General Admission

English now widely spoken in Japan

By Al S. Mendoza

MOST Japanese today speak English.  Which is good.

It makes for easy traveling now to the so-called land of the rising sun.

It made many wonders for me, not to mention the ease of moving around during my recent coverage of the 46th Tokyo Motor Show.

My host, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP), ensured that my 11th straight trip to the world’s most iconic car show would be hassle-free—to the delight also of Rene So, the generous and jolly co-owner of Toyota dealerships including in the cities of Dagupan, Baguio, San Fernando (La Union) and Laoag.

With English now widely spoken in Japan—and Nagoya, too (I was there last October 2018)—and the language not just simply understood as was the prevailing platform in the not-so-distant past, you can now go around Tokyo without fear of getting lost or waylaid in streets suddenly looking unfamiliarly alien.

Almost every person that you would ask for directions could answer you quite clearly—in English.

You see, in Tokyo, you could get lost by being unmindful of markers that you try to make out as your own as stores and shops almost look strikingly similar.

But then, overall, the communication gap issue bugging many tourists for so long has been virtually wiped out—thanks to government intervention that now strongly encourages the youngsters to seriously take up English in school.

So that waitresses in Tokyo’s restaurants are now conversant in Uncle Sam’s tongue.

Sales ladies and hotel staff have become fluent in English that you immediately get the feeling you haven’t left home at all.

Oh, doesn’t Tokyo teem with eateries, led by ramen-only joints?

That’s why it’s almost a routine to end a busy day with a bowl of ramen at night, in ramen joints found usually in corner-streets.

Slurping on the pure Japanese noodles as loud as you could like Japanese routinely do.

You don’t make a sound downing your ramen and the soup, you will get dagger looks from fellow customers.

But, of course, aside from the world-famed ramen, it’d be a sin if you miss, deliberately, Japan’s national twin delectations: sushi and sashimi.

Skip eating both and it’d be like bypassing the lechon during the town fiesta: mortal sin.

In Tokyo or anywhere in Japan, immense joy can only be had especially for the adventurous kind like me.

I just couldn’t thank enough TMP’s veritable hotshots who took turns making my trip again so memorable and thoroughly enjoyable.

My deepest gratitude again to TMP’s Elijah-won Marcial, Carlo Ablaza, Atty. Rommel Gutierrez, who all had conspired with TMP senior vice president Jing Atienza and VP Sherwin ChuaLim to make my Tokyo trip another one to remember with endless glee.

Again, thank you so much, fellers.

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