I realized I have one more Asian themed card that I made before I left and didn't share with you.
First, I have to start with a conversation about bathroom protocol. In Japan, there was a habit of women flushing the toilet as they tinkled so the flushing sound would overshadow the tinkling sound. Well, that was pretty wasteful of water so most of the public toilets have a speaker system in them and when you enter the toilet stall you can press a button to trigger the flushing sound. Very smart. So now, you can disguise your tinkle sounds with the flushing sound but be environmentally friendly about it. I always hit the flushing sound button when I go into a public restroom (like at the office) when I'm not alone in the restroom. Why? I feel they may be offended by hearing my tinkle noise so I figure better to follow their protocol than offend them and it's pretty easy to hit the button. And where else can you hit a button and trigger a speaker system that plays toilet flushing sounds. ( - : Oh and one other thing about Japan and bathrooms. There are never any paper towels or hand dryers in the public restrooms. Japanese woman all carry a small hand towel (about the size of a washcloth) in their purse and they use their personal towel to dry their hands. I have learned to bring a washcloth from the hotel when I go to the office or out so I don't have to shake my hands dry.
Second, let's talk about pantyhose. In Japan, most working women wear pantyhose or hosiery with their business dresses and skirts. Many of the young ladies also wear hosiery with their 'going out' dresses or skirts. And many Japanese women wear skirts or dresses this time of year. I would say at least 70% of the ladies I saw (during the day and evening) were wearing some type of skirt or dress. In America, pantyhose are dead. Only old ladies wear flesh colored hosiery. I actually feel self conscious wearing pantyhose now and avoid it in all cases. I noticed that women (all ages) wear hosiery in Europe too. I read that Kate Middleton wears them and so she is causing a surge in nylon sales in Great Britain. Maybe the death of pantyhose is only in America and maybe it's because we Americans have gone so casual. I mean really, if you are wearing slippers and pajamas around town, why would you need pantyhose? I was glad to see the young and older ladies in Japan wearing the beautiful hosiery that makes their legs look so perfect.
Third, let's talk about Tokyo fashions. I noticed that most Japanese women are comfortable wearing short skirts and short shorts, often with frilly and lacy details and very feminine and fashionable. What I didn't see was any Japanese woman wearing a low cut top. First, the Japanese are not especially large chested, but despite their size, the necklines were almost always modest. I found this a refreshing alternative to the trends I see in the US where young woman (and a lot of older woman too) think nothing of wearing low cut, cleavage bearing tops. One of the women from the office said that many young ladies do wear low tops, but I didn't observe it during my 5 day visit there and frankly I think her idea of low cut is no where near as embarrassing as the US version of low cut.
Fourth, let's talk about shopping. I found the coolest store in Japan completely by mistake. The store is called Uniqlo and it is one of the most popular stores in Japan and expanding to Asia, Europe and the US market. It offers high quality, low cost, comfortable clothing. I happened upon a store location in Kyoto and found a fun t-shirt and top for about 15.00 each. Keep your eye out people... these stores are going to save the Japanese economy and you'll find one in a mall near you in no time.
So now for the i-phone dump:
This is Tokyo tower. You can pay to go to the top and get a great view of the city. They just built a new, taller tower called sky tower that is on the other side of the city. I loved this view of the tower just in front of a mid-city temple.
Here is the view of Tokyo Bay and the Rainbow Bridge from the office conference room. It is very beautiful.