My first ever journey to Japan was a thrilling and amazing experience. Japan is a world apart definitely, a country where a unique and outstanding civilization thrives in pleasant and interesting contrasts of traditional and modern if not futuristic. I was delighted by the warm and welcoming spirit of Japanese people.
This country had the power to enthrall me almost about anything. From the delicate grace of a Geisha caught inside a Kyoto’s temple to the steeply slanting roofs of the historical houses of Shirakawago lightly whitened by snow, from the overwhelming energy, lights and colors of Shinjuku district in Tokyo to the perfectly conic profile of Mount Fuji so beautifully reflected in the lake at sunrise.
For me Japan has been a kaleidoscopic world of experiences, colors and stories.
One story may sum the genuine hospitality and philosophy of Japanese people. While in Kawaguchiko, I was riding my bike up to a small pagoda where you get a great view over Mount Fuji when I got lost, suddenly. As I saw three women walking along a street of a small town, I tried to ask them for directions and kindly they showed the right road to reach the temple. I thanked them and mounted on my bike again. After having ride for about 50 metres only, I noticed a colorful jumper on the road and guessing it could belong to one of the women just met, I draw their attention and went back with the jumper in my hands. Obviously, it belonged to one of the three women and as soon as I gave it back to her, she started happily an almost endless stream of arigatou gozaimasu and not yet satisfied, as a small sign of gratitude, she passed to me a small white plastic bag containing a couple of oranges she just bought before at the local market. Well, the oranges were slightly bitter but how sweet was her thought!