Arriving in Japan I was shocked to see people reserving tables in coffee shops by leaving their bag, mobile phone, or other valuable things. Now I do the same, because finding a table is a bigger concern than having stuff stolen: it’s that safe (and crowded). With this safety I feel comfortable carrying and using cash for all purchases large or small.
That is common for Japan, where cash in circulation is equivalent to 20% of GDP, the highest percentage of all countries indexed by the BIS and more than twice the average.
On a recent visit to Loft in Shibuya, I enjoyed shopping, cheesecake, and a terrifying roller coaster ride.
Passing the demo of eco-friendly scooters and rushing my shopping buddy through the sale section, we headed to the Shibuya City Lounge in-store cafe. There, we unexpectedly found armchairs equipped with virtual reality headsets offering experiences ranging from surfing to roller coaster rides. We eagerly put on our seat belts and were quickly shrieking with fear and laughter in the middle of the store.