more thoughts from Japan
I've written enough about the Japanese aesthetic enough in the last couple of days for it to be clear how much it appeals to us. Take the tea/coffee in our hotel room, for example. Not only is it fuss-free and efficient, it looks beautiful too. That little urn dispenses boiling water instantly and those comfortably shaped cups sit satisfyingly well in smooth, wooden saucers.
Having no more than a dozen words of Japanese between us, we tend to focus on the English names which we spot here and there and the charming use of, to us, slightly quaint phrases such as "cheery" and "joyful" (as in "Cheery Cars" and "Joyful Honda") En route to the airport, we passed a "Supergreat" truck and a Toyota "Succeed" model of car, though the Nissan "Cedric" brought the same smile to our faces as it did when we first spotted it some years ago, when Edward was small enough to giggle at such things. Perhaps Cedric doesn't have the same image in Japan?
Early in our visit, I reported on the high-tech loo which we found in our bathroom. Almost everywhere we went, including the smallest coffee shop or cafe, these were standard - heated seat, a variety of sprays and drying programmes and an automatic flush. And yet, there in the middle of the most technologically advanced station, with electronic signage and chip-embedded ticketing, the ladies cloakroom was a bank of four squat style loos with a single cold water tap for handwashing. No, I didn't take a photo of that one!
More usual was a sight such as this one: as we travelled down the escalator to the subway train, a cleaner was polishing the upward one holding a duster on either side of the handrail as she went. The stainless steel was spotless, as you can see from the photograph and we both tried to recall ever seeing a similar action on the London tube.
Perhaps they do it at night?