“Why Japan is so clean and tidy” is one of the most frequently asked questions while I have been working as a tour guide.
Many foreigners are surprised:
1. Public spaces including streets, train stations and toilets are clean without trash. It’s difficult to find trash boxes in the streets because people are encouraged to take garbage back home.
2. At school, students are supposed to clean their own classroom as a part of school activities. Some of my tour customers were surprised at this fact because in the States there are school janitors to clean up classrooms.
3. Recently, Harvard business school students focused on cleaning staff at Shinkansen for their effective cleaning work. This is their pictures called “7 mins miracle”. Within 7 mins, one cleaning staff collect trashes, wipe down all the tables and floors, turn around all the 100 seats, and keep the trains clean and tidy.
There are many other places you can find that Japan is so clean and tidy.
However, have you ever thought why we Japanese do much care to keep clean? What are reasons?
My opinion is:
First, it might be related to religions. It is said that the Shinto gods hate filth or dirty. In the Shinto shrine, we need to wash our hands before praying. Also, Buddhism teaches importance of cleanliness for having a peaceful mind.
Therefore, it became our custom to take responsibility of our own mess and take garbage back home.
Second, there is something to do with history. Japan has had a past history of epidemic diseases, various kinds of infections, food poisonings and so on. We Japanese was aware of the need to keep our environment clean.
More than thirty years ago, there were many trashes in the streets. We could not afford to make clean at that time. Along with Japan’s economic growth, we become wealthy enough to make our environment clean, physically and mentally.
It's great to be clean and tidy, and proud of our clean environment. If foreign travelers enjoy Japan’s cleanliness, I would be happy.
If you plan to visit Tokyo, it would be a great pleasure to guide you. I will explain about our culture further. My tour website is https://triplelights.com/profile/3624
Did you like my article?
You can send me a message to get a customized itinerary and quotation for an unforgettable experience. Let's explore Japan Together.
I'll be waiting for you, so please check my profile and get your trip plan now