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Japanese travelers abroad lack street smarts

61 Comments

Low-cost air travel has made the exotic familiar, the distant near, the unusual commonplace. To modern Japanese, the overseas world is their oyster. Most know it as well as they know their own domestic back yard. Many know it better.

For all that, there’s still one fact of global life they never quite learn, says Weekly Playboy (March 25). Coming from one of the safest countries on Earth, they forget the dangers that lurk elsewhere. They lack those danger antennae known as street smarts. They are easy prey, sitting ducks.

This year, still in its first quarter, is already rich in reminders of the hazards that await the unwary – and the wary too, for that matter. In January, 10 Japanese died in an Algerian hostage crisis. The shock of that had barely eased before three Japanese tourists were killed in February in a vehicle and knife attack in Guam. Two weeks later, four Japanese were among 19 tourists who died in a balloon crash in Luxor, Egypt.

Weekly Playboy’s article is therefore timely – a compendium of safety tips for travelers, capped by a succinct warning: “What’s common sense in Japan is by no means common sense in the world at large!”

Enjoy yourself abroad by all means, but be on maximum alert and take nothing for granted, is the implicit message. Risks range from pickpocketing to terrorism, from disease to scam artists, the latter very skilful and often well organized. Some of them are children. The heart sinks when we’re told not to trust kids. They’re cute, they’re poor, will it really hurt to give them a few coins, or to buy their trinkets, guidebooks, T-shirts, shoeshine services? Yes, it may very well hurt. Unknown to you, the children’s adult handlers are likely watching from a distance. What you give the kids ultimately goes to them. Be forewarned. If you want to give something, give candy.

Keep your cash well hidden, your wallet chained. Don’t let your credit card out of sight, lest it be “skimmed” for data. Don’t approach dogs – rabies may have been eliminated from Japan but it kills thousands elsewhere in the world. If you see someone collapse on the street, stifle your natural sympathy and walk on – sympathy is exploitable and ills are liable to be fictitious. Stay away from street demonstrations. They’re interesting but explosive, and curiosity-seeking camera-toting tourists only make people angrier, often aggressively so.

You start to wonder, reading Weekly Playboy’s admonitions, whether travel is really so much fun after all. If you’re eternally vulnerable, perpetually on your guard, where’s the pleasure? That’s even before the subject of terrorism comes up.

Algeria drove home to anyone who needed the lesson that terrorism is alive and well more than a decade after the U.S. declared, with Japan’s support, a “war on terrorism.” Likely targets are the places where the comparatively rich congregate in poor countries – luxury restaurants, high-end department stores, theaters, bars and so on. Wherever you go, the magazine advises, the first thing to do – not after the blast when it’s too late but immediately upon entering, as a matter of course – is stake out an escape route. Sit near the doors. Check the toilet to see if there’s a window leading out. And if in your wanderings you come upon a scene of terrorist carnage, don’t linger. A second attack aimed at gaping spectators is always a possibility.

© Japan Today

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

61 Comments
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The heart sinks when were told not to trust kids.

Watch out for the gypsy kids! In Italy, France, etc. their parents dispatch them into the city centers to spend the day stealing money, usually at ATMs just as you're taking your cash.

Even when caught, the cops aren't allowed to jail them for any length of time, and the authorities are not allowed to shut down the illegal gypsy camps on the cities' outskirts where they live, because the politically correct activitists see it as an infringement of their "human rights." LOL.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Japan is a well-ordered, prosperous society where the rule of law is, for the mostpart, very well respected and observed, and people are respectful of those around them.

Unfortunately for the Japanese, many of the places they visit are not Japan's equal in this respect. Many of the Japanese people I know and see abroad treat strangers with an openness that leaves them vulnerable to the scumbags. I often feel they treat most people they meet with respect, as opposed to wariness and suspicion, which the rest of them do, and this is confused for naivety.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

If it weren't just cheap tabloid Weekly Playboy, I would say the writer needed better examples.

Algeria: This wasn't a matter of Japanese street smarts. It was a guarded complex, and victims weren't just Japanese.

Guam: The death toll was higher in the Akihabara incident.

Egypt: It was an accident, although negligence may be involved, and again wasn't limited to Japanese.

A better example would have been the tourist stabbed to death in Russia when camping in sight of the highway (Probably lulled into overconfidence due to the kindness of the great majority of Russians in the countryside).

21 ( +24 / -3 )

@JeffLee - I just had that Gypsy conversation last week.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If you see someone collapse on the street, stifle your natural sympathy and walk on – sympathy is exploitable and ills are liable to be fictitious.

Yea ... the Japanese don't help each other if they collapse in the street either.

I once witnessed an old guy have a heart attack in a train station, not one person (except me) stopped to help, call an ambulance or alert station staff.

A friend of mine saw a salaryman getting beat up by a young guy, and the guy ran off and left bleeding in the street, no-one did anything, except my friend who offered some tissues and waited with him until the ambulance came.

Japanese can be very cold hearted, especially in the cities during rush hour.

23 ( +25 / -2 )

In January, 10 Japanese died in an Algerian hostage crisis. The shock of that had barely eased before three Japanese tourists were killed in February in a vehicle and knife attack in Guam. Two weeks later, four Japanese were among 19 tourists who died in a balloon crash in Luxor, Egypt.

Like knowitall also implied, these are real low blows, stupid examples and very disrespectful. They had nothing to do with being "street smart".

Yeah those gypsy kids are everywhere, or were, I haven't seen them so much recently. I caught one running away from an ATM with my friends cash card in Greece once. I don't know if Japanese are especially un-street smart, I knew lots of people in England when I was a teenager/early 20s that could have done with some more common sense when traveling.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It's an odd combination of lack of street smarts and excessive fear of going anywhere else.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

FIrst, Japanese in the big cities are very cold hearted that very few would actually help one of their own people if they were suffering.

Second of all, the balloon accident had nothing to do with Japanese aloofness of world street smarts.

And third of all, yes there are a major problem with gypsies kids being taught to steal in France and Italy. They find East Asian tourists the most easy targets and even tried to pickpocket me because I looked East Asian....boy were they in on a surprise when I yelled at them in French and Italian, depending on which country it happened.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Japanese also have a bad habit with talking about other people in front of them, thinking that they will not understand.

They mostly do this toward other Asian tourists.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Of course.

Japanese people got their view of the outside world from anime, dramas and food shows (And not the Bourdain/Zimmern kind of food shows). And these shows tends to portray first world European countries and island nations as "majestic & beautiful". And that is a terrible way to influence someone to travel. Sure, it helps attract Japanese people to travel, but it would also cause them to narrow their worldview into thinking that and nothing else. When they keep on thinking about wanting to see the beautiful side portrayed on the TV screen, they will definitely only think about that and ignore things like health and safety.

Thanks to the Internet, most Western and English-speaking travelers can learn about the world beyond what they're told. Nowadays sites like TripAdvisor, spottedbylocals.com and WikiTravel has helped many travelers from the Western and English-speaking world to get more indepth and street-smart about travel, but due to the language barrier, lack of knowledge of the English-speaking Internet and proper Travel sites in Japanese many Japanese people still rely on their TV for their travel needs, and that's pretty sad.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Being aware of what is going on around us is most important. Wandering in a dream, eyes glued to a touch screen makes for an easy target.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

abroad they lack street smarts, you might want to add "at home" also common sense is something that needs to be taught at a young age, unfortunately to many parents dont know themselves or dont teach there children the basics

7 ( +8 / -1 )

zenkan,

Being aware of what is going on around us is most important.

The BEST advice!

This is true WHEREVER you are.

Most traffic accidents happen when people are NOT LOOKING.

Keep your eyes and ears open, keep your valuables safe and there is no problem.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Just make sure you don't fall for any of those "It's me. It's me." scams so prevalent in foreign countries.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Where ever you go O.C. spray, a chain on your wallet and very hearty distrust of your fellow man will get you through a lot of places. Learned the hard way in Egypt and the Philippines. Japanese girls in this country, heck in my own home state and university are given O.C. spray because they are too trusting of drunk college guys and not knowing who is being kind and who are those trying to take real advantage of their naivety.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The heart sinks when were told not to trust kids.

Watch out in Brazil's slum areas, and with the upcoming World Cup and Olympics this is no joke. Leave your arm hanging out of a window in a moving car in the wrong area and you stand the chance of getting your arm cut off to steal the watch on your wrist.

Japanese people no thanks in part to their government and media are kept in an ignorant bliss about their own country and the rest of the world's problems with crime. Ignorance is no excuse, and education starts by taking common sense approaches when travelling abroad.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Most traffic accidents happen when people are NOT LOOKING.

Really nothing to do with the topic at hand......BUT this is fair advice here in Japan too.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Some of the listed issues had nothing to do with street smarts. I mean the balloon accident could of happened to anyone, it was a freak accident. Going down a dark alley in New York with 100,000 Yen on the other hand would be considered lack of street smarts.

I shore patrolled in Guam a few times back in 2005, and more than anything I had to help the police aid many Japanese tourists who fell victims to petty crime (thank god). One time, two Japanese women who were robbed. One of the girls had been non stop weeping and looked in bad shape. I had felt sorry for her and her friend because it could of really ended bad. Come to find out she was fine and not really shaken up at first. Then the switch was flipped when the police told her she lost out on her coach bag and LV wallet inside the bag. She was more concerned about those things, rather than what could of happened. Police told her that she was lucky as it could of been worse. Her response. "Yeah, but what about my things?! Those were not cheap fake brands!"

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Its typical, Japanese think that they are the smartest and nobody will harm them but they are wrong! Someone about to do harm or rob you is not going to attack say an American because he knows how to protect himself but a weak and flashy Japanese is a prime target. I've traveled the world and have been in some dangerous situations but by using my street smarts I was able to get out of the situations without harm or losses. To my friends in Japan if you travel abroad dont try think that your flashy watches or those stupid long Japanese wallets that hang halfway out of your back pockets are safe. BE SMART!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

ONLY ABROAD?? My guess, to many Japanese, even here in Japan do not know how to spot trouble makers and avoid that kind of danger, let alone overseas! Oh well, nobody is perfect, right??

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Just street smarts?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Given the relative safety of Japanese society, this can't possibly be a surprise - how would the average person even recognize the need for "street smarts", or learn them? Most tourists, of all nationalities, traipse around as if they're in their own backyard, oblivious that they're practically begging for exploitation.

The TV networks, NHK for example, should have a series on how to be a safe & sane tourist. It doesn't need to be fear mongering, but common sense oriented, with tips from experienced travelers how not to become a victim - even from just being ripped off by the occasional tourist parasite.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Low-cost air travel has made the exotic familiar, the distant near, the unusual commonplace. To modern Japanese, the overseas world is their oyster. Most know it as well as they know their own domestic back yard. Many know it better.

Slight exaggeration.

They are easy prey, sitting ducks.

Is this right? Are Japanese tourists victims of a huge number of crimes when travelling? I know they look lost and all, but what do the facts say?

The Alegerian people weren't tourists. The balloon accident was atragedy, but nothing to do with street smarts.

Haven't read the full article, but sounds like a typical "furriners are weird and furrin parts are dangerous" rant. SSometimes get these on TV too (normally with token "funny" gaijin thrown in for laughs)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As to the anti-gypsy kid posters, so what? you give them a few coins and that's it. Or you don't if that is how you are. The fact it goes to their parents doesn't make them any more "dangerous" or more of a nuisance.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yubaru Watch out in Brazil's slum areas, surely the answer is not to go to these areas. What for?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

To modern Japanese, the overseas world is their oyster. Most know it as well as they know their own domestic back yard.

Um, what?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

yup Japanese really do lack street smarts unfortunately

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@kimuzukashiiiiiMar. 17, 2013 - 08:50AM JST

omg! i feel the same way, japanese have been mean to me sometimes lol

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

In January, 10 Japanese died in an Algerian hostage crisis.

"Street smarts" have nothing to do with this.

The shock of that had barely eased before three Japanese tourists were killed in February in a vehicle and knife attack in Guam.

So, are also going to call out the people who were killed in the Akihabara attack for not having "street smarts"?

Two weeks later, four Japanese were among 19 tourists who died in a balloon crash in Luxor, Egypt.

"Street smarts" have nothing to do with this.

If you see someone collapse on the street, stifle your natural sympathy and walk on

Most people in Tokyo have been doing this for a long time.

“What’s common sense in Japan is by no means common sense in the world at large!”

No truer words have ever been spoken...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I agree with Probie. The examples cited of Japanese nationals being killed abroad has nothing to do with "street smarts." Another fine example of online journalism where pushing out content wins at the expense of a real story.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Konichiwa, wallet inspector. I bet it works.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In different countries there are different risk. There are plenty in Japan, too. Most Japanese know, however, they will be ripped-off in many Kabukicho bars, for instance, so they don't go to them unless they are with someone who knows the bar. There are also places in Japan where few Japanese dare to venture, such as Sanya in Tokyo or Kotobukucho in Yokohama.

The biggest danger when travelling is not knowing which areas are safe and which are not.

This article reminded me of something I read in the Bangkok Post some time ago. A couple of Japanese tourists got separated from their group. They had been warned of all the rip-offs and were nervous, but they were so thirsty that they went into a bar and ordered some drinks. They had a great time. What surprised them was how much cheaper it was than the places they were taken to by their package tour. They said they would certainly visit Thailand again, but not on a package tour.

It is interesting to note that foreigners coming to Japan also lack street-smarts here, but they soon learn.

I have often told Japanese not to be afraid to travel because they think they will be ripped off as there are so many places they avoid in Japan because they know they will be ripped off.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yeah, I think the general gist of this article is that it's pretty inaccurate with the examples it's listed as having nothing to do with street smarts. Regarding pick-pocketing in Europe, it happens to everyone from around the world, not just Japanese. I know a huge number of Japanese people who have been overseas, and I haven't heard of any sort of situation arising that could have been avoided if they possessed street smarts. This article is silly.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This article's 'proof' of street smarts is pretty ridiculous! The Algerian incident, the balloon in Luxor, and the stabbings in Guam have NOTHING to do with street smarts. It's like saying Australians lack street smarts because so many died in the bombing in Bali years back.

Japanese DO lack a lot of street smarts in general when it comes to traveling abroad -- and more middle-aged and older travelers than young people -- but that's different. Things like carrying THOUSANDS in cash in a pocket or shoulder bag make them easy targets for pick-pockets and/or muggers. Always going on and relying on group tours and getting in a panic if lost and not on schedule, etc. THOSE are examples of lacking street smarts.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I find it amusing. "They" all go on about how "safety" Japan is and how "dangerous" gaikoku is and then behave like loons. Leaving wallets, cameras on tables to go and order, opening maps up in the middle of the sidewalk, trusting people they've never met, never asking the price of things or battering over prices... If "gaikoku" is so dangerous, why don't they behave like it is and think about their behaviour?

And yes, these examples are stupid. Why not mention the rapes/drugs in Bali, the gang rapes in India, the pick-pocketing, the bribes...

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Not always lacking street smarts. Knew a Japanese clinical psychologist who told me he was once trying to pass through immigration and/or customs in Africa somewhere and someone was trying to shake him down. He didn't panic (maybe using his trade skills??) and after he failed to be let though without being harassed further he finally said he has a friend who works at the Japanese consulate who he would like to contact (which he actually has no such friend). At that point he was let go.

But yeah, got to live and learn (which I did in the high school gym locker freshman year after having my wallet stolen with ONE dollar in it-- two times). Best advice is to let them know that it only takes a tenth of a second to look away from your belongings for someone to snatch it because some of those thieves have the hands of surgeons and it's a shame they can't use that talent more productively.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Three of my Japanese friends got robbed in Europe from gypsy kids.

I love Japan for it's safety. I first arrived in 2006 and couldn't believe all mobile phones were displayed without security. Today it's different, unfortunately....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yea ... the Japanese don't help each other if they collapse in the street either.

I once witnessed an old guy have a heart attack in a train station, not one person (except me) stopped to help, call an ambulance or alert station staff.

A friend of mine saw a salaryman getting beat up by a young guy, and the guy ran off and left bleeding in the street, no-one did anything, except my friend who offered some tissues and waited with him until the ambulance came.

Japanese can be very cold hearted, especially in the cities during rush hour.

That happened to me, too. I came to the aid of some older person when most everyone went about their business. I was also knocked off my bike by an old person who took off. Same thing happened. only a couple of ladies stopped and checked on me when everyone else went about their business. Talk about a thoughtless society.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I was also knocked off my bike by an old person who took off. Same thing happened. only a couple of ladies stopped and checked on me when everyone else went about their business. Talk about a thoughtless society.

Only two ladies? Just how many ladies (or gentlemen) would it have taken to satisfy you?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Whatever you call it - naivete, lack of street smarts, complacency... the Japanese seem to have it spades and display in unsafe places. I watched as a handbag was lifted off a chair back while a party was going on in Manila (it happened so fast that I didn't even realize it). I worked with 3 fairly toughlooking guys who thought it was safe to walk on a main street at night in downtown Nairobi, and my wife was looted of her purse in Italy and a brand-new coat in Finland of all places, a couple of summers ago. They should give Japanese passports out with ripoff-hazard ratings for all countries printed inside.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"Don't approach dogs"

Not even the cute little ones?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As to the anti-gypsy kid posters, so what? you give them a few coins and that's it. Or you don't if that is how you are. The fact it goes to their parents doesn't make them any more "dangerous" or more of a nuisance.

The article is off in terms of Street smarts, Algeria, and the balloon incident have nothing to do with street smarts.

As for the gypsy folk, it is not the fact that the kid ask you for money and then they go to the parents, it is the fact that the parents are watching and measuring how much money you have, even if you don't give it to the kids, they will look a way to scam you.

Here's a couple of tips on streets smarts.

Use your cell phone with hands-free sets, holding and walking your cell phone, ipad, etc is easy prey to delinquents who will take it form you and run. Don't ever wear gold jewelry in countries with large disparities in household income, especially Latin America it makes them more grudgy to assault you trying to rip off you neckk of hand the jewelry. When you use an ATM, cover the keypad with your hand and wait until the end of the transaction, look out for other people around you "waiting", sometimes the clone the card reader and that person is looking for your pin number or either steal your card. (try to use the interior of banks) Avoid to ask for services to passerby (for example where are currency exhange offices, banks, etc) especially if you go to a country where your facial features are distinctive from the locals, delinquents can spot easily a tourist and they have many ways to scam you. Try to use the internet (previously) to locate these services or go to police first. For ladies : use a cross back handbag and keep it under you eye constantly, for gentlement: use your wallet on the shirt pocket, many use on the pants.

that's all that I can say now....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is starting to sound like the Japanese are the wide-eyed innocent Eloi from "The Time Machine" with the rest of the world being the Morlocks.

The Japanese people I know have been abroad many times, and have even lived abroad to learn English... so I think this really broad statement needs to be toned down a wee bit. My friends are certainly not walking around in foreign climes like naive lambs, with hungry wolves slavering behind them and rubbing their paws.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

For ladies : use a cross back handbag and keep it under you eye constantly, for gentlement: use your wallet on the shirt pocket, many use on the pants. that's all that I can say now....

Also, hold bags on the curb side, not the street side. Two-man motorcycle-snatching pairs are common. Fortunately I knew about this in Vietnam, where I kept my bag and almost dragged the would-be thief off his motorbike.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The headline of this article doesn't quite fit what the author wrote in the contents. The Algerian hostage crisis, the ballon disaster in Egypt as well as the incident in Guam have nothing to do with the lack of "street smarts". Other than not being in those particular countries at the time, "street smarts" would have not prevented nothing what happen.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wasnt it a Japanese couple of backpackers that caused a scene ten years or so ago when there was a showdown in Manger Square, Bethlehem? The rebels were holed up in the church, every entrance to the square had a tank sitting in it with its guns trained on the church, there was a tense standoff in progress, not a civilian in sight.....and two Japanese backpackers, noses buried in a map, walked right into the middle of it.

They said they had been backpacking and hadnt kept up to speed with the news.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Chiba, yes. Don't forget the kid who thought going to Iraq to sight-see would be a great idea - he ended up headless. There have been more than a few cases of idiots heading into war zone who get captured/killed and then the media goes crazy about how dangerous gaikoku is.

Again, if gaikoku is oh so dangerous, why don't the Japanese use some sense when traveling? Indeed, not all are clueless but many, many are. I fear when my husband goes abroad but I think him just looking Japanese makes him an easy target. He's not dumb but every person who preys on tourists knows the locals are an easy and good target.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Ultimately, it's the same for tourists from every country visiting any country in the world; you've got those who take precautions, and those who don't.

Those who say it's a specific Japanese trait are morons. In fact, from my experiences, I'd say the biggest lures would be US tourists; loud, instantly recognizable as a tourist and holding their valuables in silly bumbags around their waists - that's an easy target..

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Dcog, at least they're looking after their valuables! Many Japanese don't and then are shocked when things get stolen! But yes, idiots from every nationality but travel around Asia - you'll quickly learn that the locals LOVE ripping off the Japanese because it is so easily done.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

A good tourist guide book would warn you of the local dangers like crime hotspots or scammer methods. Be alert, stay safe!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Simply stated: most Japanese lack common sense.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

“What’s common sense in Japan is by no means common sense in the world at large!”

Common-Sense in Japan...? Does NOT Exist.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

What happened to the well established term 'street wise' which is not only real English but also easy enough to understand. These days we have 'smart' everything and the non-word smarts has been invented as a noun? Anyone else had enough this? Let me see, next this will be picked up by the Japanese to become 'do-sma' or 'sma-do" and they will wonder why we don't understand it because it is 'English'.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If you take the definition of smart, having or showing a quick-witted intelligence ;wise, having or showing experience, knowledge, and good judgment. Street-smarts:a shrewd ability to survive in a dangerous urban environment. Street wise: having the knowledge needed to survive in difficult and dangerous places or situations in a city. I don't think the problem with Japanese tourists is street smarts or being street wise as much as a lack of judgement and common sense. There was a story not too long ago where a Japanese when to Afganistan or Iraq during the fights, still fighting, and got killed. Why, here wanted to experience war. That is definitely a lack of common sense and judgement. There are dangers in the world, even in Japan and unlike a video game, there are no do overs or new lives. There are risks attached to very thing we do, taking the elevator, taking a plane, standing on a platform for a train. Somethings you can prepare for and others you can't. You can stand on a platform so has to decrease you chances of being pushed off but if you are on a boat and a tsunami sinks it, the only change you have if you didn't get on. Can can look at the safety records of airlines and decide which one may be safer but any plane at any time can have a catastrophic failure or say in a case of Korean Airline some years ago, get shot down. As for the Japanese, they do tend to get themselves in situations where common sense should dictate you not to go.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This idea of Japanese tourists being less careful than tourists from other countries is just a stereotype. Given the high proportion of them who travel, they probably get ripped off less on a statistical basis than other travellers. The reason why a few examples of people who came a cropper get paraded around as being somehow representative of the Japanese in general is just a play on the 'unique Japan' syndrome. Actually, these people are more likely to be the ones who were trying to prove a point to themselves about being different from the herd.

I do think that the Japanese are targeted. That's true enough. But the reason for that is because they are known to be often wealthy, non violent for the most part, not very good at speaking foriegn languages etc. That's what makes them targets, and the ones who turn out to dumb as well are the ones you get to hear about. Most Japanese tourists are aware of the shortcomings that make them targets and that is why they very sensibly travel in organised groups to destinations established as being safe.

Some might say the above type of travel takes all the fun out of it, but if you have to spend all your time checking buildings for escape routes and guarding your money bag, what's fun about that? No thanks. I'm having my next holiday in Wakayama.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

**safest way i found, stay home

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Absolutely! MY gf on a trip to Nepal. met a random guy that promised to show her to her hotel and she promptly followed him! Luckily she escape his advances .......she followed a stranger in a foreign country?

Most Japanese definitely lack some street savvy!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think they also lack common sense. Today you see more bicycles being locked but a few years ago, you didn't. I can tell you a true story of two Japanese students who went to NYC for the summer. They bought 2 expensive bikes but lost them in a couple of days because they locked they on the street via the seat which had a quick release. Generally, you lock bikes wrapping the tires and body not the seat. Like for them they had the bikes insured. The other part that lack sense is that for less than a 1/3 of the cost of the bikes, they could have gotten passes for the whole transit system of NYC for all the time they were there. NYC is like Tokyo, it's better to take public transit.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As with everybody else, this article used very poor examples to prove a lack of street smarts. I do agree with the premise, but very poorly chosen examples.

Furthermore, what do you expect from people who are lead around like sheep, told when to cross, told when to walk, have guides holding flags explaining things while nobody looks where they walk, and then you wonder why Japanese have problems when they go abroad?

I realize that this isn't representative of everybody in this country, and could be representative of people from any country, but the fact is that Japan is, typically, very very safe, and people here don't pay attention, and don't look out for themselves; that is somebody elses job, right? Thus, they often do run into trouble when traveling overseas.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As a native New York kid who spent many formative years riding the subways while checking out the "innocents abroad" -- tourists from Japan -- and who'se been back and forth to Japan quite a few times as well, I certainly concur with the writers message - dangers lurk all over once out of Safe Japan, but am shocked; people read the articles in Playboy? Hmm couldve fooled me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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