Japan: First Impressions
Submitted by asang on 1 June, 2008 - 17:47
We went to Japan this May on a trip that spanned 50% of the country. I had done fair bit of reading on Japan - it's culture, people a little bit of history etc. We landed at Osaka Airport late in the evening. Osaka airport is built on an artificial island. Starting with the queues at the immigration counter, silent nature of Japanese people was in stark contrast with my fellow Indians - no offense meant! Compared to America, one of the best things I felt immediately after getting there was abundance of public transportation - both ground and rail. Roads are as good as they are in the US - better in many cases. Road signs are bi-lingual. So getting lost is not that easy. Fascination of Japanese with machines is remarkable - be it a vending machine, coin-changers, bus station, train station, toilets automation and machines are omnipresent. Density of population is quite high in most metro cities but commute doesn't take a toll on you as it does in Indian metros or even most American metropolitan areas. Our colleague in Japan told us that most people in Japan believe that there is too must of infrastructure there. Indians are held in quite high esteem by most Japanese and they feel that if India has achieved what it has without much government support and infrastructure; imagine what they would do if "they" had the right infrastructure. Most of them believe that we Indians are really good at mathematics and science -- I won't say anything about that, otherwise my countrymen will pelt me with stones. Overall my first impression was that Japan is a very nice country without xenophobia - at least about Indians. They are a country which has achieved a lot but as individuals most people are polite and do not exude the confidence that is so typical of most Indians. Learning Japanese is a key to success in Japan. It's not easy - but it's about time that we as a nation thrive on doing things that are not necessarily easy. I think that there is a lot of potential for business between India and Japan, provided we understand each other's cultures and young Indians seize the opportunities that are available in IT and other sectors in Japan. Shitsurishimasu (Good Bye)!