• Kyoto


Coming back from a long exhausting trip, we were met at Kansai International Airport by a scene of complete chaos: hundreds of tired travelers waiting in endless lines while a little old gentleman ran around flapping his arms crying “please! please!” — the only foreign words he seemed to know.

After waiting for an hour or so, we found out the reason. A traveler in ethnic-looking clothes was caught up ahead at the fingerprinting device. The personnel at the counters did not speak any foreign language either!

Families with kids started to get seriously upset and the little old gentleman, who, in these security-conscious times, wore neither a uniform nor a name tag, flapped his arms even more. The panic was made more hellish by the absence of seats or benches for the tourists, many of whom were aged.

Meanwhile, Japanese travelers were gleefully running through their own immigration points without any checks, right next to us. What is the message here? “Stay away”?

I don’t think any of those tourists will return or have anything positive to say about Japanese immigration policies.

peter n. fenger

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