Yokkaichi is around 400 KM from Tokyo. This was the land where I first experienced the high-speed trains – Bullet trains. Just about 1:30mins hours to reach 400KMs. Japan is one place where you can get down from the train in a station looking at the time of arrival in your ticket. It will be perfect to the minutes.
People say the first experience is something you can never get out your mind. And true. My first experience visiting this place is still green in my memory.
First visit to Yokkaichi
Usually, the subway stations in here are a maze. In my first visit to here, I missed to take the correct exit and followed the color map for direction from that wrong exit. Only to find myself lost in the remote village on a late afternoon.
After walking around like 15 mins, I decided to ask someone. But since it was late afternoon, there was literally no one in that village. I noticed an old lady, must be in her late sixties. She was about to close her shop. And was cleaning in front of the shop. Being first time in the land, I had zero knowledge of their language. So just showed the paper in my hand to her.
Seeing it she immediately realized that I was in wrong place. She tried to explain me the situation and direction. But since I could not understand, I can clearly see the disappointment in her eyes. It said she was feeling bad that she can’t help. It was like, she was more worried than me.
Without any hesitation, she dropped the broom down, left the shop half-open, and walked in front of me. She turned and showed signs for me to follow her, literally guiding me next 10 mins only to make me reach in front of my hotel. She was very satisfied that she was able to help me out. In the end, she bowed saying thanks to me!!
As I was wondering about the hospitality, tears came out of my eyes.
I use to be very frequent here from then on. Was visiting the Toshiba fabs in this area. And had many interesting memories. One such is about the way Japanese work, and how they control and maintain safety and security etc.
Working culture in Japan
Even in those pre-smartphone eras, Japan had many mobiles with the camera. They had facilities to book JR (Japanese Railways) train tickets from mobile and even pay at some outlets. So we had such a phone, and whenever we entered into the secure area in a manufacturing unit, the security used to cover it with a small green color sticker. We always thought what good these stickers would be if the user really wants to take a picture.
It was only when one of us had it accidentally peeled, we noticed that the color of the sticker changed once it peeled which can clearly highlight that you have meddled with it.
These experiences pre-dates not just to the smartphone era but were also the time before the high-speed internet and wireless were easily available. So, we need to dial up or use the Business lounges at the hotel to access the internet. So, most time we will be outside the hotel on the weekends roaming and walking around visiting malls etc.
This region had many massage centers, and its quite usual for you to notice many women asking you “Massage e desu ka” – meaning, Do you want a massage?
The working culture in Japan is very different. Everyone will come early to office. When we visit, we noticed that people park at the farthest place they can get parking, even when you had much parking nearby the gates. It took us many days to understand that they are doing this for a reason.
They claim that since they are earlier, they have enough time to talk to the gate. So those who come a bit late can park it near the gate and walk quickly without losing additional time.
They also had napping time around noon. Plus some low volume music to keep yourselves stress-free around 3 pm. They work like the bee, so quick, so precise, and so sincere.
This is one place that has taught me on how to handle people, help people, etc.
Wherever I may be, I will never forget the streets and stations that I have been roaming around in this place.
My theme for the April 2018 #AtoZChallenge is blogging about the places I have been to. I never thought I will be able to reach so far. Just one last alphabet left for the challenge. And I am sure, that is going to be a treat as well to you.
You can find all my #AtoZChallenge posts here. Interested to know my next destination starting with letter Z? Try commenting your guess, let’s see.
Are you participating too? Comment your themes here. Good luck.
Please do click on those share buttons!!! Thanks.