Saturday, 26 August 2017

Another Japanese Potpourri





Matsumoto Castle


Matsumoto Castle is very famous.  It's in Matsumoto – funny that!  It's about a 3 hour drive or train ride from Tokyo – to the North West.  It dates back to the early 1500's.  The exterior is stone but the interiors are wooden.


Ryokan


Ryokan are inns.  They date back a very long way but are now many found in rural areas.  In a ryokan you will find yourself sleeping on a futon on top of a tatami mat – not sure how my back would feel about that.  You also share bathing facilities with other guests – normally separated by gender.  I might find that a bit of a challenge as well.  On the upside dinner and breakfast are usually included as part of the room rate.  These meals are normally served in your room.

Vending machines


Japan is the place for vending machines.  There are over 5 million vending machines – about one for every 20 people.  You can buy a huge variety of things – not just drinks and candy but also things like bananas, eggs, umbrellas, hamburgers and even, yes, puppies!
 
Sake


Sake is a Japanese rice wine.  Sake is produced by a brewing process that is similar to that used for beer.  It has a high alcohol content compared to wine or beer – about double.  Sake is served chilled, at room temperature or warmed and it is also used in most Japanese dishes.
 
Love Hotels


Love Hotels started out in Osaka in the late 60's.  They are designed as spaces for short stays for the purpose of, shall we say, getting 'close' to your partner.  Their popularity in Japanese cities might have something to do with the relative lack of privacy in small homes with inter-generational occupants.

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