Posted by: David Stewart | December 10, 2008

Entering Tokyo

Although I have visited a half dozen times before, I have not been to Japan for three years, since visiting in 2005. The Japanese people impress me with their cleanliness, their politeness and attention to detail. If you want to relive a buy-gone era when hotel bellhops wore pillbox hats service is personal and helpful, and trains run obsessively on time, this is the place to come.

Even in recession, the Japanese demand a level of quality from their products and services that is second to none in the world. A local businessman asked me if the price and features were exactly the same, would I want to buy a camera made in Japan or China?

I mentioned to someone in Japan that we are looking at possibly buying a Toyota Matrix. On behalf of the nation, he thanked me. They are suffering their in the recession, and even though it seems less dire than Detroit’s problems, they are still shrinking the number of employees at Toyota.

I tend to respect personal hygiene as much as the next guy, but I always felt like I wasn’t clean enough or polished enough. Ironically, even though there is no trash or litter on the streets at all, it seems almost impossible to find a trash can! I guess people carry their trash with them until they go home. Conversely, you can find trash cans all over places like downtown Portland or New York (or Beijing), but there is litter all over the streets. (Can’t tell you the number of times I have seen someone chuck a tissue on the street within clear view of a trash can in US!)

Visiting Tokyo gives me a good chance to visit some of the places I have been to before and a few I have not seen yet. Oh yes, and do some business too!


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