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  • Writer's pictureMario Liu

Japan- The endless world in front of you

Japan is a group of islands that make up one country. It is made up mainly by Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa. With the Sea of Japan to the west separating it from China and the Koreas, the La Perouse Strait to the north which separates it from Russia, the Pacific Ocean to the east and surprisingly, the South China Sea to the south separating it from the Philippines! It is a country with rich history and culture as well as modern and developed cities. There are many things to do in Japan, such as visiting historic temples, exploring vibrant cities, sampling local cuisine, taking part in traditional ceremonies and festivals, soaking in hot springs, and hiking in the stunning countryside. This makes it literally impossible to enjoy everything. But that's okay, because it gives you an excuse to go back again and again! I am not that old and I've been 4 times! That's one fifth of my holidays spent there!

This is me - a 10 year old writing this as I am spending my fourth stay in Japan after Covid restrictions were lifted. Right off the bat, I was greeted by a mob of people waiting to pass the border check at Narita International Airport. I knew this wasn't supposed to be happening as I came here three times already. Anyway, we waited for 2 and a half hours until our passports were finally stamped, meaning we're in Japan and were greeted by thousands of Japanese all wearing masks. Even when the government had made it optional earlier this year.

We arrived at our hotel, and checked in only to find our room had two beds and nothing else. Later, we found out that the hotel room was 3 times smaller than our room in downtown Kuala Lumpur and 4 times more expensive! It's like going to the grocery store expecting to buy a steak, only to find out it's three times more expensive and the size of a chicken nugget. This is when I realized just how crowded the world's most populous city is. Another surprise was when I needed art supplies for a project. I went to Ginza - an area known for world-class shopping and cuisine, and found a stationary between luxury brands like Tiffany & Co, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Fendi, Dior, Chanel, Moncler and UGG! Furthermore, it had 12 floors, which is stunning for the size of a stationary as well as the densly populated land of Tokyo. The store was designed to provide an all-inclusive shopping experience to accommodate customers who may be looking for anything from stationery to office supplies. The indoor salad farm was an innovative addition to the store to showcase the latest technology in vertical farming.

Another delight comes with the Japanese cuisine. The Japanese cuisine offers a variety of traditional dishes like sushi, ramen, tempura and much more. There is also a range of specialty ingredients like matcha and miso, which can be used to create a delicious range of Japanese-inspired dishes, and perfected with sweet desserts like mochi, and cheesecakes. Create a vibrant and delicious mixture of rice, noodles, seafood, matcha, dough, cheese and more! There aren't usually big restaurants that serve all of these. Rather they have small stores and dining areas that only make one or two specialty dishes. Unless, of course, you order a Bento Box and get a little bit of everything--talk about a foodie's dream come true! Anyway, you shouldn't expect to find everything on one menu in Japan. However, expect to taste the extraordinarily good food that they specialize in. So you won't get disappointed in any restaurant! In conclusion, Japan is a crowded, developed, cute, cultural, and yummy place to visit!

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