Interesting thing to do in Japan is to try out how the local chefs have blended traditional Japanese cuisine with external influence. Or better yet, to sample how the Japanese have developed their own version of the same thing that exists – for example in the west.
So this annual pilgrimage is not just about taking good photos of mount Fuji, it was also about experiential travelling. The folks that live in megalopolis such as Tokyo are used to very expensive housing. Most do not own their home and rent. So, the consumption element of their lives is very significant. It’s a kind of gap in their lives, not working to pay off a mortgage and “building equity”…
This is where they have been really good at filling the gap.
Take Valentine’s day for example. We were so “lucky” to be here to witness the full swing of retail might for the Valentine festivities. Yep, festivities is the description here as these crowds attest:
Now the photos may not project the feel of how crowded it really was – I was modest not to squeeze amongst the roses as a thorn. But it was really men being outnumbered here…You see, this is the “red” day, in which ladies gift the men. Sometime in March, it is the men’s turn to reciprocate on “white” day.
Sometimes I wonder if the retailers had this the wrong way round. If indeed the women were gifting the men, shouldn’t they be buying technology goods instead? After all, Japanese men are supposedly really tech-savvy (well the whole nation seems to be). I sense a conspiracy here…
Then again the way in which product presentation is taken to is really amazing… You’d be spoiled for choice. In every mall, every corner where a stand can be set up, you can find the lots of ladies mingling around, or queuing. This frenzy culminates on the actual day itself where there is literally a “fish market” sort of sales. Sometimes we wonder if the ladies were making the purchase for themselves!