Vegetable Stands - A Microcosm of Why Japan is Such a Great Place to Live
I'd like to show you a little something about Japan that is just a little slice of the entire picture of why Japan and Japanese society are much better off than the USA and other western nations.
This one little episode speaks volumes about the people in Japan. Of course, people in serious denial will take this as an attack on the USA. But no. I won't say anything about that. I will merely link to an article that was written by an American and posted at Zerohedge. Read this photo blog and then go read the Zerohedge article. Draw your own conclusions.
But first, some details.
There is a small farm near my house in Setagaya. Setagaya is a ward of Tokyo. This particular farm isn't 15 minutes away from the world famous Shibuya station in Tokyo. Shibuya is the city that is famous for fashions, things to do and places to eat. It is also the home of the awesome Shibuya crossing that everyone who comes to Japan visits at least once.
More details and a little reference; Tokyo is the biggest city in the world. There are over 35 million people living in the Greater Tokyo Area. This is even more mind blowing when you realize that, according to Wikipedia:
By the "One Metropolis 3 Prefectures" definition, Tokyo is smaller than Los Angeles County (pop 3.8 million), and almost a third smaller at 13,555.65 km² than the Combined Statistical Area of New York, at 30,671 km². and 21.9 million people.
OK. So this is a vegetable stand on the east end of Tokyo; the most densely populated and crowded city in the world.
The local farm is run by a kindly old woman (She wouldn't allow me to take her picture) who told me that her husband died ten years ago so she comes out everyday and tends the farm. She said she's up before 4 am and out on the farm by 5 am.
By 8:30 am or so, she goes back home. Before she goes, she puts out some fresh vegetables on her stand by the street for the locals to buy.
I always buy this woman's produce. It is delicious and fresh and cheaper than the local supermarket. The quality is much better than the local supermarket too as the old woman told me she doesn't use any sorts of chemicals or insecticides.
Wait a minute!? Think about this: She goes home at about 8:30 but she puts the veggies out for people to buy before she leaves? Who runs the vegetable stand?
...No one. She uses a honor system... People are to take the veggies they want and put the money in the box before they leave...
There are these sorts of vegetable stands all over Japan. Oh, yes, I do know that they have these sorts of things still to this day in some places far out in the country in the United States (though few and far between)... But, this isn't somewhere out in the country. It's inside of the world's most crowded city.
I know exactly what would happen to a fruit or vegetable stand like this if it were in a suburb of Los Angeles or New York; not only would people be stealing the vegetables, they'd, of course, steal the cash box too.
This set up wouldn't last 10 minutes in Los Angeles. This woman says her family has had this for over 75 years.
That things like this are commonplace in Japan speaks volumes about the people and the country.
The sign says, "Please don't 'take' the vegetables. God is watching you. Please put the correct amount into the box."
What is her security system? Japanese people still have mutual respect for people and random crime is still not a constant and serious consideration in daily life in Japan like it is in the USA.
And that's just a fact.
Oh, and, call it what you want, "America Bashing," "Anti-Americanism?" whatever... here's what anotherAmerican wrote. Here's the article from Zerohedge. I highly recommend clicking all the links and watching the videos...
10 Disturbing Tales From The Side Streets And Dark Alleys Of America (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-19/10-disturbing-tales-side-streets-and-dark-alleys-america)
Oh, and to see that these aren't unusual cases, ever been to a Chuck E. Cheese?
Chuck E. Cheese: Hotspot of Fights? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9IIWDCQ_S8)
- OK. I can't resist....I will comment... I showed the videos from the above 2 articles to my Japanese wife (who has been to the USA many times). Her comment? "American people? Are they all on drugs? Or do they eat too much salt so their blood pressure is way to high?" I think it's both and more.... Much more! Folks, this sort of thing NEVER happens in Japan.
- For some reason, this article was written for my good friends, James, Mayumi and Enrico.
L-R: Enrico, Mayumi, James (of Jimbo's Japan)