I recently returned from a couple of weeks out in Japan, and while I saw and experienced some amazing places, sights, and foods, I think the thing that will stay with me from this trip is more of an attitude I hope I will be able to retain long after the end of my holiday and absorb into my own life.
One thing that always strikes me when I visit Japan is the level of curiosity on display for niche subjects. One example of this can be seen on TV every day - each area of the country has its own specialties, and on any channel you can find presenters visiting little local restaurants, cafes, shops, and so on to try them and speak to their creators about how they are made.
On my most recent visit, I was lucky enough to see this outlook personified. In the buildup to my trip, I’d asked if a friend of a friend could help me get tickets to an event. As it turned out, he didn’t just buy a ticket, but also came with me and invited me to hang out with this friends the day before.
We couldn’t communicate fluently (my Japanese and his English are both very basic) but we had a great time together. I think more than anything he was delighted that I’d taken an interest in one of his passions, and as we departed he gave me a very sentimental goodbye gift with a handwritten thank you message, which was more touching than I’d been expecting.
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