In May 2019, a team of more than 20 Malaysian entrepreneurs went on a journey to the Land Of The Rising Sun led by Dato Michael Tio (DMT) of PKT Logistics as part of his study tour (the 11th so far). I had the privilege of joining the team on this study where we visited Osaka University & Hiroshima City University. In a contingent of 5 Vellfires led by “Captain” DMT , we traipsed over 1000 kilometres from Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima and Mt Tsurugi. Most evenings were spent sharing on our learnings from fellow entrepreneurs mostly around leadership. I might share this in another story.
- Faithful In The Little Things – There are many memorable experiences in Japan largely from the aspect of customer service. The first time I went there was over 30 years ago. Customer service and culture are so closely intertwined and you wonder why other countries have not followed suit on some simple things. First would have to be impeccable toilets. Heated toiler seats and anti-fog mirrors, a technology I’m sure have been there for ages and yet not adopted in many other countries.
- Pride In Your Work -Travelling around Japan and stopping at rest areas feels like a visit to tourist destination. From rose gardens to flowers in bathrooms, such pride is given in the smallest of things. It’s the smallest things that are most memorable and the consistency over the years. Some places seem to get it completely right like Japan & Bali.It was also my first experience at the onsen. As usual, all toiletries from cleanser, toner to moisturisers of the highest standards were supplied. All the hotel rooms I visited were in fact well-stocked. I don’t believe these things cost a lot but the peace of mind amongst travellers…priceless!Trust and honesty are values they inculcate innately. The trust that we wouldn’t speed on the highway and stick within speed limits and the honesty that we are respectful of things that are given. Visiting souvenir shops was a joy because it was understood that we would not be fleeced. I can’t say I have met anyone who’s visited Japan who did not have an unenjoyable experience!
- Patience By The Bucketloads – Almost at the end of the trip, the car we were in had a small scrape with another car. While waiting for the police to arrive, all the four other cars had to patiently wait for us (the Japanese patience must have rubbed on us!). It was a such a tiny crape that if we were in Malaysia, we would have settled it between the car drivers. Here, we had to wait for the police (who didn’t speak English). It was a long and tedious process but no one lost their patience. I was losing my patience but everyone’s zen-like behaviour held me back. When in Rome I guess…or in this case Japan.