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Settling down in Keihanshin

I felt a sort of similarity when we rode our first train in Kyoto last week; it was like going from the relative flatness of Atlanta to the rolling mountains of Appalachia. Except this was the transition from Tokyo and Fukushima to Kyoto—a new beautiful country with monkeys and native bamboo forests at the tops of those mountains. Keihanshin, our new megaregion.

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Regions in Japan and the US

While traveling around Japan, I’ve noticed differences in people’s behavior, language, food, and modes of transportation. People in Keihanshin seem to be more relaxed and less rushed. There are still a lot of people who are serious and busy, but less than in Tokyo. We also talked about the differing dialects between the two regions. I’ve noticed the accent is a bit lower sounding here, but it’s hard for me to tell.

Hiroshima Okonomiyaki:

There are...

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Professional attire or streetwear?

The Greater Tokyo area and the Keihanshin areas have similar contrasts much like the regions of New York City and Atlanta. Japan has a relatively small land mass compared to the United States, yet there are still observed regional differences within the country. Certain words are said different such as the word for “thank you” is “arigato” in Tokyo and “ookini” in Kaihanshin. People ride on the opposite side of the elevator. Every region has its customs. Similarly, within the United States, every region and city has its own subculture. The north...

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East and West: Regionalism in Japan

Despite Japan’s small size relative to the United States, there are still regional differences present throughout the country, particularly in the two largest megaregions, Greater Tokyo and Keihanshin. Some of these differences are caused by the history of Japan. Tokyo is the current capital whereas Kyoto was the former capital of Japan before the Meiji Restoration. In Feudal Japan, the emperor sat in Kyoto, whereas the shogun, who was the military and true leader of Japan, sat in present-day Tokyo. The Kansai region also had port cities, particularly Kobe, which were open to...

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Regional Differences, Keihanshin vs. Tokyo

Despite its smaller size, Japan has many regions. Regions which, like most countries, have their own unique cultures in the way they talk, the way they dress, and the way they live in general. Being from America, I can tell you first hand that different parts of the country have different lifestyles, and from recent experience I can see that Japan has a similar situation.

First off, we learned in lecture from Dr. Woodall in lecture that different regions have different dialects. In...

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Two Megaregions, Two Cultures

Although Japan’s land size is the equivalent to that of Montana’s, it is still divided into multiple regions, each with a unique culture. Through my travels, I have been able to experience life in two of Japan’s major regions: Tokyo, including its surrounding metropolitan area, and Keihanshin, consisting of the cities of Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe. These two regions serve as stark contrasts of each other, as each area has distinct cultures and environments.

When I traveled within Tokyo, I was initially struck by the sheer number of people I was surrounded by. The...

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Cultural Aspects of Development

In the book The Japanese Mind, there are many aspects of Japanese culture that are discussed. After reading about and discussing many of these topics, I can see how they either promote or discourage sustainable development in different ways.

The aspects of Japanese culture that we have discussed that I believe could promote sustainable development are the concepts of Gambari, Giri, and possibly Bushido. Gambari is the Japanese concept of patience and...

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