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Mars

Wonders On Every Pavement

The streets are neat and uncluttered. The gutters have no signs of an overnight party.  The infamous and ubiquitous plastic bags, tissue papers, candy wrappers are nowhere to be found. Such sight is unusual and bewildering for an eye that got used to having cluttered roads back home. And I wondered and opened my eyes to a better world.

Taken in front of Tokyo University

As I got here in the Land of the Rising Sun, this is the scenery that caught my attention than most of the places I have been to. Every time I hit the road, it gives me a sense of wonder and admiration. I have always felt delightful walking on every corner of the street in this country because it’s amazingly clean and beautiful. I tend to think of what they have done to achieve such orderliness and cleanliness. And maybe my country can emulate it. I’m hopeful that in the near future, I could see improvements in my nation’s infrastructure.

Walking along the street in my neighborhood

I have observed numerous ways on how they did it and I am pleased to share some thoughts about it. Let’s start with the throwing of garbage. What I like the most about it is the way they follow rules properly when it comes to segregation. Plastic bottles, cans, and all the other combustible materials are segregated individually in each house. It makes the collection easier because the people have already separated them properly. What’s cooler about it is the fact that they have to take the labels off the plastic bottles and flatten them in order to make it readily recyclable. In addition, specific areas and schedule for pick up are also strictly observed. The area has some kind of net with heavy sides that would keep the bundles of garbage intact.

Scraping off  labels

Another minuscule idea but has a magnanimous effect is the scene when people are walking on the streets. They don’t eat or gobble food on the streets of which I am always guilty of.  As a result, there is no littering. In order to go unnoticed, I put the trash (the can of coffee which I bought from the vending machine) inside my bag and waited until I get home. I became more conscious of my effort in helping the surroundings become unspotted. Even at a fast food restaurant, the customers throw their own trash after eating burgers and drinking sodas. Sometimes, there are some cultural differences but most of them are definitely easier to follow.

One of Shibuya’s street

It always amazes me how Japanese are doing great with small but significant stuff. They put extra effort into whatever they do and throwing garbage is no exemption let alone the Washlet, another thing that really impresses me. No matter how small it is, they try to do it with utmost precision and zest which makes everything convenient. No wonder, 7Eleven is the epitome of what convenience is all about. I used to hear all of these conveniences from other people a long time ago but now I have experienced it myself and the effect on me is extraordinarily phenomenal.

A beautiful street scenery in Kusatsu

This kind of discipline is the reason why it is clean everywhere. It has a synergy effect and consequently becomes their culture.  We can learn from it. It is never too late. This thought may not have a big impact as a whole but I believe that with small beginnings, we can make a difference for the next generation. If we Filipinos could achieve a spirit of cooperation, I am unequivocally certain that we would be able to have similar streets. Eventually, our roads will not be the same again and it will be splendid and wonderful on every pavement… Let’s just try!