Tokyo citizens take time out to extend the hand of friendship

The sheer scale of the city is overwhelming but rugby visitors receive a warm welcome

Ireland supporters celebrate a try against Scotland during the World Cup clash in Yokohama, near Tokyo Photograph: Franck Robichon/EPA

Ireland supporters celebrate a try against Scotland during the World Cup clash in Yokohama, near Tokyo Photograph: Franck Robichon/EPA

The bowing exchange is out of control. At Yokohama station, a burly Scots man in full tartan has stepped back to allow a Japanese couple to pass in front of him. Everyone’s in a rush somewhere but courtesy must prevail. They give him a bow of thanks. The Scotsman bows back. The Japanese couple meet that bow.

The Scotman’s smile begins to falter as he offers another dubious bow. He’s starting to wonder if he will make the game. The locals back away, still nodding their thanks and the Scottish fans rumble on. There are hundreds of these odd little brushings and international dances of courtesy occurring all over Japan. They’ll put manners on us yet.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.