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How clean is Japan?

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I have watched many videos, vlogs, and such and not matter where they are Japan looks really clean.

I am talking about just general filth. Like how here in the States you tend to see lots of litter on the streets and the streets are often dirty. But in the videos I do not see any of that. Is Japan really super clean as many say, or I am just imagining it?

I am sure there is litter and stuff, but just generally it looks cleaner.

Thanks.
 

thomas

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Oh, there is litter, illegal dumping, and occasional public urination, but in general I find Japan much cleaner than Europe (and probably the US).

People more often than not
  • keep their neighbourhoods clean (neighbourhood associations organise semiannual clean-up campaigns, at least where I live)
  • remove dog (and other pet) poop
  • don't throw away chewing gums (but rather wrap it in paper and dispose of it in the rubbish)
  • don't dispose of cigarette stubs wherever they are
  • join volunteer groups and clean up public parks and streets
  • don't throw things out of their cars, etc.
It's always quite disturbing to return to Europe and see how inconsiderate people can be.
 
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Thanks for the response. Now I know I am not just imagining it. :D

That must be nice, especially the cigarette and gum ones. I am a server and nothing is more annoying than gum under tables or stuck on the floor or cigarettes all over the front. :rage: :roflmao:
 

musicisgood

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Out in the boondocks where less caring people live, they seem to be the cleanest, but outsiders come in and dump their TV, sofas and what have not along the empty and lonely country fire roads.
 

Mike Cash

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That is sad. Happens everywhere I guess.:cry:
I guess the natural assumption one would arrive at from "Japan is clean" is "Japanese people don't litter". That would be a very mistaken assumption, though. Huge bunch of litterbugs.
 

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Back in the early 70's when I was in Fukuoka, every public area seemed to have a 90 year old mamasan with a broom and dustpan sweeping the area spotless. It also seemed like every road repair job had old mamasans lugging dirt or gravel in straw bowls on top of their heads on the worksite. I often wondered if it was because they had no social security to live on in their old age. (45 years ago)
 
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Interesting. I do not see that much where I live. The few people I do see cleaning parks and such are generally the mentally ill. Most people do not seem to bother.
 

musicisgood

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Back in the early 70's when I was in Fukuoka, every public area seemed to have a 90 year old mamasan with a broom and dustpan sweeping the area spotless. It also seemed like every road repair job had old mamasans lugging dirt or gravel in straw bowls on top of their heads on the worksite. I often wondered if it was because they had no social security to live on in their old age.

Actually they probably did, but current govt. pension for self-employed is 20000 yen a month minus the old age health care which I understand is 6000 yen a month.
 
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I guess the natural assumption one would arrive at from "Japan is clean" is "Japanese people don't litter". That would be a very mistaken assumption, though. Huge bunch of litterbugs.
Do you mean that in a relative or absolute sense?

From what I've seen, on average, Japanese do a better job with not littering than many places I've been. Though the bar isn't set all that high, so in an absolute sense I agree with you.

I just think of being in countries where the concept of trash bin seems not to exist, or being horribly disappointed in Tel Aviv at the utter lack of care to clean up after ones animals when they voided their bowels on the sidewalks.

Perhaps i just haven't noticed.
 

Mike Cash

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From what I've seen, on average, Japanese do a better job with not littering than many places I've been.
This front-end loader was brought in for the sole purpose of scooping up the mountain of trash my cohorts tossed out their windows.

People always talk about Japan being so clean and little old ladies sweeping up....without stopping to think that the only reason they're sweeping up is that there was something there that needed sweeping up and that some littering a-hole tossed it there.

Japanese cleanliness when it comes to litter is largely like Japanese politeness; it is context driven. People are conscientious about it in situations where they have to be, and couldn't much less give a damn in situations where they don't. People who are fastidious in some situations will have zero hesitation to just toss stuff out the window or drop it on the ground in other situations.
 

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This front-end loader was brought in for the sole purpose of scooping up the mountain of trash my cohorts tossed out their windows.

People always talk about Japan being so clean and little old ladies sweeping up....without stopping to think that the only reason they're sweeping up is that there was something there that needed sweeping up and that some littering a-hole tossed it there.

Japanese cleanliness when it comes to litter is largely like Japanese politeness; it is context driven. People are conscientious about it in situations where they have to be, and couldn't much less give a damn in situations where they don't. People who are fastidious in some situations will have zero hesitation to just toss stuff out the window or drop it on the ground in other situations.
Ah, I see, I guess I just hadn't noticed. Though it makes sense when you put it in the context of the culture. Same everywhere I guess. In the USA those same people who hand carry their own feces out of a campsite will happily drive a vehicle with the catalytic converter cut out to that campsite from several states away.

Context driven, as you say.
 
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I remember back in the days when I started living here that I was surprised to see no garbage bins on the streets. In Holland there are bins everywhere. You would think people would litter as there aren't any but it is they opposite as people don't really do it, but in Holland people do litter way more than here.

Always fun to hear Japanese sometimes say japan is dirty.
 
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Thanks for all the replies! Really interesting to hear what it is like in Japan.

On a somewhat related topic. I have heard that Japanese bathrooms often lack soap to wash one's hands. Is this true or am I am wrong?
 

Mike Cash

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Thanks for all the replies! Really interesting to hear what it is like in Japan.

On a somewhat related topic. I have heard that Japanese bathrooms often lack soap to wash one's hands. Is this true or am I am wrong?
It is true.
 

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The first attempt at using the squat toilet for a bowel movement is a learning experience , LOL.
 
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I just hope I make it in. :laugh:

If there is no soap do you just not wash your hands, or do you go to some place close by and use theirs?
 

Mike Cash

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I just hope I make it in. :laugh:

If there is no soap do you just not wash your hands, or do you go to some place close by and use theirs?
The number of places without soap is decreasing.

It used to be the standard advice to foreigners was to carry some buttwipe with you as Japanese public toilets typically didn't have toilet paper.
 

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Do they still hand out super hot face clothes at many places when you enter? I can't remember if it was just a cold weather thing or year round. I remember even on airplanes they did it. (Early 70's)
 

Mike Cash

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Do they still hand out super hot face clothes at many places when you enter? I can't remember if it was just a cold weather thing or year round. I remember even on airplanes they did it. (Early 70's)
Oshibori are still common. You get cool ones in the summer.
 
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I was wondering, seeing as how Japan has industrial and is a small nation, does Japan have any smog problems?
 
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