Interviews with Foreigners travelling in Japan! [Ueno, Tokyo]

This time the Tadaima Japan Editorial Team turned up in Ueno Park where there are several museums and the famous, Ueno Zoo. We wondered where people were from and what they wanted to do and see in Japan.

2017-04-21   Travel Destinations, Tokyo,

Ueno Park

A couple from Switzerland visiting Japan for their first time.
A couple from Poland travelling all over Japan
The next person is a guy from Italy!
A group of girls from Germany
A woman from Spain and a guy from Italy who are enthusiastic about Japanese culture

A couple from Switzerland visiting Japan for their first time.

We talked to a couple reading a travel guide under a tree who were kind enough to answer some of our questions.

A couple from Switzerland

-How long will you be traveling in Japan?
 We just arrived today, and will be here for about 2 weeks.

-What types of things do you want to try in Japan?
 We’d like to try as much Japanese food as possible. We would like to buy Kimonos, but they are too expensive. We also are interested in Japanese culture and would like to take part in a tea ceremony and bathe in an onsen.

Kimono (Sample Image)

-What are you up to?
 Nothing special at the moment, we’re just thinking about what to eat tonight.

(Staff:)The Ame-yoko (busy market street in Ueno) is nearby, so we recommend taking a walk around there to find a good restaurant.

A couple from Poland travelling all over Japan

Next, we caught up with a couple from Poland. The woman was kind enough to answer some of our questions.

A couple from Poland

-How long will you be traveling in Japan?
 We just arrived yesterday and will be here for 2 weeks.

-Where have you been in Japan so far?
 We went to Yoyogi Park yesterday, and today we went to Asakusa and came directly here.

– Where are you travelling to in Japan?
 We will tour Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Hiroshima, and Kamakura starting tomorrow.
 Then, we’ll come back to Tokyo and stay here for 3 days until we go back to Poland.

-It’s gonna be a long trip! What do you want to try while in Japan?
Aikido is really popular in Poland, so I’m curious about it. When we come back to Tokyo, we will go see Kabuki! If we have enough time, we also want to see Sumo too.
We’ve been to an onsen, but have never been to a sento, so I’d like to try that too.
Sushi is very popular in Poland, so we want to try authentic sushi while we ‘re here.

-You have so many things you want to do! Have you had any really enjoyable moments while in Japan?
We just learned some new Japanese words at Starbucks! The staff told me how to say “good- morning” and “good-bye” in Japanese. We also learned how to say “Japan” in Japanese!

The next person is a guy from Italy!

He said he is interested in Japanese martial arts and was able to answer our questions in English with a bit of Japanese!

A guy from Italy

-What brought you to Japan?
 I came here to study Japanese. It’s been 3 weeks now.

-What have you done since arriving in Japan?
 I just arrived in Tokyo yesterday, so I haven’t done anything special.
 I’ll walk around Ueno Park, because I live nearby.

-Where are you planning to go besides Tokyo?
 Maybe Kyoto and Kamakura.

-What are you particularly interested in?
 I’m interested in Japanese culture, especially the martial arts.
 I’m practicing Chinese martial arts now, but would like to try karate too.

 I also want to learn how to cook Japanese food, and of course, want to eat lots of it! Udon and Soba also sound good, but eating authentic sushi would be a great experience.
 If I ever have a chance, I want to go to an onsen and a sento.

-What is the difference between Japan and Italy? Do you find anything interesting?
 Everything is so different. There are so many tall buildings and I feel that Tokyo is such a big city. Even being very crowded, people seem very calm. The lights and neon signs are also impressive to me.

A group of girls from Germany

We talked to girls from Germany drinking under a tree.

3 German girls
-Are you guys friends?
 (The girl on the left)I’ve been living in Japan for 3 months working on a holiday visa, and my friends came to visit me. They will stay here for a week.

-Have they done anything in Japan yet?
 They just arrived here yesterday and we went to the Sky tree and saw Asakusa. We came directly here. We’re going to Shibuya and Disneyland tomorrow. It’s gonna be exciting!

-What is the difference between Germany and Japan?
 First of all, the number of people. I was amazed at the huge crowds of people walking on the scramble crossing!

 Also, the sound of slurping noodles! There are people here who make the slurping sound, even when eating soup.
(Staff:)In Japan, making these sounds means you appreciate the meal. It’s also to cool down the hot noodles in your mouth, so it’s not impolite.

 Yes, I know, my friend explained it to me, but if I did that in Germany, my mom would get angry. LOL

-What do you want to try while in Japan?
 I want to try the Japanese toilets, with high tech features!

(Staff)Did you know some toilets even open their lid automatically?
Also you don’t have to flush the toilet, because it can also be done automatically.

Really? That’s so great! I have to say thank you to the toilet. LOL
I want to wear a Kimono and go to an onsen for sure! We are going to the Oedo Onsen Monogatari in Odaiba. I want my friend to try Japanese food and I want to try tea ceremony.

Japanese toilet
Japanese toilet (Sample Image)

A woman from Spain and a guy from Italy who are enthusiastic about Japanese culture.

Lastly, we caught up with a woman from Spain and a guy from Italy who were looking at the map of Ueno Park.

A lady from Spain and a guy from Italy

-How long are you going to stay in Japan?
 We just arrived yesterday, and are going to travel for about 2 weeks.

 We are walking around Ueno Park today, then we’ll go to Asakusa.
 After spending 6 days here in Tokyo, we’ll then go to Kyoto and stay there for 4 days. After that, we will go to Nara and stay for a night. We want to go to Kobe and Hiroshima too. We want to stay in Miyajima for a night. If the time allows, we also want to visit Osaka.

-That’s a lot of plans! Have you had any trouble while travelling? 
 Nothing. Everyone is so kind, and there are lots of people who speak English.

-What is the difference between your country and Japan?
 (The guy)The language. Japan is interesting, with it’s has old and modern scenery intertwined. Trains running high in the sky, as if they were soaring between the tall buildings surprised me.

-What do you want to try while in Japan?
 I want to see Sumo if it’s possible.
 I want to try as many Japanese foods as possible. I already ate Udon and Soba. I also want to try calligraphy and cooking.

 I will stay at a Ryokan on the last day of my stay in Japan.
 I just arrived here yesterday, and it seems like Japan has so many things to offer that I can’t see all of them this time. I’m already starting to plan my next visit. LOL

Tourists in Ueno Park were mostly people who have been here only 1 or 2 days.
Ueno, Asakusa, and The Sky tree are some of the most popular destinations for newcomers.

Thank you for everyone who answered our questions in the cold weather!
Please fully enjoy your trip and come back to Japan saying, “Tadaima” (I’m home).

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Hi, I am Koume. I’m originally from Fukuoka and currently living in Tokyo. I have lived in Australia, the Philippines, and Cambodia for several years. Through my life abroad, I have rediscovered the beauty of Japan. I hope my articles will be a helpful resource for both Japanese and foreign visitors.