JAPAN Among the happiest moments of Rizal in his life was his sojourn in the Land of the Cherry Blossoms. He stayed in Japan for one month and a half from February 28 to April 13, 1888. He was charmed by the natural beauty of Japan, the manners of the Japanese people and the picturesque of shrines. He also fell in love with a Japanese girl, who loveliness infused joy and romance in his sorrowing heart. Morning of Tuesday, February 28, 1888, Rizal arrived at Yokohama and stayed in the Grand Hotel. The following day, he moved to Tokyo and took a room at the Tokyo Hotel where he stayed from March 2 to 7.
He was impressed by the city of Tokyo. After his arrival in Tokyo, Rizal was visited by Juan Perez caballero, secretary of Spanish Legation. The latter invited him to live at the Spanish Legation. Rizal knew that this was the Spanish government’s way of monitoring Rizal but he accepted anyways. On March 7, he moved out of Tokyo Hotel and lived at the Spanish Legation. He and Perez Caballero became good friends and described him as a young, fine and an excellent writer. During his first day in Tokyo, Rizal could talk the Japanese language.
He had a hard time for shopping for he could not be understood and children laughed at him. With his situation, Rizal decided to study the Japanese language. He was able to speak within a few days. At Japan he studied the Japanese drama, arts, music, and judo. He also visited museums, libraries, art galleries, and shrines. He visited Meguro, Nikko, Hakone, Miyanoshita, and the charming villages of Japan. During one time, Rizal went to the park and heard the Tokyo band playing a classical work of Strauss. He was impressed by the great performances of the Western music. He thought to himself how admirable their renditions are and ondered how they have assimilated the modern European music to the extent of playing the beautiful masterpieces of the European composers so well. The band stopped playing and to his surprised they were speaking