You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way
In the fall of 2014 we did travel to a great place – Japan. Usually I’m the Grand Master of Trip Planning, the Decider, the Doer, but because of our impending move in October 2014, my husband, the Original Obnoxious One took over my duties. So I could pack boxes. And more boxes. And so many boxes from the house we lived in for 12 years.
As a result he picked the flights and the actual destination. Why Japan you might ask? Darned if I know. It was his choice though, so I agreed as long as he agreed to several days at the Six Senses Resort on the island of Samui in Thailand afterwards.Which he did.
But I get ahead of myself.
And then things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.
And yeah, things did start to happen just as soon as we landed at the Tokyo airport. My dear darling husband was feeling tired and out-of-sorts, so he wandered off as he frequently does and disappeared. For over an hour. Just vanished in a place where no one spoke English and all the signs were written in Japanese characters.
But that’s a story for another time.
Suffice it to say we got back on track within 24 hours – thanks in large part to the wonderful Mandarin Oriental Tokyo (he actually picked this amazing hotel all by himself!?) and started doing what we like best.
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go
Wandering the streets of Tokyo with eyes wide open, we were mesmerized by the unique and fascinating Japanese culture so very different from ours in North America.
For example …
around every corner, busy street markets sell everything from shoes to clothes to food
and vending machines offer all kinds of weird and wonderful items.
Sumo wrestlers really are something special and they walk around town just like everybody else.
You can find really good Ramen at tiny little hole-in-the-wall underground spots where no one speaks English but there are photos of the food available.
The Japanese love their themed cafes – cat cafes and my little pony cafes and especially maid cafes. This is as close as we got to a maid cafe.
Since fish is served morning, noon and night, the Tsukiji Market is a super big deal and the Original Obnoxious One sure loved it.
And when you’re alone there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.
But the greatest and scariest sights that we saw?
Can you guess, can you say, do you know?
Was courtesy Toto, the toilet folks pros!
So I’m no Dr. Seuss, but I’ll tell you that I’ve never seen anything like the Japanese high-tech, music playing, multi-function, super-specialty toilet/bidets with heated seats anywhere before. These were way more complicated than any similar ones I’ve seen in Las Vegas – trust me!
And when faced with a budget choice of a dishwasher or a Toto luxury toilet, most Japanese families choose the toilet. Our guide told us her mother now refuses to leave Japan, despite having lived in places like New York city for several years. Why? Because no other country enjoys a similar level of toilet sophistication! In fact, the Japanese are determined to bring their enlightened toilet culture to the rest of the world as the video below illustrates.
And for the ignorant uneducated travelers like the Original Obnoxious One and me, Toto also produced videos which provide more detailed and focused information on exactly how to use the washout – too bad I didn’t come across this video until after our trip!
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
And remember that Life’s
A Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
When we returned to Vancouver I spent several weeks researching these marvelous contraptions – yes, by the end of our time in Japan I was totally smitten with the Toto Washlets, especially their heated seats! Unfortunately I couldn’t find any beauties here for less than $5,000 and the Original Obnoxious One was enamoured with them quite that much.
So, I’ll have to wait until our next visit to Japan or Vegas. 😉