Japan

We are at the airport waiting to fly home.
This morning the girls did a guided cycle tour around Tokyo but we opted to do our own unguided walking (and subway) excursion.
This was taken in the gardens near the Imperial Palace.

We have found Japan an interesting country with some contradictions.

My strongest impression is that it is computerised to the hilt.
The Airbnb we stayed at in Tokyo had buttons to press for everything. As they were labelled in Japanese our host advised us not to press most of them.
The toilets flushed automatically, usually several rimes before one had finished. Which was just as well as I found one which didn't and I couldn't figure out how to do it manually.
I did rather like the heated seats.
While the toilet flushed, water began flowing automatically into a basin for the hand wash.
We learnt you could program the bath to fill at a certain time and temperature each day.
I do wonder what would happen in a power failure.

Everything seems to run very efficiently and fortunately English is widely used for instructions and labelling, although not spoken quite as much as I expected.

The people are very friendly and helpful and several times someone would come up and offer help when we looked lost, even going with us to show the way at times.They generally look well dressed and conservative, and are almost always using a mobile phone (reading, not talking) especially on the subway.

It is also a very quiet society. It's obviously frowned upon to use phones or talk much on public transport. Feels like the quiet carriage at home :-)
Restaurants are lovely. You can hold audible conversations :-))
As for Tokyo, I expected it to be much noisier and with far more traffic. I think driving here would be easier than in Sydney!

Despite being such a tech place it is also very much a cash society. I found out just before leaving home that many ATMs don't take foreign cards and only large establishments accept credit cards.
Fortunately there is little crime and I don't think I have ever felt so safe.

All in all I can really recommend a visit.

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