I came across an article that one American guy was looking for a JR(Japan Railway) employee who helped him during an earthquake. He was a high school student who stayed in Yokohama and made a trip to Tohoku, a northern region of Japan, where an earthquake hit. Not the biggest one in 2011, but the one 14 years ago.
Due to the earthquake, Shinkansen stopped, and it was the last day for his JR pass. This person working for Sendai station arranged him a youth hostel and paid money for lodging and the next day’s Shinkansen. Now he came back to Japan and tried to find this JR employee, but he was not able to.
Good story but I found Yahoo comments more interesting. Some comments were
- I cannot speak English so I cannot help even if I want
- I don’t know if they need a help
- I am so shy that I cannot help
But some people say they always talk to tourists and help them when they seem to be looking for something. And many responded that they did the same. I usually see ‘not nice’ Yahoo comments (LOL) so it was a pleasant surprise.
Whether good or not, Japanese don’t talk to strangers, especially in Tokyo. I often see some tourists are checking papers or smart phones in the middle of a station. Maybe I should hep them but I also imagine they don’t need a help. A little hesitation…
These feedback are encouraging to me. Wow, Japanese are not shy any more)