But is is safe to go there, is something my mother would ask, but she didn't. With a slight memory of the war, she was quite interested to hear about Japan. So far as personal security goes, I felt safer on Japan streets than I do in my home city of Melbourne. In Tokyo we stayed in an area renown for its down and outs, yet they just go about their business of being homeless without bothering anyone.
Our Friend in Japan, V, suggests that bicycle theft is a problem in Japan. This surprises me. I think it is more likely that a bike is just borrowed. I can be idealistic from afar can't I? She indicates that most bikes are registered and police check bicycle registration.
Not only did I feel safer on the streets of Japan, I was also less concerned about my personal belongings when out and about than I would have been at home, or anywhere else I have been.
I had started to get a handle on this by the time we travelled north. R and I were seated separately on the Limited Express from Hachinohe to Hirosaki. The woman sitting next to me either did not like foreigners, or was just snooty. Regardless, she went off to the toilet and left her handbag on the seat next to me. Snooty racist cow wouldn't have even missed the few thousand yen I nicked from her bag. Well, of course I didn't, but I certainly could have, very easily.
I have seen a bag snatch perpetrated by a smack head on a foreign Asian tourist in Melbourne. It was not pretty and I felt some shame that a visitor to our city will have such a bad memory.
V's friend C took his very proper Japanese parents in law to Ireland, his home country and had to really impress upon them about the security of their personal belongings while out and about in Ireland.
Speaking of C, sorry if I have already said this, I can't recall, but he overpaid for something at his local Japanese Post Office. Whatever he sent had his return address on it, and after he arrived home, the staff member who accidentally overcharged him knocked on his door and returned the fifty cents or so he had been overcharged. Ho, like that would happen in an Australian post office.
There must be crime in Japan. Hey, we have all heard of the Yakuza, the crime gangs and their nasty doings, but really, for day to day living, it is a very safe place to live and without the anti social behaviour to found here in Australia and other western countries. Why? I don't really know, but I will elaborate in another post.