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It’s hard to really explain just how little street crime there is in Japan, and how much that affects the ways people go about their daily lives. Sure, you could rattle off statistics about the ridiculously low number of muggings or thefts per capita, or you could point to this video showing a completely unmanned lost and found station with some very valuable property left lying around with no fear that anyone other than the rightful owner will claim it.

The Japan Channel has over a thousand videos covering delicious food, eye-catching fashion, and historic architecture in Japan. Today, though, we’re taking a look at one that shows something that seems pretty ordinary at first glance: a parking lot near a train station.

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Not all residents of smaller, more spread-out Japanese towns live within walking distance of their local station, so this one has two lots, one for bicycles and one for automobiles, next to it. In the hustle and bustle of exchanging one mode of transportation for another, though, invariably some people are going to drop their belongings as they hop off their bike or climb out of their car.

This station doesn’t appear to be big enough to require a full-time employee to man the lost and found counter, though. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t actually need a counter at all, as the video shows.

Instead, there’s just a board with a couple of nails hammered into it. If you’re walking by and happen to spot an item someone’s dropped, simply pick it up, hang it on the board, and leave it for the owner to collect when he retraces his steps and comes back to the parking lot.

It’s not like all of the items hanging there are worthless trinkets, either. Sure, there’s a stack of self-study vocabulary flash cards and some sort of cheap plastic figure on a chain, but there are also two keys, one of which is almost certainly for a car or scooter.

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This isn’t the only place in Japan where people feel secure doing this sort of thing, either. We spotted something similar on a trip to Akita Prefecture, where outside Tazawako Station someone had found a motorcycle key and decided to jury-rig a lost and found board by taping a piece of paper with “someone dropped this” written on it to a glass partition near the bus stop.

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It’s also common to see single gloves draped over benches, planters, street signs, and in other spots where they’ll draw attention, with the common logic that only the person who lost the glove will take it. So while the norm in Japan is still to turn lost items in to the local police box, it’s nice to know that even if there’s not one around, you can generally rely on the honesty of your fellow pedestrians.

Source: Kaigai Matome
Top image: YouTube
Insert images: YouTube, RocketNews24 (edited by RocketNews24)