HK5 Japan: Chapter 5 “Olympics To Do List”

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Take note Tokyo, you have a lot of work to do before the masses come to Japan for the Olympics next summer in 2020. Either the mass number of Tokyo’s 13 million population are going to head out of the country for 4 weeks or it’s going to be a shit show. First thing my gut is telling me, boy am I glad we came to visit Tokyo before the Olympics happen. After the Olympics, the Japanese are going to be so sick of foreigners, but their disdain for Americans is going to wildly evident after the games. The Japanese are such clean and respectful people, Americans are neither of those things, as a whole! 

Which leads me to my to-do items for the Japanese. 

  1. Embrace the Trash Can: Seriously, your cities, especially Tokyo, are going to be trashed beyond all recognition if you don’t put out trash cans. I love you are trying to groom your society to take their trash with them. Especially at hotels, there are no trash cans anywhere on the property, bathroom and even guest rooms have tiny ones that fill up before you wake up!

  2. Walk on the Left or Right: If you are going to push people to walk just like how they drive, then everyone needs to be on board. I am talking to you hipster folks. Creating a walking traffic system is one thing, but everyone has be to embrace it. Otherwise you are just an asshole walking on the wrong side of the sidewalk. And when you have the rest of the world coming your way and they want to respect your traditions and unwritten laws, while you yourself are contradicting it, you are going to get a lot of hard shoulder bumps on the street.

  3. JR Pass / Suica / Icoca / & etc.: Japan has the most intricate and well planned rail system in the world. Guess how may ticketing systems and payment cards they use in said system? For payment cards that number is over 10 (Suica, Pasamo, Icoca, Toica, Nimoca, just to name a few) and several major metro areas have their own ticketing, i.e. Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. Then there is the Japan Rail (JR) system of passes and tickets. Everyone says make sure you get JR Pass when you arrive, but keep in mind the JR Pass is useless on the Metro lines. We ended up only buying one ticket for the JR rail in Tokyo but in Nagoya they required us to purchase two seperate tickets for the same seating assignment options. In a nutshell, Japan you really need to reduce those numbers and restrictions. It extremely timely for foreigners to figure out which card or ticket to use, and it will just end with Japanese citizens getting pissed offed by long queues. 

  4. Benches: In our 10 days in Japan, we have seen so many elderly people struggle getting places and resting against walls or railing. Places like parks and even in city centers are vacant of seating for those in need. And on those hot summer days. There are plenty of those in need.

  5. Give Up Your Seat: For all you hipsters, get off your ass and follow the rules that you need to give up your seat for an elderly, pregnant or parent with a small child. Stop sitting in your seat and pretending to listen to headphone while closing your eyes or staring at the ground. 3 times we gave up our seats without hesitation and all 3 times some one younger and childless was sitting right next to us. I’ve watched as a 20 something with his hipster long hair and Prada sneakers swoop into a car and beat an old woman to a seat. She almost sat on him and he pushed her off like she was going in for a lap dance. Thankfully the old lady sitting next to him, started yelling at him and Japanese and hit him on the leg with her purse. Another woman then chimed in and he finally got up.

Japan good luck trying to get all the refurbishments done before the Olympics. I cannot see how that Shibuya Station project is going to be done by July of 2020. I wish you luck Japan

BRIAN H-K