Only in Japan

A photo shared by Japan Moments on Facebook is going viral as it encapsulates Japan’s altruistic society, like so many other small moments that go unnoticed.

The photo shows a handwritten note (in Japanese Kanji, of course,) and a 1000 yen note (about $7.50 as of this blog post) folded in such a way as to not blow away.

Here’s the photo below.

As the post explains, someone knocked over this stranger’s bike, broke their bike bell, and, the stranger, upon returning to his bike, found said note and money attached.

First, it’s important to know that while most Japanese residents lock their bikes, they often don’t lock them to anything.

Embed from Getty Images

Anyone without scruples can find an unlocked bike in Japan (which there are many), pick it up, and walk away with it.

Japan, however, is known for its low crime rates.

Simply put, people don’t steal.

As a result, their unlocked bikes can be easily knocked over, which is often the case given how crowded Japanese sidewalks can get.

I guarantee you the average person who knocked over and broke someone’s bike bell in the United States wouldn’t go through the trouble of leaving an apology, not to mention some money.

And why should they? It’s not their fault someone left their bike in such a way that would make it prone to falling over.

This, however, is Japan, where people naturally look out for each other.

And, the comments to the above post are testament to that.

Vickie Ayotte recalls how Costco Japan returned the pen they used to sign-up for their rewards card.

“Lived in Japan 3 years. Joining Costco, my husband and I were both filling out the paper work for our card, my husband used his own pen. When they delivered our goods to our apartment, the pen was wrapped up too.”

Sayuri Aoki commented how she lost but quickly found her diamond ring.

“I left a diamond ring in the ladies bathroom of a department store. I remembered on my way home on the train. I immediately called the store and described the ring and was told someone had turned it in to lost and found. Only in Japan.”

Honestly, if you have a couple of minutes, it’s worth reading through the comments.

It’s bittersweet seeing how society can be but often isn’t.

If you needed another reason to visit Japan, this is it.

Whereas you’d constantly worry about your belongings in less altruistic countries, such is not the case in the island nation.

Your belongings are so safe that, if someone accidentally damages your stuff, it won’t be uncommon if they apologize and even try to compensate you on the spot.

That’s just Japan.


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