Arrived in Tokyo after a seven hour flight from Kuala Lumpur. It’s 15-20 years since I was last in Japan. Tokyo still looks a very wealthy city despite its decade-long economic downturn. Took the airport bus to the hotel – at each terminal stop, an attendant boarded the bus to bow to passengers before departing. A recorded announcement on the bus asks passengers not to use mobile phones “as it will annoy the neighbours”.  A couple of times passengers did answer calls on their mobile phones, and each time this happened the driver would press a button to play the recorded announcement.  It seems this is a better solution for the Japanese than having the driver tell the passenger off himself and thus cause the passenger to ‘lose face’.

Stayed at the Cerulean Tower Hotel at Shibuya. It was comforting to note from the hotel regulations in the information compendium in the room that “Organised crime groups and members as specified in the Law for Prevention of Unjust Acts by Organised Crime will not be accommodated in this hotel”. And that “those who have tattoos” or “members of violent groups” were not permitted to use the pool or gym.

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