It happens only in Japan 🗻

It happens only in Japan 🗻

We forgot my bag carrying a DSLR, Gopro, wallet (having a lot of money) and the only cell phone with local sim in a metro… In one of the thousands of metros of the super complex thirty line transport.. at one of the 800 stations of the city.. And this was on the very second day of the ten day trip (that’s why a lot of money in the wallet). Oh yes, did i mention the huge language barrier to top it all. Our hearts sank, blood froze. We panicked, started running aimlessly on the platform seeking help. Thanks to google translate, we managed to explain to a platform officer, he somehow informed that the same metro will come on the very same platform after an hour at 6.28 p.m.. we start checking each passing metro for that one hour as we weren’t sure whether the officer has understood it correctly.. (we were 5 of us, checked the metros on all possible platforms from start to end. And we had to do so after the supremely disciplined people had boarded off and in) . An hour passed by, all efforts futile! All of us came on the same platform and were waiting with bated breath for the 6.28 metro. It arrived and we immediately run into the metro, this time jumping all queues(sincere apologies to the sincere people out there for this).. and oh boy! The officer was right.. my bag was right there, exactly where and how i placed it. It was untouched and unmoved for one full hour.. i shouted to tell this to all my buddies who were busy searching different compartments in the train.. with tears and cries of joy, we ran towards each other for a long long group hug .. Welcome to Japan 🙂

There are places that win your heart and then there are places that have your heart, forever. Japan is surely one such place which will keep a piece of your heart forever. It is so “common” to find “unique” here. The list of unique could go on and on however here are my top 5 picks:

1) Toilets – I  got to start with the toilets since they caught my eye throughout the trip. The control panel next to a toilet like one in a spaceship will offer you options like:
– The direction, level of force of water from the nozzle.
– The volume of music depending on the volume of embarrassing sounds you make in there
– Warm water and warm toilet seat
– An odor deodorant
– Seat sanitizer
– “Only wave” flush buttons
– A small seat in the corner of the toilet with a belt so that you could hang your toddler while you peacefully enjoy these features & do your business.
– Some toilets also have warm dry & air conditioning for your bums. Hell yeah!!
I now quite get the title “TOILET – EK PREM KATHAA” 😉

2) Vending Machines – They are all around! More than 5 million vending machines in the country. The machines here vend (if that’s a word) everything from food (fruits, veggies are all common, they have it to the level of hamburgers, sushi and crepes), drinks (tea, coffee, drinks – hard/soft/energy), cigarettes, instant photos, clothes (from a casual T-shirt to a business tie), party stuff (what if you get an instant partying urge), umbrellas (what if there’s a sudden storm), PETS (What if… wait.. What???), Underwears (my what if logic failed long back) !! Insane right??

3) Brand new 😉  – Our favorite brands also have special offerings for Japan.
(a) Kitkat- Gifting kitkat for best wishes is quite popular here and u get crazy varieties (more than 200 types!!). Few innovative and wacky flavors are
Fruits – pear, watermelon, kiwi
Veggies – baked potato, grilled corn, ginger ale
Alcoholic – Orange & Brandy, wine, sake
Cheesecakes- Lemon, muskmelon, pumpkin
Desserts – custard, pudding, double cookie
Drinks – cola, matcha (our very favourite green tea), coffee
Food – soy powder, bean paste, brown sugar
No category, just weird- cough drop, meat sandwich, hot chilli
Ps – I had a tough time choosing only 3 in each category!!!
(b) Coca Cola – It offers more than 800 products in Japan! And that’s not all. It keeps launching special edition slim bottles dedicated to Japan/its culture/seasons/places very often. There are bottles featuring the autumn fall, cherry blossoms, tokyo, kyoto, mount fuji, ueno, nara etc. Not enough? There’s some colourless & transparent “clear coke” launched for Japan. Personalisation of the highest order ,i must say!!
(c) Starbucks- Did u know that there are Starbucks evening stores serving alcohol? Well that GK happened to me in Japan when i visited the stand alone evening store in Marunauchi, Tokyo (the first in Asia).. How about a wine fraggino instead of frappuccino. Isn’t that super cool!!!

Static electricity remover device

4) Static Electricity Remover – Who on earth would think of something like that! Well it gets really cold in Japan and with cold comes the friction or the static electricity. So some stores here place a static electricity remover device at the entrance of the store to enhance your shopping experience. I would have shopped the entire store just for this gesture (had i been a lil more richer but damn…)

Types of garbage bins in Japan

5) Garbage Bins – One golden rule to survive in Japan – don’t mess with their mess!  Japan is damn strict about their garbage rules – to an extent that rented apartments and rooms also mention that if tourists don’t understand which waste is to be thrown where, they should put everything in one bag which would be segregated by the owner himself later! There are 5-6 separate bins at metro stations and other public places – Food waste, paper waste, can waste, pet waste, plastic waste and other waste! Cleanliness is next to godliness, indeed!

Now you know, why the title goes ‘IT HAPPENS ONLY IN JAPAN‘..Stay tuned for some more ‘exclusive in Japan’ stories on our blog.