Observation 1: Japan is a land of contrasts. It clearly sits in the 22nd century, with its manically fast bullet trains, remote-controlled toilets that spurt water in unpredictable directions, earthquake-proof skyscrapers, and restaurants with machines to take your order. Have you heard about Miku, the Japanese popstar who is not actually a human being, but rather a hologram with a synthesised voice? Yeah, she exists. Also, they have to post signs outside temples prohibiting camera-carrying drones.
And then there was the cake. I have never seen a properly sweet dessert offered at any of the pseudo-Asian restaurants I've been to in Europe, Australia, or N. America, so it was surprising to find that cakes in Japan are mountains of sweet cream, basically. Lots of cheesecake. Sometimes they tuck sweet beans into the middle. Perhaps that's the secret to their longevity - sweet magical beans.