Kodomo no Kippu

Excluding the few exceptions that come along with any judgment of a cultural group, I have to say that Japanese people have made an impression upon me as being very warm, attentive, and agreeable. In America, many times people can feel like you are invading their personal space or privacy, or overstepping your bounds as a stranger if you come up to them to ask them something. Although it seems sometimes as though people here are in their own personal worlds, all it takes is one to first break the ice in order to receive a positive response. For instance, while unsuccessfully trying to find a certain restaurant in Kyoto, my friend and I finally stopped to ask for assistance from a man handing out tissues with advertisements. He kindly put down his box, and helped us for about 5 minutes, looking on the smart phone map and trying to figure out how to direct us, even using a little bit of the English he knew. Although we had interrupted his activities, he was willing to help complete strangers find a place that he had never himself been to.

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