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    Isabella’s insights – Japan

    Isabella’s Insights er en ny serie som jeg vil tilføje bloggen. Hvert nyt og spændende land jeg rejser til, vil jeg skrive en ny Isabella’s Insights – hvor jeg deler mine erfarringer, oplevelser og rejse tips med jer. Denne udgave af Isabella’s Insights er som I nok har gættet jer frem til fra Japan.

    Jeg er tilbage fra Japan, og wow hvor har jeg dog bare meget at fortælle, jer om min once in a lifetime rejse med Small Luxury Hotels. Du har ved at invitere mig med givet mig en uforglemmelig smuk oplevelse for livet, som jeg aldrig vil glemme eller tage forgivet. Jeg er over lykkelig over, at mit arbejde kan tage mig verden rundt, og at jeg har fornøjelsen af, at kunne dele mine spændende oplevelser og tips med jer søde læsere her på bloggen.

    Japan er sådan et unikt, smukt, anderledes og særdeles spændende land. Det var min første rejse til Japan, så jeg havde ingen idé om hvad jeg havde i vente! Jeg har gennem et par venner og bekendte hørt utrolig godt om Japan, og deres store begejstring for Tokyo. Jeg vidste derfor, at jeg havde en uforglemmelig og unik rejse i sigte.

    Jeg har drømt om at rejse til Japan i flere år, men da Japan er et ret dyrt land både at rejse til, men også dyrt at opholde sig i når man er på besøg, har det været en af grundende til, at Japan ikke har stået øverst på listen. Jeg har været så heldig, at mit arbejde har rejst mig rundt i Europa, som jeg holder så utrolig meget af! Jeg har dog vidst, at jeg en dag ville få min drøm til at gå i opfyldelse, men vidste ikke, at jeg ville være så heldig at få min drøm til at gå i opfyldelse så hurtigt.

    Japan og Indien er uden tvivl de mest unikke og spændende lande jeg nogensinde har fået fornøjelsen af at opleve. Det er umuligt at sammenligne dem med nogle andre steder jeg har været før. Begge unikke på hver deres måde! Japan er et fascinerende land fyldt med utallige traditioner og inspirerende historie og en dybere tro som jeg glæder mig til at dele med jer i dette indlæg.

    Der er utrolig meget at lære om den Japanske kultur, jeg finder det utrolig interesant og fascinerende. Det er umuligt at vide alt, men jeg ville personligt ønske, at jeg havde haft lidt mere tid inden min rejse, sådan så jeg kunne have sat mig lidt mere ind i deres traditoner og kultur. Jeg skriver derfor denne Isabellas Insights til jer, for at dele de tips og traditioner alt det spændende jeg lærte på min rejse til Japan.

    Isabella’s Insights is a new series that I want to add to the blog. Every new and exciting country I travel to, I will write a new Isabella’s Insights – where I share my experiences, adventures and travel tips with you. This edition of Isabella’s Insights is, as you might have guessed, from Japan! Lets get started shall we..

    I’m back from Japan, and wow, where do I start? I have so much to tell you about my once in a lifetime trip with Small Luxury Hotels. I feel very grateful that they decided to invite me along. They have truly giving me an unforgettable travel experience for life, that I will never ever forget or take for granted. I am filled with you and happiness knowing that my job and passion takes me all round the world and that I have the pleasure of being able to share my exciting experiences and tips with you, my sweet readers.

    Japan is such a unique, beautiful, different and very exciting country. It was my first trip to Japan, so I had no idea what to expect! Al through a few friends have told me incredibly good things about Japan, and their great enthusiasm for Tokyo. I therefore knew that I had an unforgettable and unique journey ahead.

    I have been dreaming of travel to Japan for several years, but since Japan is a rather expensive country both to travel to but also expensive to stay in when visiting, it has for that reason not been at the top of my travel bucket list. I have been fortunate that my work have kept me traveling all round Europe, which I love so very much! However I always knew that one day I would make my dream come true by traveling to Japan, but I did not know that I would be lucky enough to for my favourite Small Luxury Hotels to make my dream come true this quickly.

    Japan and India are undoubtedly the most unique and exciting countries I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. It is impossible to compare them to any other places I’ve been to before. Both unique in their own way! Japan is a fascinating country filled with countless traditions and inspirational history and a deeper belief that I look forward to share with you in this post.

    There is a lot to learn about the Japanese culture, I find it incredibly interesting and fascinating. It is impossible to know everything, but I would personally wish that I have had a bit more time before to research about it before my journey. I am therefore writing this Isabellas Insights to you, to share the tips and traditions I learned during my trip to Japan.

    Her er et par tips til som du kan bruge, når du skal til Japan:

    Det er uhøfligt, at beholde skoene på indenfor

    Mange steder i Japan ligesom mange andre steder i Asien er det uhøfligt og respektløst at beholde sine sko på indenfor. Det kan både være restauranter, hoteller, badeværelser mm. Derfor vil jeg råde dig til at kigge godt efter inden du træder indenfor, da man ofte kan fornemme på dem og hvor man er, om man skal tage skoene af. 2 ud af 3 af de hoteller vi boede på i Japan skulle man have skoene af enten i receptionen, eller på værelserne.

    Da vi rejste til Izu som ligger i det sydlige Japan ville det være yders uhøflig, hvis jeg havde trådt indenfor med sko på. Her har de et tydeligt markeret område hvor man træder ind for at tage sine sko af, og så har de slippers stående, som man kan hoppe i.

    Here’s a few important things you should know before visiting Japan: 

    Keeping your shoes on in certain places is highly offensive

    Lots of places in Japan and many other places in Asia leaving your shoes on when entering someone’s house is a major sign of disrespect. Therefore I highly recommend you to have a look around before entering, because it’s easy to tell if they wish you to remove your shoes.

    It can be both restaurants, hotels, bathrooms, etc. Therefore, I would advise you to look carefully before you enter, as you can often sense from where you are, whether they want you to take off your shoes or not. 2 out of 3 of the hotels we stayed at in Japan we had to take off our shoes either at the reception or in the rooms.

    When we traveled to Izu south of Japan it would have be rude and disrespectful of me if I had walked inside with my shoes on. Here they have a clearly marked where to take off their shoes, and then they provide you with slippers you can jump into and wear inside.

    Du behøver ikke at give drikke penge

    En af de ting jeg var ret overrasket over var, at man ikke behøvede at betale drikke penge. I Danmark hvor jeg er fra ligger man altid lidt drikke penge til tjenerne hvis man syntes, at man har fået en god service. Danskere har for at være ærlig aldrig været super gode til at give drikke penge når de går ud og spiser i Danmark, men det er en helt anden snak..
    Når jeg rejser så sørger jeg altid for, at have kontanter på mig, sådan så jeg kan ligge extra for en god service/oplevelse. Dette er åbenbart ikke nødvendigt i Japan, og faktisk tager mange det som mangel på respekt, da de tror det kan have noget at gøre med, at de ikke har ydet en god nok service. Nogle steder i Tokyo der er added en extra service charge, så du kan have god samvittighed med at gå uden at ligge drikkepenge.

    You do not need to leave a tip

    One of the things I was quite surprised about was that you didn’t leave a tip. In Denmark where I am from, you always safe some money for the waiters if you feel like you’ve have great service. To be honest, Danes have never been super good at giving tips when they go out to eat in Denmark, but that is a completely different conversation for a different post..
    When I travel, I always make sure to have extra cash on me, so I can leave some for the good service/experience I’ve had. This is apparently  not necessary in Japan, and in fact many restaurants etc will understand it as a lack of respect, as they think it may have something to do with not providing a good enough service. Although some places the service charge is included, so you don’t need to feel bad about leaving without tipping.

    Tokyo gemmer på mange hemmeligheder

    Japan og specialt Tokyo er stacked med tonsvis af bygninger. Jeg har boet i London i snart 7 år og har efterhånden vænnet mig til mængden af mennesker, men kunne ikke lade være med at være lidt overvældet da jeg kom til Tokyo, da det virkelig går op for en hvor mange mennesker bor her. I Tokyo bor der omkring 13 millioner mennesker og i London bor der omkring 8 millioner.
    Her er overraskede få høje skyskrabere, men en ting der overraskede mig meget var, at inde i de fleste høje bygeninger, shopping centre og under deres metro stationer findes et helt nyt univers. Typisk under deres shopping centre og stationer er deres restauranter gemt, og du bliver overrasket over hvordan der under jorden er gemt et helt nyt univers.

    Tokyo has lots of hidden spots

    Japan and Tokyo especially is stacked with buildings. Been living in London for 7 years and got used to all the many people coming to Tokyo was a bit overwhelming. In Tokyo there lives round 13 million people and London has around 8 million.
    There is not many super tall skyscrapers but I was surprised to discover that under most malls and underground station it’s like a whole new universe. Most restaurants and food shops are often located under ground (under the malls, stations.) or at the top of the buildings. 

    Japanere er stille og respektere andres private space

    Det er svært at tro indtil man er der og oplever det selv, hvor stille Japanere faktisk er. Da vi tog metroen rundt kunne jeg ikke andet end at være overvældet og chokeret over HVOR stille der faktisk var. For 8 stop med metroen var vi de eneste der snakkede (hvilket blev helt flovt, så vi begyndte at hviske indtil det blev for flovt.) 8 stops var der musse stille. Du kunne nemt høre hvis der var en der hoste eller træk vejret dybt. Deres metro er også utrolig stille i forhold til London’s undergrund som jeg er vant til. Alle i Japan er utrolig bevidst med ikke at genere andre, så prøv altid at holde støj niveauet på det laveste for at vise respekt.

    De Japanere vi snakkede med på vores rejse sagde at grunden til at de er så stille er fordi de ikke har lyst til at genere andre. De tager også disse øjeblikke til at lade op, zoome ud og fokusere på dem selv. De er meget bevidste om, at stress ikke er sundt for dem, så derfor prøver de at holde støjniveauet nede.

    Japanese are quite and respect each others private space

    You will not believe it till you have experienced it yourself but Japanese people are unbelievably quite. When we took the metro we were in shock! No one was talking, everyone was so peaceful. For 8 stops I was amazed – almost no one said one single thing. You could easily hear if someone cuffed or took a deep breath. Their metro is also super peaceful compared to the once I am used to in London. Everyone in Japan is aware of the fact that they are sharing space with others, so keeping conversations to a minimum and voice levels at a low volume in public is always appreciated. They are so respectful of each others private space, which is not always the case in London.

    The Japanese people we have been talking to says one of the reason why they are so quite is because when they are alone, travel etc. they zoom out to focus on themselves. It’s time they use to find balance in a hectic and busy life.

    Deres lidt sjove ryge regler

    Japan er på forkant med utrolig meget når det kommer til at være miljø venlig og når det kommer til deres teknologi men på ryge fronten er de stadig en del år bagud. Japanere ryger og drikker meget i gennemsnit hvis man sammenligning med andre lande, men de er utrolig gode til at følge regnerne når det kommer til ikke at forstyre andre. De ser det som uhøfligt at drikke i offentligheden, hvor vi danskere er meget forskellige. Japanere er utrolig høflige, så gør det mest af alt for ikke at genre andre.
    Der er stadig utrolig mange restauranter og barer i Japan hvor du ser askebære på bordene, hvor du frit kan ryge også selvom bordet ved siden af dig sidder og spiser. Det komiske af det hele er, at de udenfor har opdelt områder til rygere, sådan så de kan tage hensyn til andre – men indenfor på en bar og restaurant, kan man uden at have dårlig samvittighed tænde en cigaret? Haha
    Det er dog noget Japan arbejder på at få skåret ned på, så nogle restauranter og barer er helt røg fri eller har specifikke områder til rygere.

    Their funny smoking rules

    Japan is at the forefront of incredibly much when it comes to being environmentally friendly and when it comes to their technology but on the smoking front they are still some years behind. Japanese people smoke and drink on average if you compare with other countries, but they are incredibly good at following the calculators when it comes to not disturbing others. They see it as rude to drink in the public, where we Danes are very different. Japanese are incredibly polite, so make the most of everything not to genre others.
    There are still many restaurants and bars in Japan where you see ashtrays on the tables, where you can freely smoke even though the table next to you is eating and eating.
    The comical thing about it all is that outside they have divided areas for smokers, so that they can take others into consideration – but inside a bar and restaurant, without having a guilty conscience can you turn on a cigarette? haha
    However, it is something Japan is working on cutting down, so some restaurants and bars are completely smoke free or have specific areas for smokers.

    Et par uskrevne høfligheds regler

    Rette måde at hilse på: Traditionelt er den høflige måde at hilse på ved at bøje høfligt. Når de bøjer for dig så retur deres gestus, men husk ikke at overdrev det. Hvis du overgøre det, kan det forårsage at de aflæser det fornærmende, så et tip vil være at afspejle den måde de bukker på, for ikke at være uhøflig.

    Telefon på lydløs: Sluk for din mobiltelefon eller sæt den på lydløs hvis du skal på restaurant, ud at shoppe eller tager offentlig transport. Hvis du skal afhente så gør du ret til at betale respekt for den engang runde dig.

    Våde håndklæder: De fleste restauranter, hoteller og tea room du besøger tilbyder dig varme våde håndklæder. Det er en gestus fra dem til dig, sådan så du kan vaske dine hænder fra snavs og onde spirits.

    Vend ikke ryggen til: Det er uhøfligt at vende ryggen direkte til andre. Det er en af grundene til at i de i de traditionelle japanske restauranter ville de få dig til at gå først, og de ville forlade rummet ved gå uglens ud, sådan så de undgår at vende rykken til.

    Slurping er høflig: Nyder du din skål med nudler? Så vær ikke mange for at ligge lyd til! Slurping, som i Europa er super uhøfligt, specielt hvis man er ude at spise, men hvis du gør det i Japan betyder det, at du elsker det. Det er en måde at fortælle kokken eller the tea maker, at du elsker og værdsætter det hårde arbejde, de har lagt i det.

    Når du skal ud at spise: Når du spiser fra små skåle, er det korrekt at tage skålen helt tæt på munden når du spiser fra den. Efter du er færdig med dig måltid er det i Japan høfligt at returnere alle dine retter på samme måde som du fik den serveret. Dette indebærer at putte lågene tilbage på suppe skålene, stille tallerkenerne tilbage og sætte dine spisepinde tilbage på spisepinden bukken. Ligesom vi i Europa ligger kniv og gaffelen sammen og placerer dem midt på vores tallerkener for at vise, at vi er færdige med at spise.

    A few polite “unwritten” rules

    Bow: You find that traditionally people gently bow on greeting. It’s polite to return the gesture but being overzealous can cause insult so mirror the approximate angle to keep you in the safe zone.

    Phone on silent: Switch your mobile phone’s sound off and avoid taking phone calls when in restaurants, shops and on public transport. If you must pick up then do quite to pay respect to the once round you.

    Wet towls: Most restaurants, hotels and tea rooms offer you hot wet towels. It’s a gesture from them to you to wipe your hands before eating to wash away dirt and bad spirits.

    Don’t turn your back: It is un polite to directly turn your back to others. One of the reasons why in traditional restaurants they would have you walk first, and they would leave the room walking out backwards with their front to you so they avoid turning you the back.

    Slurping is polite: Are you enjoying your bowl of noodles? Then make some noise! Slurping which in Europe is super rude to do in a public place and restaurant is seen rude, but if you do that in Japan it means you are loving it. It’s seen as a way to tell the chef or tea maker that you love and appreciate the hard work they’ve put into it.

    Eating: When you eat from small bowls, it is correct manner to pick up the bowl with your hand and lead it close to your mouth when eating from it. After finishing your meal, Japanese see it as good manner to return all your dishes to how they were at the start of the meal. This includes replacing the lids on dishes and putting your chopsticks back on the chopstick rest – like in europe we put the knife and fork together and place them on our plates to show that we have finished eating.

    De fine traditionelle Tea rooms i Japan

    Hvis du rejser til Japan bliver du nød til, at besøge en af deres traditionelle tea rooms. Vi besøgte et tea room i Izu og et i Tokyo og jeg syntes det var en kæmpe oplevelse. I Izu fik vi hele oplevelsen, da vi endda blev klædt i deres traditionelle uniform. Hvert tea room er dækket med bløde Tatami måtter og variere i størrelse.
    I deres traditionelle tea room får du først serveret et sødt stykke “kage” som typisk er lavet på bønner. Det er utrolig sødt, så den stærke tea som i stilhed bliver lavet af den professionelle tea maker er utrolig stærk og bitter, så det hjælper med at balancere det. Af ren høflighed snakker man ikke sammen gennem hele tea ceremonien. Her sidder man i stilhed og “meditere” og beundre ens tea maker lave den bedst mulige tea for hendes gæster. Alle der træder ind i et tea rom er på samme niveau, og her respektere man stilheden.
    Jeg har i tankerne denne uge, at skrive et lidt længere indlæg om min fantastiske oplevelse og de mange “regler” og traditioner der ligger i deres fine traditionelle tea rooms.

    The traditional tea rooms in Japan

    If you are traveling to Japan you have to visit one of their traditional tea rooms. We visited a tea room in Izu and one in Tokyo and I think it was one of the biggest experiences from my trip. In Izu we got the whole traditional experience and history. We were even dressed in their traditional uniform. Each tea room is covered with soft Tatami mats and varies in size.
    When you visit a traditional tea room you will first be served a sweet piece of “cake” which is typically made on brown beans. It is incredibly sweet, so the strong match tea that is quietly made by the professional tea maker is very strong and bitter, so it helps balance i out. Of pure respect, no one talk through out the whole tea ceremony. Here you sit in silence and “meditate” and admire the tea maker make the best possible tea for her guests. Everyone entering a tea room is on the same level, and here you respect the silence.
    I have in mind this week to write a slightly longer blogpost about my amazing experiences and the many “rules” and traditions that lie in their lovely traditional tea rooms.

    Ulige tal

    I Japan fik jeg fortalt at de elsker ulige tal så som, 1, 3, 5, 7 osv. Det er et symbol på, at man konstant er i bevægelse og gerne vil kæmpe sig videre siden det er “incomplete”. Japanese like the number “one.” They also like the numbers “three”, “five”, and “seven.”.
    På vores rejse besøgte vi et af de ældste museums i Tokyo der udstiller noget af det smukkeste Hokusai kunst, som i gamle dag blev malet på både væg og loft. Her havde de på deres museum præcis 99 trappetrin, og kvinden der viste os rundt fortale os, at i Japan betød det at man så fremad. Man stadig havde noget at arbejde imod, da det var “incomplete”. Hvis de havde et lige nummer blev de nød til at fjerne et for at symbolisere de er i konstant udvikling.

    Uneven number of steps

    In Japan I was told that they like uneven numbers 1, 3, 5, 7 etc. It is a symbol that you are constantly moving ahead, constantly progressing. Since it is “incomplete”, you have more things to achieve.
    On our journey we visited one of the oldest museums in Tokyo that exhibit some of the most beautiful Hokusai art, which in the old days was painted on both walls and ceilings. Here they had exactly 99 steps in their museum, and the woman who showed us around explained to us that in Japan it has a deeper meaning. Because it is uneven it means you are constantly moving forward. One still had something to work towards, since it’s “incomplete”. If they had an even number steps, they had to destroy one to symbolize they are constantly evolving.

    Hvorfor bruger de, de hvide masker

    Når man først ankommer i Japan kan man ikke lade være med at undre sig over grunden til at de går med de hvide masker? Det er der åbenbart et par forskellige grunde til. Nogle gør det for at undgå forurening, men det er også for at undgå at blive syg/smittet fra andre syge eller hvis de selv har en forkølelse eller lignende som de ikke vil give videre til andre. Nogle kvinder bære også maskerne hvis de ikke har makeup på.

    Why do they wear white masks

    They use the white masks to avoid getting germs from others but also in respect to avoid giving germs to others. Some woman wear them if they go out if they haven’t applied their makeup, and especially when it’s hay fever season to stop the pollen from affecting you. 

    Det er godt altid at have kontanter på sig

    Ligesom jeg er du nok vant til, at dit kredit kort er din vante betalings form frem for kontanter. Hvis du rejser til Japan er det helt omvendt. Japans økonomi er stort set kun baseret på kontanter og mange steder acceptere ikke kort. Store forretninger er langsomt ved at ændre det, og flere steder i Tokyo kan du nemt betale med dit kort, men du finder stadig mange restauranter, coffee shops, taxis osv der kun tager imod kontanter.
    Et godt tip jeg lærte var at kigge mig omkring inden jeg købte noget eller lige spørge om de tog kort, for ikke at risikere ikke at kunne bestale.

    It’s good to always have cash

    Like me you might be used to just carry round your credit or debit cards as your main payment method. Perhaps you keep a little pocket change in case of emergency. In Japan, you’ll find that they do it the other way round. Japan’s economy is very much cash-centered and many establishments don’t accept credit cards at all. Large companies in big cities are slowly adapting to credit systems, but a good tip is to always carry some cash since most taxis wont accept cards as well.
    I always before I bought something looked if they had a card machine or asked if I could pay with card.

    Rejse rundt i Japan

    Da vi rejste rundt i Japan havde vi alle købt et Rail Kort. Det kan spare dig mange penge, hvis du har tænkt dig at rejse meget rundt. Man kan købe et specielt unlimited pass der gør at du kan rejse fri indenfor specifikke områder. Et godt tip vil være at undersøge det inden du tager afsted, da det er værd at bestille inden.

    På trods af sproget fandt jeg det faktisk overraskende nemt at rejse rundt i Japan, specielt ved hjælp af min yndlings rejse app CityMapper som fortæller mig helt præcist hvordan jeg kommer nemmest fra A-B og er efter min mening langt bedre end Google Maps.

    Traveling in Japan

    When we traveled around Japan we all bought a Rail Card. It can save you lots of money, especially if you plan to travel a lot. You can buy a special unlimited pass that allows you to travel free within specific areas. A good tip would be to look into it before you leave as it’s worth buying before you go.

    In spite of the language, I actually found it surprisingly easy to travel around Japan, especially thanks to my favorite travel app CityMapper which tells me exactly how I the easiest way get from A-B and, in my opinion CityMapper is much better than Google Maps.

    Japan er et utrolig sikkert land at rejse til

    Aldrig før har jeg i et fremmet land følt mig så sikker. Ikke på et eneste tidspunkt har jeg følt mig utilpas eller følt jeg burde gemme taske og kamera væk. Japan er det land i verden med mindst kriminalitet og det kan man tydeligt mærke når man er her. Du føler dig altid sikker og folk er respektfulde for dit private space. Selv da vi 4 piger var ude sent om natten følte vi os ikke “bange” eller usikre på et eneste tidspunkt.

    Japan Is Super Safe

    Never before have I ever felt so safe in a new country. Not even once did I feel uncomfortable or felt that I should hide my bag or camera away. Japan is the country in the world with the lowest crime, and it’s actually unbelievable just how safe you feel in this big city. Everyone are respectful of your private space. Even when we 4 girls went out late at night, we didn’t feel “scared” or unsafe at any point.

    Titler

    I Japan kalder de normalt hinanden ved efternavn. Det høfligste er at finde den rette titel. Jeg blev derfor på min tur kaldet Isabella San. Der er et stort udvalg af titler afhængigt af køn og social stilling. Dette er de mest almindelige titler:

    • San:
      Dette er den mest populære titel, og kan bruges i de fleste situationer og til både mænd og kvinder, så du indsætter San bag dit eller deres fornavn.
    • Sama:
      Dette er en mere høflig form for san, der almindeligvis anvendes til kunder eller formelt skrivning, men kan være for hørlig i en afslappet sammenhæng.
    • Kun:
      Dette er en uformel titel, der bruges til drenge og mænd, der er yngre end dig selv.
    • Chan:
      Dette er en uformel titel, der bruges til små børn og tætte venner eller familiemedlemmer.

    Titles

    The Japanese normally address each other by last name. In addition, people rarely address each other just by name, but usually attach an appropriate title to the name. Therefor I was on my trip called Isabella San. There is a large number of such titles depending on the gender and social position of the person you are addressing. These are the most common titels:

    • san
      This is the most neutral and famous title, and can be used in most situations and for both men and woman, so you attach San behind your or their first name.
    • sama
      This is a more polite form of san, commonly used towards customers or in formal writing, but can be too polite in a casual context.
    • kun:
      This is an informal title used for boys and men that are younger than yourself.
    • chan
      This is an informal title used for young children and close friends or family members.
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    10th February 2019

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