Blog Menu


April 15, 2011

Filed under: life,travel — Terry Wohlers @ 11:42

I’ve never had a bad experience in Japan. I credit the people and Japanese “system” for this. The people there are very friendly and helpful. Relatively few Japanese speak English well, but they will do all they can to provide assistance. With a very low rate of crime, I always feel safe when visiting the country.

Almost everything in Japan works exceedingly well, from the train system to the doors and faucets in the hotel rooms. My experience has been that Japan has taken perfection to another level. You can precisely set your watch based on the arrival and departure of trains—a major mode of transportation in Tokyo and other part of the country.

I recall a visit to Japan when our group of four forgot to bring some papers to an important meeting. We discovered this on our way there, so we phoned the office from which we departed. A person put the papers in the overhead storage on a particular train. As the train stopped at the station closest to us, one of us jumped onto the train, grabbed the envelope, and jumped off before the train departed. The train system served as a courier service that bailed us out. A paid courier could not have done as well, under the circumstances.

Twenty years ago, many in the West feared Japan as a superpower, especially in manufacturing. Indeed, Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Honda, Subaru, and others are some of the most respected brands. It turns out, however, that Japan was not the country to fear.

My heart goes out to the people of Japan. The country is encountering a very difficult time, especially the region north of Tokyo that was overwhelmed by the recent earthquake and tsunami. Please do what you can to help because they really are among the best people in the world. They are our friends and allies.