Yesterday, I visited several blogs and made comments as a part of the blogging class I was taking. One of them, KanDo Journal & Kitchen, a blog about the food and tales from Norther Kyoto as its tagline says, was a delight to read.
Japan is a fascinating country. I am partial to it also because some of my closest friends are from Japan. Living in New York, we shared and learned from each other, and found more similarities in our cultures than differences. We are blessed (or one might say spoiled) in New York to have superb Japanese restaurants, bars, dessert shops, bakeries, groceries, supermarkets, and even bookstores. In fact, there are so many of them that we even get to do a price comparison for best grocery deals. After being exposed to all that for many years, traveling in Japan was a unique experience.
Another day I will write more about that, but today I would like to elaborate on one thing that Anna at KanDo Journal & Kitchen wrote. She said that “Japan is a photogenic country“, and I couldn’t agree more. A deep sense of refined aesthetics and elegance is found everywhere from landscaping to the simple packaging of everyday items. The Japanese aesthetics is influenced by the Shinto Buddhism, and the main principle is wabi-sabi, the beauty of things “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”, and there are seven more principles which I thought was quite interesting to learn about. I came across to another blog which explains it well here. I also need to mention another phenomenon – the kawai (cute) aesthetic. It is everywhere, in fashion, music, appearance, food, and more. I am pretty sure that you have seen photos of girls dressed in Hello Kitty costumes, or other characters, I think that might give you the idea.
Especially, the packaging presentation is over the top.They package everything multiple times, so pretty and luxurious that you don’t even want to unwrap the package because you want to look at it more.
Now, I would normally say that over packaging of everyday items create waste, but there are nine different recycling bins on my friends’ street, and apparently they recycle 77% of their plastic waste, so who am I to judge 🙂