Grant Montgomery Travelogue: Cultural aspects of Japan
I am catching a breather here in Japan, while also using the time to sort and organize the megabytes of photos I have collected during my travels. For those interested in the cultural aspects of Japan, as a side I am including a few photos of typical household shots, taken at a friend’s house where I am staying.
The entrance area to any home in Japan is called the Genkon, where shoes are removed, and neatly arranged, as you switch to indoor slippers. Extra slippers are always available for guests.
Traditional Japanese bedroom, with tatami mat floors, upon which futons are placed at night upon which to sleep. There is often a hallway-cum-sitting area outside a wing of bedrooms. A wooden step into each of the bedrooms presents a place where your slippers are to be left before entering the bedroom.
Shower area, where you first scrub with soap and a coarse towel, shower off, and once rinsed and clean, you enter the large round Ofuro hot tub to soak.
The timing of my visit is perfect as far as allowing me to catch Cherry Blossom season. The Japanese turn out in large numbers at parks, shrines, and temples with family and friends to hold flower-viewing parties when the cherry trees bloom.