In the middle of modern skyscrapers you’ll discover sliding wooden doors which lead to traditional chambers with tatami mats, shoji screens, and calligraphy, suitable for traditional tea ceremonies.
New things are mostly just layered beside old things.
That’s not to say that Japan embraces the large scale preservation of historical structures or that people generally practice traditional ceremonies, but people generally believe that if a small number of people want to continue on a tradition or preserve a building that they own, they should be allowed to do that.
In this way, development mostly happens in a piecemeal fashion, one building at a time, rather than in large redevelopment projects.
Many urban blocks evolve to line up dozens of narrow buildings spanning fifty or more years of design history.
"Too lazy to be ambitious, I let the world take care of itself.
Ten days' worth of rice in my bag; a bundle of twigs in my fireplace. Listening to the night rain on my roof, I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out." The "Land of the Rising Sun" is a country where the past meets the future.Japanese culture stretches back millennia, yet has also been quick to adopt and created the latest modern fashions and trends.Japan is often difficult to understand for those educated in the west. Many Japanese corporations dominate their industries, yet if you read the financial news it seems like Japan is practically bankrupt.Cities are as modern and high tech as anywhere else, but tumbledown wooden shacks can still be spotted next to glass fronted designer condominiums.On an average subway ride, you might see childishly cute character toys and incredibly violent pornography - sometimes enjoyed by the same passenger, at the same time!Japan has beautiful temples and gardens which are often surrounded by garish signs and ugly buildings.