Ancient Trees, Mascots, and Robots… Yep, I live in Japan.

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Girls’ afternoon became a mini adventure as we finished brunch and made our way into a world of robots, mascots, and very old trees, all within a twenty minute walk. Where are we? You may dare ask. Why, Japan, of course!

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Since the announcement of Softbank’s personal robot, Pepper, last week, there has been no better time for tourists to visit Japan. Even we, the veterans, gaped at the creepy coolness of Pepper. Would I want one of my own at home? No, thank you. Yet I can see the appeal of feeling like we’re already in the future of sci-fi movies. We’re pretty darn close. Patience, my dear friends.

In a way, though, I really want to tell everyone that this is what Japan is really like. Most people think so already. But sadly, robots in every household and futuristic living is not the present situation. Yet.

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From robots we took a step back in time, up to two hundred years, actually, to when these bonsai trees were born and cultivated. It is mind-blowing to me to think of everything these trees have seen. Generations of caretakers outlived by budding branches. And the result? Absolutely beautiful.

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And lastly, my favorite part of any day in Japan. Mascots. They always single-handedly make me jump for joy and run to them like a kid in a candy store. Photo session! I can’t get enough of mascots here. Lucky me, there’s one for absolutely everything from prefectures to sports teams to brands. I love you, Mr. Soft Globe. Why are you here again? Oh yes, to celebrate the Eco Festival, not to be hugged by me. But hug I shall.

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