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▲京都 金閣寺にて3人の友人と記念写真











Hi everyone, just recently I had a three week holiday in Japan. It was my first time back in four years. I'm going to share my experiences with you in a two-part series.

The first half of my Japan holiday was spent in Osaka, Tokyo and their surrounding cities. I actually brought with me three of my friends from New Zealand - who couldn't speak one word of Japanese! I was like their tour guide, except they didn't pay me anything!

Probably the biggest challenge, apart from changing trains on the subway, was deciding what kind of food to get for dinner with my three friends who had never been to Japan before. My friends and I all have different tastes, so when we walked by the plastic food displays outside each restaurant, there was always someone who said "I'm not sure about this place..."!

We eventually agreed to disagree and try something new every night. We ate sushi, ramen, sashimi, donburi, crab, all sorts. However the nights where my friends didn't feel like trying some real Japanese food, they opted for McDonalds or KFC (what a waste!)

My friends told me their most favourite dinner was Yakiniku, which probably isn't a surprise to some of you. I have lots of stories about our Yakiniku dinners, but that will be a whole blog on its own.

Although it was only a short ten day trip for my friends, they got an amazing cultural experience - seeing castles, temples and shrines, but also seeing the modern side of Japan - fast trains, electronics and skyscrapers. Most importantly they managed to increase their Japanese vocabulary - which now includes "let's eat", "cheers", and "another beer"! All very important "eating" words!

Robert Buchanan
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