It's my first visit back to Japan for a few months and this time I have the pleasure of bringing my family. It's been a while since I've had the chance to stand back and smell the sushi and it really is a country like no other. Quite apart from the contrasting cutesy-ness of the anime world against the intensity with which everyone carries out their work, there are just so many things that are done slightly differently to everywhere else. The food is different, the architecture, manners, body language, concepts of etiquette. I lived here for so long it all became perfectly normal but now coming back as a visitor I am more aware of how Japanese everything is!
One thing that never changes, though, is quality. Of course this is well known in the world of motorcycles but the same attention to detail that makes Japanese bikes the most robust in the world runs through everything - food preparation, gardening, school sports days. Heck, even the immaculately turned out bus drivers keep a running commentary about upcoming traffic lights and sharp corners. Nothing is left to chance - which is reassuring when you're eating blowfish.