How to lose $7,000 of gear and get it back? Go to Japan.

Dave Etchells:

Try to imagine this scenario occurring in the US, or perhaps most any country other than Japan: You leave a camera bag with US$7,000+ of gear in it sitting in a train station. Station personnel may find it that night, or it more likely sits there till morning. The rail line people go looking for it, find it, & forward it to a more convenient location for you to pick it up the next day. When you retrieve & open it, everything is exactly as you left it, all US$7,000+ of gear undisturbed & still inside.

This is a common story in Japan. It’s a generalization but you are more likely to get your gear back in Japan than you are in many other countries.

  • Absolutely. I once forgot my camera in a telephone booth in Kyoto’s main station. Three hours later, it was still there, untouched. In fact, this used to be one of the biggest problems of Japanese traveling overseas: thy could not imagine someone stealing their stuff.

    • ” it was still there, untouched.”

      I’ve heard that from many Japanese and saw it when I was there for a Tokyo Macworld Expo.

      “could not imagine someone stealing their stuff.”

      I hadn’t thought of that POV. That must be crushing for them.

  • Kriztyan

    I will say this about the US, I have left my wallet. I have dropped my iPhone (brand new), with out even noticing. My wife has left her purse, multiple times in stores or restaurants. But we have always gotten everything back undisturbed. Call me lucky but this has been my experience since I moved in 86’ to the US. It is my believe that the majority of people will do the right thing here, it’s just those few that mess everything up for the rest of the honest ones. In the same token, I have returned wallets with cash, mobile phones, car keys and driver licenses to there respective owners every time I have come upon one.

    • Meaux

      My wife left her phone on a metro north train. When she called the MTA the next day, it was in their lost and found in GCT.

  • Andrew de Leon

    It maybe a surprise but here in UAE, it is the same.