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Reisverslag Korea and first days in Japan
17 september 2014
Korea and first days in Japan
Time flies, I`m almost coming home. In 1.5 week I have to leave Japan and its beautiful weather for Holland where it is cold and probably raining. I think I will write my last blog from The Netherlands.
In the blog I wrote before this one I already wrote a bit about my first days in Korea. Lets add some more general comments on Korea. First of all, Korean people are really good looking and well-dressed. I actually didn`t expect that beforehand, but it was a nice surprise. Unfortunately, I didn`t bring the right clothes for this country, I have only one pair of pants. I have to notice that how people look really depends on the place you go. In Seoul everyone looks good (by the way, Korea is known as country where plastic surgery is big business), but in Busan the second biggest city that already changed a bit. I heard that it is hard to get a job in Seoul if you don`t look good. Further, it was much easier to get around than I thought. There is lots of English in the cities I visited. Last thing that I want to mention is that all people connect Holland with Guus Hiddink, apparently he is a real hero here.
But let me tell about what I did. I went to the border with North Korea, one of the things I had written down when I was in The Netherlands. It was precisely what I expected, nice to learn something about the relation between North and South Korea. In South Korea they are really stressing on the fact that they want peace with the North, but in the same time, it is illegal to go there. In the afternoon I wanted to go to the stadium in Seoul where the world cup final took place in 2002. When I came there, there was some international conference of Jehovah Witnesses. I could still go into the stadium, but was a bit embarrassed by my clothes. Of course I still did it. In the evening I went salsa dancing. At first I was in a place where the level wasn`t that high, they were also beginners. I directly made some friends there, although they were a bit older than me and couldn`t speak English very well. That club shut down at 0:00, so after that we drank a bit. I still wanted to dance more, so I went to another club. The level was really high there, highest I have ever seen. Luckily the ladies still wanted to dance with me, probably because I am western, so different from the other guys there. I didn`t even have to ask a girl to dance with me. They just came to me.
The next day I went to a museum about the wars in South Korea. On of the best and interesting museums I have ever seen. And it was free! After this day I left Seoul and went to Busan a city in the South of South Korea. Busan is a college town, but I had a bad timing: there was a holiday so all young people went home to there parents. But I met some great guys in the hostel, so I had a nice time there. City was not so interesting, only thing that made it better was that is has beaches. Connected to the hostel was also a language cafe where volunteers stayed to talk to Korean people to improve their English. Really liked this and I had some interesting conversations with local people there.
After Busan I finally went to Japan. When I arrived there, Kosuke, a Japanese friend that I met 2 years ago, was already waiting for me to pick me up. I stayed 4 nights in Osaka and spent these days with Kosuke to go sightseeing in Kansai. We did one day in Osaka, one in Nara and one in Kobe. I didn`t like Osaka so much. There was not so much to do and I also stayed in a not so busy neighborhood. It was also not easy to find accommodation, on one day everything seemed fully booked. Luckily I found a place, but it was a bit expensive. I really liked Nara, one of the best places of this trip. Lots of beautiful buildings in nice neighborhoods. Japanese people really know where to place there temples. In Nara was also a big park with deers in it that you could feed. Really nice! Kobe was also a city I liked. We first went to a house of a rich guy where you had amazing views. Interesting to see this house. After that we went to a neighborhood with lots of old western houses. I was really surprised to see a Japanese lady with Dutch traditional clothes on. This was the first time I asked someone that I didn`t know to take a picture with me instead that they asked me (which happened a few times in Korea). We went to see a Dutch house, which was on average quite similar to what I have seen in the Netherlands in museums. Only some little details where completely wrong. In Kobe we also visited a museum with trick art where we took lots of funny pictures. The last thing we did there was to enjoy the night view from a mountain. Definitely a place where you should go with a girl.
The next day I moved to Kyoto. I decided to stay here 3 days instead of 2, because I am doing everything to fast. Kyoto is a really nice city. I spent here one day with Kosuke and one day with Saki, another Japanese friend. We did sightseeing and I was really surprised to see how easy it is to find a quiet place in Kyoto. You just have to go to a place with a temple and will find beautiful quiet surroundings. The weather in Kyoto is a bit worse than in the other cities, because it is more humid again. But it is still much better than in South-East Asia. I really want to say thanks to Kosuke, he was an amazing guide these few days and showed me places where I wouldn`t have come if I was on my own.
People in Japan are so friendly, the friendliest I have ever seen. If you ask directions, they just bring you there, even though it sometimes takes 15 minutes of their time and they get late because of us. Also the weather is comparable to Korea`s, so really good. To make things short: I love Japan so far!
24 september 2014 20:56 | Door: Corina
Ik was wat laat met lezen, Jaap heeft nog wat vertaald. Leuk om alvast wat mee te leven, tot overmorgen