NYC-based photographer Adam Marelli traveled to Japan for a project called “Master Craftsmen: An Endangered Species” and shares his experience.
For those of you who have not visited Japan, as a photographer or a traveler, it is an experience that should not be missed.Â Life in Japan is a sensory inversion.Â Even the sprawling mass of Tokyo is a surprisingly civil and makes almost any country seem like a free for all.Â This is not to say that Japanâ€™s apparent civility is better or worse than other countries, but it is certainly unique.Â After nearly a month, I was ready to come home, but find myself missing aspects of Japanese life immediately.Â What do I miss?Â Here is a quick list:
â€˘ Japan is clean, I mean really clean.Â I saw public toilets cleaner than most peopleâ€™s homes in America.
â€˘ Trains that are always on time.Â The Shinkansen â€śBullet Trainâ€ť averages 40 seconds late a year.
â€˘ Every restaurant presents you with a fresh hot towel.
â€˘ The toilets are phenomenal.Â I am not sure how to say this politely, but the toilets are genius.Â All I could think was â€śwhat kind of cavemen are we that we still use toilet paper.â€ť
â€˘ No one throws public tantrums.Â The daily display of childish tantrums (by adults) I see everyday in NYC is embarrassing.
â€˘ While London taxi drivers have the best geography, the white gloved Japanese taxis are half a tier under a private limousine.Â It makes for the most pleasant door to door drive.
â€˘ Speaking of taxis, in Japan there is no tipping.Â Unlike NYC taxis, who have the audacity to ask for up to 30% tips, in Japan this is a no go.Â In some cases it’s even considered disrespectful.Â I used to work for tips as a teenager, but now I realize that it creates an unnecessary strain between the customer and service provider.Â Companies should pay salaries, not tips.Â It makes for such a relief.
â€˘ The details of maps, architectural details, and courtesies hold historical secrets to Japanese culture.
Read more and see additional photos on Adam’s blog.