I was in Hokkaido, Japan for a week in June 11. These are my observations.
It is a very clean country, well at least in Hokkaido. Clean in a sense that people don’t litter, whereas Singapore is clean because of an efficient public works service. I was told some Japanese carry there own trash bag when going out.
Strong recycling initiatives. There are separate bins for paper, PET bottles, cans and combustibles. This is found at most entrance or exits. For those who love using NTUC grocery bags as trash bags, they use dedicated bags for each type of trash. And they are transparent!
Quality of work. We stayed in 5 different hotels in 5 days. Each hotel room were beautifully constructed. The grouting for the tiles have no holes. The seals for the edges were continuous. The corners are beautifully finished. Unlike what you see in a Singapore hotel or Malaysian (faint!). I can see the work was done by people that are truly proud of their work like the Australians, just less rugged.
People in Hokkaido love their ice cream. Soft serve ice cream available anywhere for 250yen, in vanilla, chocolate, lavender or green tea.
Fashion, They like people from Hong Kong dress well and very uniquely. The style is very varied, unlike in Singapore, you can more or less see the rubber stamp. I suppose in a large country there are lots more creative talent. I noticed that the younger professional Japanese like to dye their hair light brown. Some of the hairstyles of the everyday professional looks not much different from those K drama. My boss is going to kill me if I sport one those perms to work!
For those that can’t live without Internet, note Nokia E71 browser does not work with Narita or Haneda free Internet website registration. The English icon is invisible and if you like me bugged by the stupidity of the situation, manage to switch to English, you cannot register because the button is deactivated. iPhone users rejoice, you will have no problems. Most hotel lobbies have free WiFi. A hotel that we stayed with did not configure the DHCP settings properly. It ran out of IP address before the standard lease of 3 days is up. It should be set to 2 or 4 hours for this kind of operation.