You’ve gotta love this kind of logic. You’ve partied all night long, you’ve missed the last train home and to top it all off you’re beyond drunk. Before slipping into those asphalt lodgings always remember to carefully remove your shoes for maximum comfort. This photo was taken the last time I was in Japan in July, my roommate and cousin found this man lying unconscious on their way back to the hotel after a long night. So it got me thinking, what causes this kind of thing to happen? I come from Australia and it’s pretty rare to ever find someone passed out in the middle of the street, 5am on a Sunday morning is no exception.
It seems like Japanese people will basically sleep anywhere. I can remember from the first time I visited on a school trip, 8am Tokyo was littered with commuters catching up on lost sleep anywhere and everywhere. Restaurant tables, park benches, limited express trains(sometimes even falling asleep standing). Some, like my good friend in the first photo, will even go so far as to resort to the floor.
I’m not the first to write about this phenomenon and surely I won’t be the last. A quick google search about Japanese people sleeping brings back a handful of blog posts about the same topic. Some people suggest it’s due to long work hours and its merely efficient time management.
Thinking back to the comparison I made with Australia, it could all be about crime and comfort. A quick look at the NationMaster’s crime rate comparison tells it all. The statistic I found most interesting was perception of safety when walking in the dark, in Japan 78% of respondents felt safe walking in the dark while only 64% of Australian respondents felt the same. If they’re more willing to walk in the dark, where most crimes are committed, why shouldn’t the same go for sleeping?
All I’m hoping is that when I go on exchange the workload won’t be demanding enough to put me to sleep every 10 steps I take. I’ll probably be riding to school anyway and considering it took me until age 8 to learn to ride a bike I think it’ll take me a few more years to master riding unconscious.