さよなら日本. What have I learn?

Day 8 Sayonara, what have I seen?

Today we bid farewell to Kyoto and Tokyo that have hosted us for the past eight days. A very good trip that was with a lot of sight-seeing, food, travelling and learning. Learning? Yes, and I am still asking myself what I have learned from an unusual but interesting place, or as a matter of fact as a country.

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This country, Japan runs on discipline. I have seen that the people are very hardworking, diligent and takes pride of their job very much. No matter what their jobs are, I noticed that they have high regards to their own abilities. They treat themselves as the authority of their own work areas. With the numerous enquiries at information counters, ticketing offices or at shops; never that they have failed to help! (of course with the exception of language barrier) They were competent with their work without referring to their co-worker or superior. I think they have done a pretty good job every day in and out; keeping the country running so efficiently; at least from a traveler point of view.
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I think the Japanese are practical people. A few examples that I would like to single out. Firstly, the young and old alike ride bicycles in the middle of busy city streets; especially around high end shop in Kyoto. Are they keeping up with the tradition or being just convenient and practical. I think the latter would be the answer. Not only roads are paved properly but the parking lots too, a convenient solution. Keeping the city clean and environmentally friendly reminded me of the Kyoto Protocol signed as a commitment for carbon reduction.

Another example I would like to share is my experience with cashiers at the shops. Most of them have a standard operating procedure when customers pay for their items. Good will be scanned and items displayed on terminals with the total to be paid. Customers are to put their money in a small tray provided. You must not hand the money directly to the cashier. If you do that, they will ask you to place your money in the tray provided. When they picked up your money, they will actually remind you again how much you handed over. I guess the procedure helps to reduce misunderstanding at the counters, pretty cool. In addition to that, the money, especially notes received were then slot into an ATM like machine instead of a till. Cool, this will reduce the need to recount the money handed as the machine will count and reconfirm the amount handed over. What about the balance or loose change, no worry. The same machine then dispenses the balance in notes and coins when the cashier just need to hand over the balance to the customer. Pretty cool, no counting error and fraud; all handled by an ATM like machine!

While we knew that Japan is the leader in terms of Inormation Technology, I must also say that certainly the live of the Japanese are made richer with the Information Systems they have. Ranging from the systems at the various train and bus stations right to the weather forecast information; mostly accessible to travelers like me at every corner of stations and streets! As though these are insufficient, most stations, shopping complexes and tourist spots offer free WiFi. These were the spots that yours truly have written his posts for the past week! Accessing information on train arrivals, departures and routes were never easier in these cities. Most eateries provides free internet access and I now wonder is Kyoto or Tokyo fully wired? Should I say fully informed?

Internet speed? No comment, or rather no complaint of course! Mind boggling at times when the station gives you and probably another hundred thousand people WiFi at a speed more than what you pay for at home; and all at the same time! I wonder what powers their server, was that sushi, LOL.
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I think application developers in Japan are the most money but pushing themselves further away from the comfort zones; challenging the power of technology. Of course to nation like Japan, the possibilities are never ending as the attitudes and disciplines made them possible. I like this country and definitely with god’s  will I will be back again to see and learn more from the right people.
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Sayonara.

p.s. please continue to follow my blog on Japan as I have many more things on my mind. By the time you read this we are safely home and raring to live with the spirit of the Japanese.

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