Thursday, 22 January 2009

What we can learn from the Japanese

After my trip from Tokyo, I have only praises for their social upbringing in the following areas which I thought we are still not 'first-world' as compared to them....

1) Clean toilets,

The public toilets are remarkably clean, at least 85% of them. As compared to Singapore, we are a far cry from them. When I say clean, it means; the floor is dry, no stench, there is always toilet paper in every cubicle and all flush are automatic. In some places, you don't even have to lift a finger except to open the door to the cubicle, to finish your business. The cover to the toilet bowl will be lifted once you enter the cubicle. Next, the paper seat cover will automatically change too. After you are done, you only need to flash your palm over the sensor to get the toilet flush.

2) Clean streets,

Its so difficult to find dustbins along the streets and yet the streets are sparkling clean! I seriously have no idea where they throw their rubbish. I was so tempted to leave a plastic bottle on the benches but could not find the heart to dirty the place. The most amazing thing is, with literally no dustbins and clean streets, one can hardly find sweepers too! Even wet markets have clean floor too...

Of course they have got dustbins but its either in the toilets or train station. All rubbish bins in train stations are recycling bins :) good work!

The picture below was taken on New Year's Eve, biggest festive celebrations in Tokyo. This is the road leading to a temple. Look at how clean the place is... in Singapore, the streets leading to our temples during big festive season is normally filled with litter.

3) Queues,

The Japanese queue for almost everything. When I was in 'Disney Land', there were just so many things to take pictures with, but I will need to queue for it. And there is this one thing that we ought to learn from them that is to queue to get into the train.

4) Smokers,

Yes, Japanese smokers are very considerate. They are not allowed to smoke almost every where. There are designated areas along the streets for smokers. Hence, once in a while one can see at least 4 people smoking in a corner along the streets. You cannot find anyone that walk and smoke at the same time. If you see one, that's a foreigner :)

5) Trains,

Awesome manners! There are markings on the platform indicating the cabin no and the type of seats. Type of seats such as 'Priority seats for elderly, disabled individuals, pregnant women and young children' or cabins with warm heater or cooler. Commuters will then pick the cabin that they would like to be in and queue for their turn.

Once inside the train, usage of handphones is discouraged because you are disturbing others. In fact in the cabin for 'Priority seats', its forbidden. If a phone is to ring, the owner will feel so sorry about it. Food and drinks are allowed in the train.

Certain train lines in Japan even have got cabin just for women :) That is from the first train to 9.30am during weekdays, cabins with pink notices are meant for only women commuters. This is to protect the modesty of the weaker sex.


Anonymous said...

I like the idea of cabins for only women!!!

Anonymous said...

I cannot get used to living there considering all these . Too rigid lifestyle .Maybe not all places are like that in Japan.

Anonymous said...

i would like to visit tokyo.
how do u manage around?
speak english or jap??

Lilian is ... said...

I agree that at times they can be quite rigid.

But I have to say clean streets is a very common sight so is everything that I had cited here :)

To Anonymous, 29 jan, 11.38AM:

I speak English throughout hte whole journey... with clear, good signages, its pretty easy to navigate and most signages have got chinese words.

U may like to visit, this is my other blog. I had penned down my everyday activity there of cos including the places I had visited. Once inside the blog, go to older post and start reading from 'Tokyo day 1' hope it helps :0

Thank you for visiting