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A classic view of Tokyo after dark - it's not so much about lofty skyscrapers and ancient temples, as it is about small restaurants and bars.

The Japanese use 4 alphabets. The most widely seen, by far, is kanji - a large set (thousands) of logographic Chinese characters. If you look closely, you will spot some syllabic hiragana signs that serve to note words (like particles) that can't be expressed by kanji. From time to time you will come across geometric katakana, used for transcription of words loaned from foreign languages (e.g. "credit card" or western names). Finally, Japanese people also, occasionally, use Latin script and they refer to it as "romaji".

In this photo, you can see two words written in the Latin script: "welcome" and "sushi". Typically, most of the signs and other written information you will find in Japan will be in kanji combined with hiragana. Don't count on there to be a handy translation into English everywhere. Even the railway station name your train carriage stops next to may be in kanji only (there will be other signs written in English scattered around the station but they may not be visible to you). This is in Tokyo and if you're planning individual travel in rural Japan, it's worth learning a little spoken Japanese. You will of course find a lot of helpful people everywhere but... make it this bit easier for them to help you... :-)

Two more photos from Tokyo in WS to show a different aspect of Japan that I found the most intriguing: the intricate mix of traditional and modern, old and new…

pajaran, Fis2, Royaldevon, macjake, bukitgolfb301, ChrisJ, rychem, COSTANTINO, PiotrF trouve(nt) cette note utile

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Additional Photos by Kasia Nowak (kasianowak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1305 W: 6 N: 2362] (13657)
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