Japan: Train Spotting and the Perfect Brew

On the two-hour ferry ride from Yakushima Island back to Kagoshima City, my new friend Haruka asleep in the seat next to me, I paused to begin to consider this, my first trip to Japan.   

Japan has been called the “Galápagos of Countries.”   Indeed the Galápagos syndrome (ガラパゴス化 Garapagosu-ka) is a term of Japanese origin, which refers to an isolated development of a globally available product.   The cell phone is a prime example.  The Japanese cell phone is so complex that it cannot function abroad.