Walking through a main train station in Tokyo as locals made their way to work it struck me that they all wear coats of drab color – black, brown, beige.  Youth will sport a flash of color, though.

Toilets have sprays to clean the butt.  Some have heated seats.  Japanese and Western style toilets are in most public bathrooms.  If you need a Western style and there isn’t one in the main bathroom then use the handicapped stall which may be separate so any sex can use it.

Restaurants hand out warm moist cloth towels when customers first sit down.  One hotel greeted us with them and packaged disposable ones were given out in the first class section of high speed trains.

Everyone waits in line quietly with plenty of space between themselves in the indicated areas while waiting for public transportation, ascending the stairs and escalators, hotel reception, stores, crosswalks, etc.  No pushing or rushing past someone.  They stay to the left on escalators usually, and leave the right side for those who need to keep moving at a faster rate.

Japanese people are humble, helpful, and always pleasant.

Hotel bathrooms provide toothbrushes with a tiny tube of toothpaste, razors, foldable plastic hairbrushes, and dispensers with soap and shampoo.

Most hotels offer eco-cleaning.  In exchange for no linen change they gift a bottle of water.  They may or may not swap,out towels.

Priority seating on trains is rarely left or given up to those for whom it is intended without asking.

Any litter is something dropped unknowingly yet trash cans are impossible to find. An exception is Hiroshima which also had park benches.  Tokyo and Kyoto did not have any resting spots.

Food is expensive.  A cup of tea is about four dollars.

Japan, for its own share of unfortunate history, has created amazingly respectful people. The respect for everyone is truly something we Americans need to embrace.  They are quiet in public which meant peaceful train rides and eating out.  Pointing at people and things is rude so it is always with a formal open palm, fingers together, that they indicate location.  The bowing when we approached and left hotel reception was amazing. When we were waiting for the Delta counter to open so we could drop off our bags the personnel all stood in front of their podiums, a greeting was made over the PA, and they bowed in unison.  After purchasing a gift for the neighbor girls who entertained Jack, the two clerks carried our package and escorted us to the door and then bowed and bowed as they said thank you.  Even the train conductors and food vendors will turn and bow before leaving the train car.
Everyone has appropriate weight, except the sumo wrestler we saw in a train station going up the escalator as we descended, which really made the obesity in the US smack me in the face when we returned to LAX.  They just don’t overeat.  Salad and fish for breakfast help! Yet they don’t seem to eat many vegetables or fruits for lunch and dinner.  Not being one who has a history of loving veggies, I sure missed them on this trip.  At breakfast in Sendai I was so excited the breakfast buffet at the hotel had steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots I made a small pile on my plate both mornings.  The only people we saw arguing were an American couple in a convenience store.  Not until the end of three weeks did we hear any fussy kids, and they were pretty young.  The adults just spoke with them quietly.
video of our travels
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