Imagine you walk into Starbucks alone. You leave your laptop on the table and your bag on the chair while you go to the restroom. Even if you return after 5 minutes, everything will be in the same state, unchanged. I go to cafes almost every day, and when I go to the restroom, I only take my wallet and smartphone, leaving my MacBook and bag as they are. I’m not the only one. It’s common throughout Japan.
In this country, incidents like someone running up and snatching your bag while walking down the street don’t happen. I have lived in Japan for over 50 years, and I have never heard such scary stories from anyone.
Now, is it safe to walk alone on dark streets late at night? The answer to this question can be both yes and no. If you are a man, you probably don’t need to worry at all. Westerners, being generally larger in size compared to Japanese people, are less likely to be targeted by criminals. In fact, Japanese people might be more cautious. As for women walking alone, I think it’s better to avoid it. Japan’s economy has been stagnant for the past few years. When people are financially stressed, their emotions can become volatile. Many Japanese people are more irritable than before, and violent incidents have been on the rise. I feel that the decline in the economy has contributed to the deterioration of public safety. Japan remains one of the safest countries in the world, but walking alone on dark streets at night should be avoided.