A few reflections on living in Japan

I am now back in Canada spending Christmas holidays with my family before officially starting my assignment  in the new year.  My 6 week business trip in Tokyo seemed to have gone by very quickly.

Although some of my views may change in the future, below are a few initial observations about life in Tokyo:

  1. Safety – Toronto is considered one of the safest cities in North America, but Tokyo is very safe.  While riding the subway on day, I saw several very young children (in school uniforms) riding the subway without any adults.  These kids looked like they were either in Kindergarten or Grade 1 at the most.  Certainly, you will not see this in the subways of Toronto.
  2. Cleanliness – Again, Toronto is considered one of the cleanest cities in North America, but Tokyo is very clean.  If you go into any public washroom in Tokyo, even the busiest ones, they seem to remain very clean at all times – I believe it is because the citizens keep it clean (along with a good cleaning staff).  I cannot say this for some of the public washrooms in Toronto.
  3. Efficiency – I am sure some of you have spent time in lineups at Wal-Mart or grocery stores in Canada, they seem to move at a snails pace for some reason.  But in Tokyo, the long lineups seem to move very quickly.  For example, I had taken my son to Pokemon Center in Tokyo during one weekend (big mistake, the store was overflowing with kids), and we were in a very long lineup to pay for our (well, his) purchases.  I don’t think it took more than 5 minutes standing in line before we were done.

I hope you and your families have a very joyous and safe holiday season.  I am looking forward to a great 2008.

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One thought on “A few reflections on living in Japan

  1. Pingback: Happy New Year - 1 Year Living in Japan « Konnichiwa

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