I have pontificated on how safe, clean and orderly Japan is many times. It is unlike anywhere in the world.

Over the holiday we lost an iPhone on Thai Airways. We were in Bangkok and as we went to fly out we stopped at lost and found to find out if it was turned in. The answer was a no. Therefore one of the cleaning staff or attendants found it (as a fellow passenger would not have seen it) and decided to keep it .. in other words, steal it.

Unfortunately, this is no different than many airlines around the world. It still bugs me 8 years later when I walked off a plane and was not allowed to go back on the Air Canada flight, leaving behind a bottle of Scotch that I had picked up for my father-in-law in England. It “disappeared”.

I would wager with 95% confidence that had we lost that iPhone on a ANA flight the staff would have turned it in and we would be using it right now.

Like nowhere else in the world.

I am sure that if you are reading this and have lived in Japan, that you could share a similar experience.


  1. Can you be exhilarated by order and punctuality? If so, I certainly was when I was in Tokyo. However, I’m always mindful of the flipsides of living in such a straitlaced society. But, man, is it nice to know the 15:36 train WILL be there at 15:36, not a minute later…

    • You hit it on the head on Japan – it is great but there is a flip side. The punctuality and great service comes at a cost (both economically and culturally). Not the kind of place that is very open to change ….

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