How I Love Japan (Part Four)

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Let’s talk about bullet trains first.

They are really fast. When I first took the picture above, I wasn’t even trying to capture a photo of a train. I was taking a picture of the track when all of a sudden one popped into view.

They aren’t that hard to navigate, and they are always on time. In fact, we joked that if you were standing in line at 2:31 for a 2:30 train, you’d probably missed it.

Here’s another thing you may not know. When the conductor, or whatever he is called in Japanese, comes through the train and reaches the end of the car, he turns and bows before entering the next car. And no one in the train is even watching! (Except me.) He bows, and turns, and goes on his way, while passengers read their papers, or eat their crustless sandwiches, or look out the window. They aren’t talking. They aren’t disrupting everyone around them with a phone conversation no one wants to hear. But, they are taking the conductor’s behavior for granted.

Another thing that seems to be taken for granted, (but maybe not) is the beauty. Everywhere I looked, there was something beautiful. It could be a tiny garden, or more often than not a floral arrangement. I leave you with a few of my favorites:

12 thoughts on “How I Love Japan (Part Four)”

  1. I am so very happy for you that you spent some time in Japan. Cannot wait to hear more about your beautiful trip. The photos are amazing!!

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  2. Your trip sounds so awesome. I think that is so cool that the conductor turns and bows – so crazy that no one notices. And, those flower arrangements – wow!!

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  3. Meredith,
    Love the updates especially the Bullet train.I enjoy the idea that your blog has gone beyond books.
    One day we hope to visit Japan as well. For now I will have to be content with Killing Commendatore.
    Joe

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  4. Love these pictures! Interesting about the train – crustless sandwiches? And, yes, all the little floral things you show are so precise and intricate and beautiful. Spare and very organized in an un-organized way. I like it!

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  5. Thanks for sharing your photos and your trip. It makes us travel a bit too.

    PS : Come to France and experience the high speed trains 🙂 We have lots of them.

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  6. I am so much enjoying your posts about Japan. And why do we not have bullet trains here? It would make us all rethink questions of public transportation!

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  7. I am so happy to see more posts about your lovely trip to Japan! Truly, you can not post too many pictures. (I, on the other hand, need to learn to pick out the best of my travels and not bore my readers with yet another picture of the Grand Canyon!). I love seeing the sleekness of that bullet train and the simple, yet stunning floral arrangements. What a beautiful country. Maybe I should reconsider visiting. Just need to figure out the meal situation. 😉 Oh, and how does one even translate a message board in a train station when it’s all in Japanese! Yikes! I’d surely get on the wrong train.

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  8. The detail about the politeness of the conductor made me smile. These trains are very fast yet quite comfortable. Your flower photos are gorgeous. As mentioned, I enjoy your Japan posts very much, even if I am reading them a bit out of order. 🙂

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  9. I remember the first time we saw that conductor behaviour we were astonished – and, as you say, the Japanese take no notice.

    Your pictures are beautiful, and remind me once again of the Japanese focus on aesthetics. Just lovely.

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