Sleeping tight…

Where to sleep in Japan.

Today’s article, if you can call these that, is about a topic that I find to be very interesting and very “Japanese”. A topic that is almost unimaginable for many American’s. If you were to leave your car unattended with the keys in the ignition Aurora, where I grew up, you would more than likely find one or two people looking into your car and scoping it out possible theft. Also, if you were to to leave your car running, while either in the car or out of the car for more than 5 minutes you can be ticketed by the police for pollution.

So, for those of you who know Japan you can probably guess what I am talking about. I am talking about the habit of Japanese people to sleep in their cars. If you travel around Japan for more than a day, especially in Summer and stop at any parking lot, convince store or parking station you undoubtedly see a few dozers sleeping in their car or trucks.

There is no law against sleeping in your can but you will definitely get the police  if you stop at the wrong places for a night. In Japan it isn’t against the law to stop on the side of the street, unless marked, but you will may have to answer a few questions by helpful people. Also, if you stop at a convenience store parking lot for a whole night the manager might come and talk to you. In any case it is probably best have any paperwork, such as drivers licenses and car insurance and other IDs availble when you do get questioned.

So then the question that gets raised is – why do so many Japanese people sleep in their cars? There may be many answers to this question, but I think that it may be answered in one Japanese word – inemuri. This is a Japanese word that means sleeping while on duty. Japanese people are horrible overworked, and spend a lot of time at work, much more than their American counterparts. By sleeping while on duty the Japanese show how they are dedicated to their jobs and willing to sacrifice the comforts of home and a soft bed for their work.

While this may not be the %100 accurate it is the best explanation I can come up with. I would love to hear what you think the reason is that Japanese people sleep in their cars. I have not been all over Japan, just a few prefectures so it would be very interesting to hear about the experiences and explanations other people have had and heard.

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