July 31, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

To compliment the “hKUDOS goes travelling” theme, I have decided to write about my short trip to Japan after my two month-long internship in New York. Originally, nothing struck me as being interesting enough to really write an extensive blog about. Yes, I could write about being a New Yorker and being a tourist and how this unspoken feud would never end. Yes, I could write about spending all my parent’s money on things that I don’t really need. But would you children really read this post?

So it took a while for some proper inspiration to strike. And I decided to hit up one of my very best sources of inspiration… ‘Tumblr’. You’re probably thinking, “oh wow… what a hipster… you think you’re so cool… you’re one of those sad teenagers that never leaves their house…”, in a way yes… Tumblr does become a common past time (e.g. to pretend I’m texting someone important when I am in fact very alone). I’m the type that occasionally goes on ‘Tumblr’ for laughs, checking in on what this insanely creative and downright hilarious community is up to (I mean I only have 28 followers, 20 of them aren’t actually active…). While scrolling through my phone, I came across this post that reminded me of my short trip to Tokyo. This was an image with a little bobby pin inside a small ziplock bag, which was attached to a card that said,

“When processing your laundry, the enclosed items were found within your garments. We are pleased to return it to you. Thank you.”

Or please refer to fig. 1.0 (image at the beginning of the post)

Underneath was the author of this post and his/her gushing about how in love they were with the awfully caring Japanese community. In which, he/she regarded as the “J-Treatment”.

After seeing this post, I thought to myself, I couldn’t agree more! I believe, this so-called “J-Treatment” defines, quite perfectly, the caring and loving sentiment that beams from each and every single corner of the Japan community.

My short time in Japan was quite evident of this “J-Treatment” itself. I’ve had sales persons from shops chase me down to return a pair of sunglasses that I left in their changing rooms. Not to mention, it was the same shop where I tried on a million different things and failed to buy a single one of them. Likewise, having grandmothers bend over in the train to help me pick up the ticket that I’ve dropped.

Not only does this generosity exist in public, but it is also evident in the brilliantly thought-out designs for some of the best products this world has ever seen. You could expect, after a long day of exploring the city on foot, or fishing and digging through piles and piles of clothes in thrift shops for fashion gems, to be welcomed back by your automated bidet in your bathroom, which I consider heavenly.

Also, we all have to thank the godly invention of ‘Nintendos’ and ‘cooking mama’. Hands down one of the best games that has ever walked this planet, even though you look like a crazy person stabbing their own ‘Nintendo’ to death while trying your very best to be “just as good as mama” at chopping onions. Although ‘Nintendos’ were the epitome of “cool”, but 80s and 90s and may be some 21st century kids will forever reserve a spot for their very own ‘Nintendo’ gaming console in their childhood hall of fame.

The sense of generosity is just so strong throughout the entire Japan that it is impossible to avoid. It is as though the “J-Treatment” is standing right in front of me and saying…

“After a long, hard day of work, allow yourself to be pampered by…”

- Long pause -

(wait for it… wait for it…)

“The J-Treatment.”



Sadly, I feel as though this “J-Treatment” does not get the attention that it deserves. When we think of Japan, we, especially Hong Kongers immediately associate Japan with mouth-watering food, emotionally brilliant Japanese dramas and it being the fashion-capital of Asia. Similarly, we are often drawn towards their extremely insensitive but always entertaining game shows, featuring people falling flat on their face and other types of in-game failures. To me, all of these different alluring aspects of Japan masquerades the one element that makes Japan different from any other country or culture on this planet, the “J-Treatment”.

I’m not saying that we should all strive to be like Japan in terms of care, but to me, this is what differentiates my holidays to Japan from any of the other holidays I’ve been on. Usually, I’d expect a large price tag attached to this kind of hospitality, but in Japan, hospitality is not a price, it’s something that is rightfully yours. And it will always be something that will forever draw me back to this marvellous island in the pacific.