Monday, September 22, 2008

Stationery

Day 20 (-11) Stationery
Wandering around a card shop or other stationery shop in Japan is a treat. The detail of the cards is a reflection of the paper folding design and skills of the Japanese.
Behold this simple card!

Some of the most
interesting racks of cards are the style of envelope called Goshugifukuro that is used to give a gift of money to an individual, couple or family. There are envelopes for happy occasions, such as the birth of a new child, or for sad occasions, such as funerals (in Japan you give money for a funeral). The money is placed inside an envelope that is then wrapped in a decorative “envelope” or piece of paper folded in a certain way around the inner (money bearing) envelope. The final touch is a bow or decoration wrapped around the outer paper.






I was up early to see Gerry off. We avoided rain on our 5 minute walk to the station, and managed to get on to the full train at Meguro with suitcase and bag. Thankfully some people got off as we waited to board, but we just kept getting squished back and back. Lots of people got off at Shinagawa so that was OK. After we got her ticket at the very helpful JR ticket office, we waited for a while chatting and looking at the crowd as it streamed endlessly by. Looking at the photo you can see why we missed each other last week!
And this flow was still going when I came back into the terminal 30 minutes later!
I am amazed at the (generally) patient Japanese. We passed a cafe yesterday where people were waiting for a seat; popular places have some seats available outside for the wait. It is a sign of a good restaurant seeing the queue, and they are usually ramen or soba shops where you eat and leave.
No one really hangs around in restaurants; very different to the cafe life style.
It started raining heavily as I left the station and continued for about an hour. As well it got decidedly cooler When I went out later to the Post Office (forgot on my way home) I added a long sleeve shirt!!

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