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Lessons From Japan

japanfamilyclimbThe trip to Japan has brought me fresh perspectives on how to live your life. Through observations of how the Japanese live their life.

During a climb up to a mountain summit, we were outpaced and overtaken by fit 50 years young, 60 years younger Japanese which showed up their fitness and my wife’s and mine lack of fitness.

As the picture shows.

Another thing is that they are managing to live their life to the fullest. It is pretty evident that it isn’t the first time they are climbing it. Their equipment is just their walking stick, a water bottle and their haversack.

At the top of the mountain, the took out their lunch boxes and enjoyed their lunch at the top of the summit.

Another observation was how the make full use of their time. In the subway train, the people there were engrossed in the books, zonked out and catching up on lost sleep, doing their make up, using their phones etc. Pretty much like Singapore, except that there is no loud conversation, nor is there the nuisance of loud monologue to the noisemaker- the ever present handphones. Its discourteous to use the phone on the train, except for sms.

Trains are crazily on schedule. Anything that is late has its reason stated clearly on the messages that are flashed on their information screen. So people can plan around it and take another line.

Despite the rush hour, the crowd and the squeeze we encountered was not as horrible as some you will see in Singapore. Although we probably haven’t see the worst of the rush hour, we saw huge streams of people in the mother of all train stations at Shinjuku.

Yet, in a short one hour away, there is the serenity of the great nature.

And unlike the profit maximising public transport here, the Japanese trains run at very high frequencies even off peak. It means that most times, we can even get a seat while travelling at non-peak hours. They even put it and print the train schedules out. So you know exactly where you will be and which train will leave when, and when exactly you’d arrive.

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