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#253 | Oh Japan
To call Japan the kingdom of esoteric whimsy is an understatement.
From cat cafes to vending machines that dispense everything from hot meals to underwear, Japan has perfected the art of transforming the everyday into the extraordinary with an added scoop of fun.
I've had a thing for Japan for all of my adult life. The reverence for tradition is palpable, and it creates a sense of timelessness that even the most cynical globe trotter can't resist.
But it is the delicious eccentricities that add unexpected joy to everyday life, making each day an adventure filled with unexpected delights. Where else would you find a hotel staffed entirely by robots or a theme park dedicated to the humble sweet potato?
One of the things I'm in absolute awe of is the unwavering dedication that Japanese people have to their craft. Whether it's perfecting soba noodles or the obsession with artistic manhole covers (Remo Camerota even wrote a book about these museum-worthy creations aptly titled Drainspotting), the Japanese approach to each task is an unwavering commitment to excellence.
And they're not afraid to ask people visiting to imbibe some of this commitment.
You guys, there exists in this world a glorious thing called the Sushi University®️ to educate people visiting Japan on the nuances and etiquette of sushi eating!
The school has courses of varying complexity, each with its own setting and characteristics, to immerse yourself in sushi culture, discover seasonal ingredients, and interact with local chefs at Tokyo's sushi restaurants. All you need now is round-trip airfare to Tokyo and back.
If you don't have Japan on your travel card any time soon, the school website has some of the best resources on sushi I've ever come across, including a handbook on etiquette that has gems like "Do not occupy too much of the owner's time with talking." and "Drunken yelling and fighting with other customers are obviously prohibited."
If you think you know your sushi, take this quiz. Tell me your score, and I'll tell you mine.