When we arrived to Haneda airport, all went very smoothly. I was scanning for anything new as I was entering a new world to me. Getting off the plane happened as it always does, going through the Passport control area, was the same as other countries. The advantage here was that the line for foreign nationals was very short compared to the Japanese nationals. After getting my passport stamped, I proceeded to pick up my luggage, all very well signed and easy to follow. When I found my luggage pickup place, I just waited near the shoot where the luggage comes onto the conveyor belt, I was not in a hurry but it’s in my genes 🙂
Now, lucky I did because this is where I spotted the first big (huge) difference with any other airports in the world that I visited. A female airport agent came to the luggage carousel to actually man it. She had a panel with buttons. where she started the carousel and then proceeded to receive each piece of luggage with her hands as they slid down the belt, she would make sure that the luggage would not pile on, so she would place them evenly on the edge of the belt, at the same time that she would turn them around so the handle would face outwards to get them out of the belt with ease. What?! Ok, I was impressed.
After a few pieces of luggage came out, I also noticed that smaller bags, or more vulnerable ones made of soft materials, were placed in a hard plastic container to protect them as they were transported through the system from below.
What?! Ok, I’m more impressed.
I then realized that I had arrived at a country where respect for others and their belongings was at the top of the list. I smiled.