A few months ago, I left Japan for the first time since we arrived to go to Germany. When I arrived in Frankfurt, I took the train from Frankfurt Airport to Du:sseldorf. About 5 minutes outside of the airport, I looked out the window and was blown away by the amount of green outside. And, needless to say, the areas around Frankfurt Airport are not exactly the argicultural center of Germany.
You almost never see verdant fields of green in Japan -- a fleck of rice paddy here and a tree or two over there. Otherwise, as Yukari recently commented, concrete is the norm.
I mention this because I had the exact same impression as we drove from Malpensa Airport outside of Milan into the city. Even though the winter frost has already killed off much of the green in Northern Italy, it still looks much more fertile than anyplace I've ever seen in Japan.Posted by pmk at December 13, 2004 11:25 PM