Neighbors’ satellite dishes neatly re-positioned outside the scaffolding


The precision and care for tenants’ television needs are remarkable.

Impeccable bullet train conductor


Everyone knows that Japanese trains are efficient and reliable. But there’s another element of stylishness that takes it from being a functional service to a sometimes sublime experience. I love the white gloves with the impeccable uniform, the sense of precision and pride.

Transit precision

Tokyo Metro: Transit precision

A green city with lively pedestrian streets requires an excellent public transit system. I have already posted about some simple but effective station signage about the workings of the system and the neighborhoods surrounding the stations. Just recently, a foreign researcher pointed out an ubiquitous chart that I had overlooked and that can be found on every Tokyo Metro platform.

From left to right are the number of minutes to reach the next stations, the names of the next stations, whether the car doors open on the right or left side (in red), and details about which car to board if you are switching to other train lines, needing a bathroom, elevator, escalator, station office, station agent, or wheelchair assistance.

The efficiency and communication is astounding. The contrast with US transit is total. In Japan the transit system treats its riders with courtesy, respect and dignity. In the US, riding transit carries strong feelings of failure, disrespect and lack of care.