Yuko Ushida / Business Trainee
Paris is the capital of France, and with attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Louvre Museum in an area about the size of that inside the Yamanote Line, tourists gather from all around the world. (The Yamanote Line is a railway loop line in the center of the capital city of Tokyo, with a diameter of about 65 km2.)
Apropos of the image of the City of Flowers, the streets of Paris are very beautiful. A great many historic buildings remain because constructing tall buildings is prohibited, so the beautiful streets of Paris are preserved. Since there are no tall buildings, the 324-meter Eiffel Tower stands out even more remarkably as a beloved symbol.
In contrast to the beauty of Paris, the subways and roads are strewn with garbage. With the economy flagging in recent years, purse snatching and pick pocketing are rampant, and since Japanese tourists are especially targeted, we need to be wary. While there are some aspects that call for us to be cautious, Paris basically has beautiful streets as well as delicious cuisine, and it has become a very popular destination among Europeans as well.
There are numerous bistros in the city where you can enjoy foie gras, raw oysters, steak tartare, escargot, and the like, and there are plenty of delicious bakeries and cake shops as well. With a great many famous wine-producing regions there are also many delicious wines at reasonable prices.
One characteristic of French people is that they like to chat at their own pace. The men are gentle and the women are willful. Known as the country of love, you can see couples throughout the city. Same-sex marriage was recognized not long ago and there are many common-law marriages among heterosexuals as well as a high divorce rate. It is fair to say that many people enjoy love freely even after they have grown old.
Most people in Europe take a month off for summer vacation, and France in particular is vacation heaven. That is not to say that people go off to luxury resorts somewhere, but rather that they value taking off from work and leisurely spending time with their families and friends.
France has several distinctive aspects outside of Paris, including the World Heritage Site of Mont Saint Michel, Loire with its many ancient castles, and the sprawling beaches of Nice in the south of France, where we can enjoy culture and atmosphere that is different from Paris.
With long days that stay light out until 10:00 p.m. and low humidity, summer is very comfortable.
In winter, it is still dark at 8:00 a.m., and at night, it is completely dark by 5:00 p.m. Although the temperature is cold, the illumination during the Christmas season is beautiful.
Everyone be sure to come visit Paris distinct charm in both summer and winter.
Marubeni Group magazine "M-SPIRIT" VOL.77 (September, 2013)