji is Tokyo's oldest temple and one of the most significant. It attracts a lot of tourists every day that have to pass through hundred meters of souvenir shops before reaching the main temple. Actually the shops don't limit their sales to religious items, from convenience food to kids toys, every can be found there. The complex is pretty impressive. The gates and main temple are really imposing. Before entering the temple, people have to purify themselves by washing their hands and mouth with water from a nearby fountain. Most people I saw inside the temple came to pray but also to question the gods about their fate. The way it is done is by shaking a box of fortune sticks until one stick falls on the floor. People would then read the number on the stick on get the corresponding answer written on paper from the drawer in front of them. I also gave it a try and according to them, there are a lot of changes and good things coming my way.