Having worked and traveled quite a bit around the world, I truly believe nowhere in the whole world can you get the same high level of customer service as in Japan. In my everyday life in Tokyo I experience very often the goal of true customer service: Not to waste a second of the customers time. This can be reflected for example by Japan Airlines, whose flights were on-time 90.95% of the time on all flights worldwide (industry average of 78.31% according to FlightStats). Otherwise then the punctuality and the convenience of Shinkansen is world-known. In a different field Keio Department store has the policy of having a gift wrapped up within 2 minutes. A customer should not be kept waiting has then a high point of efficiency by the professional sushi creator: Only training for many years allows to cut seconds in the wait for a marvelous constant size 20g rice based sushi. Or have you noticed Japanese using the public transport system? Most likely you will see everyone busy with their mobile phone catching up on emails or tweets, reading a newspaper, a novel or even catch up on English learning, last but not least many prefer sleeping. Time should not be wasted.
Amazingly Tokyo has a long history of valuing efficiency very high. Starting in the Edo period (1603 to 1868) people born and raised in Tokyo (“Edokko”) became known for their boisterous, quick-tempered, but lovable character. These townsfolk were supposedly so impatient that they were unwilling even to take the time to tie the cords of their sandals, so their approach was heralded by a noisy flapping sound.
Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤).