Yumiko – Journal Entry 4

Soon arrived in DC, I found some differences between America and Japan. The streets were accurate straight lines. And it is very easy to find where you want to go. It looks very clear that DC is a man made city. Also, there are not tall buildings. There were ones around the Lockheed Martin Co. however there were none around the center of DC. Not having tall buildings seems a good idea to me since the buildings here look very historical and nice, it might ruin the view of this city if there are tall buildings. I was also amazed by how different ethnic restaurants there are. I guess it is the result of the country of “melting pot”. In DC, we had a night tour of memorials and monuments. There were a lot of them and they were huuuge. It was also interesting for me that someone was talking about that the statue of Martin Luther King Jr. is set to look down on the statue of Abraham Lincoln, who was a slave owner. I thought having political aspects by putting statues where you want was something very American thing to do. We went to CAVA which was Mediterranean salad restaurant for today’s lunch. We could customize the salads, grain bowls and pitas. We were very surprised that there were many people in that restaurant making long line. It seems that they cared about what they eat, trying to be healthy.

On the other hand, in Japan, the streets were very confusing and you can easily get lost. There is no limit to build tall buildings even around the imperial palace. There are not many kinds of ethnic restaurants even in Tokyo. We are not very familiar with the ethnic foods. One of the most interesting differences that I found is that there are not huge sculptures and statues in Japan at all. I don’t know why, but I can assume that building huge statues might seem for Japanese to be arrogant. And another of the most interesting differences is that people do not have strong political opinions when they make statues. If there is a statue of great person, people do not make fun of it.

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