Smart Things Okinawans Do

There are a couple simple yet brilliant things I've observed in Okinawa that make me happy. In general, the Japanese seem very efficient with everything they do. Even at the airport, processes were much smoother and pleasant than in the states. I think this country is on to something.

Perhaps my favorite brainchild is the sticker system for cars. There are two stickers: the orange and yellow Ochiba mark and the green and yellow Wakaba mark. Ochiba represents fallen leaves and Wakaba represents new, budding leaves. It makes sense then that those with Ochiba stickers on their cars are elderly drivers and those with Wakaba stickers are new, young drivers - the two types of drivers you want to stay away from! Thank you, Japan, for developing a socially acceptable system of letting me know which drivers I need to avoid on the road. Someone should let Florida know about this system.

Toilets are also a work of pure genius here. They are much more technologically advanced than toilets in the states. I was overwhelmed in the Tokyo airport after using my first Japanese toilet. There were so many options other than flushing! I was afraid I would hit a button that would do something horrible to me, so I stuck with the one that looked like the flush button. I admit I was intrigued by the button that read "powerful odor relief." Maybe next time I will try it out. Sadly, our toilets at home aren't as advanced, but they do have two flushing options: one is a regular flush and the other is a more powerful flush. Who wouldn't love a powerful flush option?

Another thing I love is Japan's obsession with vending machines. They are everywhere. You are never far away from an iced coffee, an apple tea, or good old coca-cola. They even have some heated vending machines if you prefer your coffee hot. There are at least 1o vending machines within a short walk of our house. How do the Japanese concentrate with so many options are their fingertips every day? Maybe America shouldn't invest in this concept - we are lazy enough.


  1. Just a few thoughts.

    First, if you were to implement the sticker system in Florida you would need to add stickers for rednecks, tourists and people from the Miami area, just to cover everyone that you need to avoid on the road.

    Second, I am envious of the power flush option. That could really come in handy with Conor.


    P.S. I'm posting as anonymous because I can't figure the other options out. This is my first experience with blog commenting.

  2. Carol - you can either click "subscribe" to posts at the bottom of the blog, or if you already have a google account, you can select "follow" at the top.