I ask because chances are good that my answer is better. I went to Japan on the weekend. I hopped over to Fukuoka, which is at the Southern tip of Japan. The purpose of my a trip was less about tourism and more about deciding if I wanted to live in Japan after the stint in Korea is over. (Although I fully realise that Japan is a big country and that I only visited one city for one weekend.) Also, I had booked my ticket at a time when I wanted nothing more than to get out of Korea. I am, thankfully, no longer in my Korea-hating rut, but it was nice to have a change of scenery.
Unfortunately, the scenery was rather wet. It poured rain the whole time that I was in Fukuoka, so most of my view of Japan looked like this*:
Even though the rain prevented me from getting many great pictures, it didn’t stop me from having a good time. I walked all over the city on the Saturday, including some residential areas. I stumbled upon this gem, a part of a series outside of a public school:
Japan has some major points in my book, as does any country that likes unicorns. (Canada is included in this category. Did you know that our parliament buildings have numerous unicorn carvings? True story.)
On Sunday I took some time to figure out the train system. It’s definitely not as English-friendly as some other railways that I have used, but it earns several points for customer service. At any point that I was confused (which happens a lot, not just in Japan) there was an incredibly friendly employee readily available to help me out.
I took the train to Dazaifu, an ancient town that is home to several temples, shrines, and ruins. Actually, it’s a tourist trap. Still, it was nice to get out of the city and the Tenmangu Shrine was interesting. It’s filled with good luck charms and a lot of students visit and touch these in hopes of getting good grades on their exams. I found this guy particularly charming. (ha! sorry, couldn’t resist.)
And that was my brief taste of Japan. All things considered, it seemed like a very live-able place. Teaching in Japan might just be one more cliche that I need to try out.
Hey! While we’re talking about cliches, let’s finish off with one last picture.
*A note for my umbrella-hating readers (because I know that there are at least two of you): Yes, I normally hate umbrellas too. However, they help keep my camera protected and on busy sidewalks I think it’s a good idea to practice defensive umbrella carrying. Also, I don’t have a good raincoat at the moment.