TIM BUNTING

KIWI YAMABUSHI

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You can’t plan to have fun

Japanese people in general are over planners. They tend to think of every possible thing that could go wrong, and they tried to alleviate the potential problems. This is excellent because it means things tend to run smoothly.

The problem with this, though, is that it leaves little room for something to go wrong, or even something to go different. This is where a lot of people get trapped up with the Japanese culture.

If you want to do something that is not prescribed, sometimes this can be a problem for Japanese people. If something is not on the menu, then it’s simply doesn’t exist in their minds.

This means special requests sometimes cannot be fulfilled, or they can be fulfilled, but people don’t know how. So they freeze, and unfortunately nothing can be done about it.

This is one weakness I see in Japan especially when it comes to hosting foreign guests. Japanese people try very hard to satisfy the ones of their customers. Sometimes even going so far as losing money to do so. Because their pride is very high in pride in their work is very high.

There needs to be more of an understanding about this between both Japanese and non-Japanese people. Perhaps simply understanding this may be enough, if it meant that Japanese people were able to prepare for the uncertain better. At the same time non-Japanese people need to have a bit of slack, they need to be able to except things as they come, and be OK with things not going their way.

Actually, I think this acceptance is one of the keys to living well. Things aren’t always going to go the way you plan so you should learn to except them. Once you have excepted them, and you’ll realize that it isn’t a big thing after all.

Another thing to add is that a traveler once told me that you only truly start traveling when you are lost. Only when you have no idea where you are or what you are doing do you truly start to travel, and I think the same could be said about life too. Plus, it’s more fun.

ENJOYED THIS? HAVE MORE.

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Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

tim@timbunting.com

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