Keeping the Streets Clean
Here’s one other reason why I love Tokyo more than any other city on Earth: people actually takes care of the neighborhood they live or work in! In many bigger commercial areas of Tokyo the local stores and companies take turn going out on the streets for some above-and-beyond street cleaning, all volunteer of course. These girls and guys were walking around picking up litter, trash and cigarette butts in Ueno, obviously not professional street cleaners but look at that pavement when they are done! In Japan many store owners take the area around their store very seriously and often you will see shop staff out sweeping the street or picking up litter. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Who wants to enter a shop if you have to navigate your way around gum, empty cans and cigarette butts? I don’t. And of course the street cleaning teams reflect the nature of their area, in an old shopping street the cleaners are not likely to be a day under 80, while in Tokyo’s redlight district Kabukicho, many of the street cleaners are transvestites and transsexuals decked up in yellow coats, fish net stockings and high heels! What a great way to attract customers and keeping even the dirtiest area sparkling clean. I wish more Western cities could do this.