Please take your trash home


Brian and I took the train to Odaiba this past weekend. Perhaps for safety reasons, all the trash cans at the station were sealed. (In fact, I noticed in recent years that there are hardly any trash cans anywhere in the city. It’s kind of a pain in the butt; there are signs everywhere telling you to take your trash home with you.) Right when we got out of the station we saw this lineup of empty drink containers, probably left by someone who got fed up with looking for a trash can and decided to neatly litter instead.

8 thoughts on “Please take your trash home

  1. The lack of trash cans recently on city streets is due to the threat of terrorism. A trash can is a great place to put a bomb. Therefore, no one can have trash cans.

  2. i noticed that too when I first visited Tokyo, i was tempted to litter but seeing how clean and tidy the streets and everything were, I just kept the trash inside my backpack.

  3. Trash cans no. Not to be found that I can recall.
    Receptacles for your empty bottles and cans from the vending machines, everywhere. Just look for vending machines and there’s a good chance one is nearby.
    If there are no trash cans due to terrorism, that’s just silly. At 7AM, we all know where many people are at during the weekday. In fact, 15 years ago, terrorists left what appeared to be garbage on the floor of several trains.

  4. (My brother and I met in Tokyo last spring and spent a week revisiting the incredible city where we grew up. Here is an excerpt from my journal.)
    We stopped at a little pastry shop and picked out gorgeous pastries, which the owner boxed beautifully for us. We couldn’t find anywhere to sit nearby, so we ate them while looking at the view from a bridge. There were no utensils or napkins (it’s impolite to eat in public in Japan, so the proprietor must have assumed that we were taking them home or giving them as a gift), so we did the best we could with our hands. Needless to say, I got some frosting in my hair and on the outside of the bag, which we were never able to throw away because there are no trash cans in Japan anywhere, so I had to carry the sticky bag with me everywhere for the next two days, only finally being able to dispose of it in the lavatory of my return flight (only a very small exaggeration).

  5. I had serious trash trouble in Tokyo last November. As tourists on the go our typical lunch was onigiri from the convenience stores, and they come with trash! When we did find trash cans we had to decipher the kanji signs to figure out what was supposed to go where (recycle vs burn vs garbage). I ended up carrying a small plastic trash bag around in my pocket and emptying it every night.

  6. On a recent trip to Tokyo, I noticed this also. Not only were there no trash cans, I wasn’t even allowed to take photos in the SkyWalkway in Shibuya.
    So maybe the “Terrorism” comment rings true.
    If it were merely just a case of cleanliness of the City, they should implement this idea here Stateside. Although I don’t think it would work as effectively.

  7. I had to go to a Tokyo dentist today and asked about why there are no bins, they said it’s because there were too many fires caused by people putting their cigarets in trash cans. This rings true as I always see fires in trash cans back home in Melbourne. An interesting way to deal with an issue… remove all the bins.