Okay, so everyone who has ever been to Japan has written some list somewhere of all the things they love about Japan. I’m no different, I guess, so here’s a short list of things I particularly love about Japan.
1. Vending Machines. They’re everywhere. They even serve hot drinks, food (not just snacks), clothing, and more.
2. Japanese Thoughtfulness. There’s a wet sponge at our supermarket so you don’t have to lick your finger to open the plastic grocery sack. It’s the little things. 🙂
3. Toilets. Okay, sounds crazy, but I’ve never had a Japanese toilet get stopped up and once you get used to the idea of using things you’re not accustomed to (e.g., the bidet), you realize they’re pretty awesome.
4. Cleanliness. As with any city, there are times you’ll see a piece of trash on the ground, even in public parks. However, the Japanese are very proud of their cleanliness. I’ve seen workers hand-scrubbing awnings and sweeping or even mopping the sidewalks and streets near their stores.
5. Access for the Blind. The Japanese really go out of their way to make their little world more accessible to the blind. Everything talks to you. Crosswalks beep at each end when it’s safe to walk so the blind can simply follow the sounds from Point A to Point B. Sidewalks, train stations, and all public places have raised impressions on the ground which the blind can follow. When there are no or limited guides for the blind, the government provides employees whose entire purpose is to help guide people, especially the blind, on their way. There’s braille pretty much everywhere (you have to look hard for it, though; since the blind obviously aren’t visually searching for it, they don’t make it visually obvious, so you might incorrectly conclude that there is no braille when in reality it’s everywhere, it’s just not brightly colored or otherwise visually obvious to the sighted).
Next week, I’ll write about 5 Things I Love-Hate About Japan.