Courtesy ranks high among Japanese people in general, from my experience. It’s often not enough to just smile and wave, a deep bow often goes along with it. The same goes for the conductor on the train – – or anyone whose job requires them to pass through a train car. As if thinking it rude to walk through the car with their backs to us, the person who works for Japan Rail reaches the front of the car then turns to face us and bows and nods with a smile. It’s the most delightful thing I have encountered since arriving 36 hours ago. And I am likely not to tire of it because it makes me feel so good when they do it! I just love it! I hope to catch a video of it next time it happens so you can see what I mean. And it isn’t always convenient or easy for them to do. For instance, the person who walks through with the cart of stuff you can buy has to position the cart so it doesn’t roll away before turning to us and bowing. They actually go through a great deal of effort to exhibit this little act of kindness. And since tourists are not the prime passengers on these trains, they do it for their fellow-Japanese patriots, so it’s for real and not just a contrived tourist thing.
I vote Japan ‘Most Courteous’ country
21 Sunday Nov 2010
Denise Ryan said:
Love this piece …about the politness and manners in Japan…and not for tourists – but for each other AND ON A PUBLIC TRAIN!!!!!!!!!!! We could learn a lot from this level of respect – a beautiful experience!!