Japan is just so different to me.
I consider myself a very observent and visual person. I like to see things. When in Japan, I notice very clearly the most unique things that I have never seen before in California. The Buddhist temples. The Shinto shrines and their torii gates. The Shinkansen rocketing above the rice fields in Tochigi.
But I also notice the most minute things that are still so different and interesting to me. The family restaurants like Flying Garden seem the same, but they're not.
The cinder block walls that surround so many homes seem the same as back home in California. But they're not, they are different. They are narrower. They are slightly covered in a black mildew from Japan's humid and wet environment. They are just not the same.
The employees who shout out their greeting as you enter the store, like UNIQLO, and hand you your change on a little tray in the most polite manner you will rarely see in Los Angeles.
How everyone backs their cars into their parking slots in the parking lot at the local Tobu or Aeon shopping center.
Who cares about the cinder block walls, or how Japanese people park their cars, or how they greet you in stores.
But to me it is these little, and big, things, that make me so excited and interested everytime I visit Japan.