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Travel Japan – One Person In Matsue

05 Jul

Leaving the Matsue Castle grounds, I passed lots of taxis and decided to walk back to my hotel.

Soon into my walk, it began to rain, darkness fell and a cold chill wind whipped up. I like to walk in the rain but this was pushing it.

Besides that I wasn’t finding the way. When I saw an older teen boy, I asked him to direct me to my hotel. He either hadn’t heard of it or he didn’t understand my pronunciation.

Since the hotel was across the street from the JR train station, I asked him how to get to the train station. This he knew and on my map he seemed to saying that I was heading for a different train station on the opposite side of town.

He walked along with me showing me the way and speaking English to me. At one point when the cold and wind and rain were particularly fierce, I said,

It could be worse!

He repeated that phrase a few times. He seemed surprised that I was out alone and that I traveled alone. That is an unusual concept to many Japanese, I think.

The way he studied my face caused me to think, he was wondering if I were a senile person who wandered away.

He walked with me the entire distance. It was over a half an hour. I felt very touched by this. I am a miser with my time and this person was so generous with his. I hear others tell of rudeness and price gouging on trips they take in other countries. One of the things I love in Japan, is their nobility of character and how well they treat others, even strangers.

When we arrived at JR station, he asked me what time my train left. I said tomorrow and crossed the street and pointed out my hotel. Now he really seemed to be wondering if I were senile. I didn’t know how to explain to him that getting to the train station was my way to get to the hotel.

I looked in my purse, wishing I had something I could gift him with. I thought that money might be offensive. When you travel to Japan, bring lots of gifts.

He accepted my thanks and left. He has someone praying for him.

© 2011 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

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3 Comments

Posted by on July 5, 2011 in Abundance, Japan

 

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3 responses to “Travel Japan – One Person In Matsue

  1. Petty Witter

    July 6, 2011 at 3:41 am

    What a wonderful story. Its so nice to hearing of a kind teenage boy when all too often we only hear bad things about them.

     
  2. Jen C.

    July 10, 2011 at 3:53 am

    I really love this story. I think that in Japan, they really try to encourage the younger generations to be courteous and respect those older than them or those who need help. That’s why you will often find that on crowded buses and trains, there is always a young person who would get up and give their seat to an elderly or pregnant woman. It’s something I really love about this place. Of course, in the city like Tokyo, you won’t always find youths like the one you met but in general, they are quite polite and helpful to people who ask for help. Now salary men, you know the middle age male office workers? They need to take a few lessons from the younger generations because I have yet to meet a polite and courteous one.

     
  3. Holly

    July 14, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    What a lovely story! I liked your observation about generosity with time. I, too, am very careful in how I spend my time and to be honest, I’m not sure I’d take a half hour to accompany a traveler.

    Jen’s comment about office workers being less polite than the younger generation was also an interesting observation.

     

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