Dopper Bridges Borders – Japan

Nice to Meet You! We are Leslie and Iris from Meet You at the Bridge, your go-to travel inspiration and information blog. On the 13th of September 2015 we packed our backpacks and two Doppers and set out for Saint Petersburg for the start of our journey around the world. During our travels, we see, experience and a gain an understanding of how other countries and cultures deal with drinking water and (plastic) waste. We will be sharing our experiences in our blog: Dopper Bridges Borders.

‘Do you want fresh water fish? Fresh water eel? Sushi?’ ‘Nope, we want fresh water, is it possible to get fresh water from the tap here? No? Yes? No idea’. Misunderstandings and ambiguities, we experience them at least once a day in Japan.

Food Art

Order, courtesy and precision represent important values in Japanese culture. The same applies to eating and drinking. Take sushi, for example. It is no coincidence that the skill and patience to prepare a meal out of various small artworks originates in Japan. Watch Jiro dreams of sushi one eveninga film about the best sushi chef in Japan- and you will gain an insight into this aspect of Japanese culture. The Japanese love eating and drinking and do it all day long. At local food markets, we find ourselves wondering whether some products are edible, or whether they are Christmas tree decorations. We notice that the Japanese are mad about organic products.

Mount Fiji

On paper, Japan is the first country where we find safe to drink tap water. However, everywhere we go, there are water purifiers beside the taps and nobody drinks tap water until it has been purified. The same happens at the traditional ryokans (inns) where we stay overnight. When we ask Ai – a fashionable Japanese woman we meet in Kyoto – why no one drinks water straight from the tap, she tells us that everyone is far more careful with food and drink since the Fukushima nuclear disaster. This disaster occurred as a result of the earthquake that devastated Japan in 2011 and the tsunami that followed. Out of fear of possible radioactive particles, many Japanese in the areas we visited drink extra-purified water and only eat organic products. Natural disasters are alien to us in the Netherlands, but Japan is one of the most seismically active places in the world and besides, it is volcanic. Mount Fuji is the highest and best-known volcano in Japan and a symbol of the country. After five terrifically busy and bizarre days in Tokyo, we are up for spending a day in nature. We learn that meltwater from snow-capped Mount Fuji flows down the mountain via the soil and underground lava to Oshino Village over a period of approximately eighty years. The water in this village comes from natural sources. We fill our Doppers at these natural springs and when Mount Fuji eventually appears from behind the clouds, the view is priceless.

During our travels, we see and experience how other countries and cultures manage drinking water and plastic waste. Every month, we share with you what has inspired/surprised us about the destination we are in at the time. Follow our entire journey on www.meetyouatthebridge.nl .

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