It is a book report from Mr. Jonathan O'Neill whom training was given by our company.

 
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INTRODUCTION
Hello everyone, Greetings and welcome to the Nishiyama Ramen website. First I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Jonathan O?fNeill and I hail from Co. Clare on Ireland?fs West Coast my home. I am currently a student of Applied Languages in the University of Limerick also in the west of Ireland. In college I study three languages and indeed Linguistics which gives the course its ?gApplied?h title. I am twenty one years of age and have been working in the Nishiyama Company for what is quickly approaching six months now. Indeed, with the end of the six months I shall be returning home with tearful eyes for a brief sojourn, and then moving on again to ?el`Hexagone?f for further studies of French. Anyway, the company?c ah yes this brings me to the next section of this little ?eexpose?f.
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?gHow did I end up working in a noodle company in Sapporo in the very North of Japan,?h you may well ask? In fact you probably would not, and have no interest on the subject whatsoever, but I?fm afraid I?fm going to explain to you all anyway. As part of my University course I must do a six month work placement, Co-Operative Education to give it its proper title. This, particularly in the case of students studying languages involves working abroad in the country of their chosen language. My chosen languages being French,
Irish and Japanese, my placement could hence have been a Gaeltacht (Irish Speaking) area in the West of Ireland, France or Japan. Having thought much on the subject I decided to plump for the exiting and exotic choice of the Orient, the other options being quite close to home and easily accessible at any time. This left me with the rather frustrating dilemma of searching for a job in what is an almost stagnant Japanese economy. This certainly did not prove easy going, and indeed during the final stages I had
almost given up, and was about to accept a ?estage?f in a company in Paris when the day was saved, many thanks due to my Japanese teacher and the said companies President. I thus packed my bags on the 13th of March 2003 and ?eheaded off into the sunset?f, or sunrise as the case actually was, beginning my incredibly long student flight to Japan. An ordeal which left me feeling rather less than ?egenki?f (energetic), ending however with an extraordinarily welcoming reception in Sapporo.

 

IMPRESSION OF JAPAN
'Ar aghaidh linn' as we say in Irish, let?fs move to the next section and I shall tell you about my impressions of Japan. I will venture to say that coming from the rather isolated and rural country (?einaka?f as they say in Japanese) that it is Ireland, Japan came as a surprise, I may even say as a bit of a shock to the system at first. Extremely fast moving, busy and mercantile cities, I certainly could not sense any evidence of the lagging economy I had been reading about. It makes me wonder what Japan must have been like at the peak of its economic miracle. I certainly cannot imagine, as the shopping at the moment is on a vastly larger scale than in my own country. Another thing that struck me with awe, was the transport system. In cities like Tokyo, although it may not be pretty to look at it certainly gets the job done, and transports huge numbers of people every day.
With trains departing every number of minute?fs Japanese people will begin to look anxiously at their watches if the train is even under a minute late, as opposed to Ireland where we would most likely be grateful for the train arriving ?eonly?f ten minutes late. I would certainly recommend if you?fre in anyway interested in electronics that Japan is the place to come, with huge shopping centres dedicated solely to these products. Tokyo even boasts a whole city centre selling mostly electronic produce. The variety of choice when it comes to buying some form of electronic gadgetry in Japan is incredible, particularly with regard to digital cameras. Having just given the impression that Japan is an extremely fast moving urban country, this in essence being true also means of course that there are areas of almost untouched natural beauty,in many cases, with regard to Hokkiado, being not so far from the cities themselves.
Well worth a visit! Even within the cities themselves you can usually find an area of tranquility for a brief respite from Japan?fs hectic lifestyle in one of the many shrines dotted around the cities. Usually built using attractive architecture as opposed to some of the modern buildings that seem to have escaped any from of aesthetic planning whatsoever. As for the society, I have found Japanese people to be extremely friendly, generous and interested in foreign cultures, if a little shy and reserved at first. Irish people may also be said to slightly shy however and indeed I am so myself, so this suited me quite well. Another similarity I seem to have found between Japan and Ireland is a strong drinking culture. In most cases Japanese people like their ?ebooze?f

 

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JAPANESE CUISINE

I guess I have most likely bored you enough now on the previous subject so I will move on to the core of my ramblings and speak about Japanese food. Being Irish, from a country that is only recently finding its feet and becoming adventurous when it comes to seafood I must admit that I cannot eat fish. This is of course a disadvantage when it comes to living in a country such as Japan where many of the dishes are seafood based. I also must admit with some shame despite living here for six months now I still have not overcome my aversion to seafood. Having said this, Japan offers an extraordinary variety of cuisine not containing seafood, so for those of you who are of ?ethat self metal?f as yours truly, you may also dine well, whilst avoiding your dislike. Most of Japanese cuisine is prepared on the premise that it must be fresh and attractive to sight, smell and taste. Presentation is quite important as is texture. Overcooking is a ?eno-no?f so you won?ft be finding any ?efloppy, soggy?f vegetables as we seem to love them in Ireland.

Despite my dislike for eating things originating from the sea, I decided that ?eWhen in Rome?c?f and hence did sample some of the local delicacies such as sashimi (Sliced Raw Fish), and was even bold enough to tackle octopus and squid. I will not pretend that it went down easy, but it certainly wasn?ft the taste that was the problem. I may even be acquiring a taste for ?eMaguro?f (Raw Tuna) which has quite a delicate flavour and texture. Perhaps one day I may even say it is delectable, alas for the moment I am still trying to overcome the gagging reflex due to my psychological problem with eating creatures from the ocean. If you are interested in dishes not containing fish Japanese Cuisine now incorporates meat in a number of delicious dishes. Personally I recommend ?eTon-katsu?f deep fried pork chops, or ?eGyuu-don?f beef served on top of a bowl of rice. Quite tasty indeed! Of course why would you be in Japan if you weren?ft going to sample some of its varieties of noodles, another of my favourite dishes. These include Udon, Soba, Yaki-Soba, and of course Ramen.


 

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