I spent this weekend in Dusseldorf, to visit a Japanese friend who lives there. When I ever get homesick for Japan, I now know where to go!
It was good catching up with my friend - someone who I met by accident a few years ago in Tokyo, but I'm happy that we got back in touch now that she's living in Germany.
Dusseldorf has a big Japanese community so we spent Saturday lunch time browsing the Japanese shops (stocked up on food, and some manga for old times sake) and then queued up (as of course you should) for great ramen. Yummm.
Germany is so close, but it's interesting to see the many small differences. How people act and respond to each other, what's normal behaviour when going out etc. We talked about these differences a lot - comparing it to Japan and the Netherlands. And I actually learned some new things about Japanese customs etc as well. And my Japanese is a bit improved again - now to keep it up!
It was good being away though. It sounds very smug maybe but my weekends seem to be really good the last few months. Great stuff.
(more pictures are here of course)