This is a conversation I have had time and time again with expat friends and colleagues. When you leave the safety of Tokyo, you need to remember that the rest of the world is different.
Sitting in the ANA Lounge the other day I had zero qualms about leaving all of my bags at my seat and heading to the washroom. I would never do that in another country.
A colleague and I were discussing it the other day (he is American) and he told the story that I have heard so many times before. They walked off the plane in the US and ran their young children through the “You are not in Tokyo anymore” reminders.
When you go to the washroom, make sure that Mom or Dad knows.
You cannot leave your laptop on a chair and come back expecting it to still be there.
Stay close, don’t get lost in the crowd. Don’t talk to strangers.
If you are a parent with children, Tokyo is like the hometown of your youth. An island surrounded by a much different world.
Plus, where else in the world is the lounge breakfast comprised of noodles and fried tofu, yogurt and a cappuccino? (smile)