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Discovering culture through vending machines – Japan

Vending Machine Culture Japan-Featured Image-PP

Japan was one of my favorite countries to visit – seeing gorgeous scenery, learning about the history, visiting incredible temples and shrines, and enjoying a variety of Japanese experiences. Today I share a tidbit about what struck me about the culture.

Discovering culture through vending machines – Japan

Japan was a beautiful country to tour. My son and I took a cruise around the islands, and I am so glad that we had two weeks to explore so many different parts of the country. I’ll definitely return. It is a fantastic destination and I’ll be recommending Japan to my clients.

There is so much to share in regard to enticing cultural experiences, amazing scenery, serene gardens, and interesting history and religion. But one of the things that intrigued me about the culture was the vending machines.

We traveled in little towns, train stations, quiet neighborhoods, gardens and popular attractions in the center of the city, and in all those places, there were vending machines. I was struck by the vending machines because every one of those machines would have been vandalized within 48 hours in a similar location at home in the US. I hate to say it, but it’s true, and those machines represent an aspect of this Japanese culture – a culture of politeness and respect and helpfulness that we saw throughout our trip in Japan.

We saw it in Kanazawa where a man was very concerned we would get on the wrong bus, and made motions and signals to help us out, despite the fact the fact the he didn’t speak English and I don’t know Japanese. He saw us, map in hand, and just started assisting us with directions and pointed out the proper bus.

We experienced that helpfulness in Hiroshima, when we couldn’t get a cab to come to the cruise port because all the taxis were busy in town on a rainy day. We were going to miss our meeting with our guide, so the tourism woman took us in her personal car to the station four miles away.

It’s easy to fake your way with communication in Italy or France or Spain, where there’s at least some similarity in language and you may figure out a few words. Coming to Japan I had no clue about the language, with no real knowledge for communicating, but yet it doesn’t matter because of the helpful, friendly people. So, besides the mystical atmosphere, incredible beauty and lovely cultural differences of Japan, I think one of the main things you’ll appreciate traveling there are the wonderful people and their welcoming nature.