Non-smoking restaurants and cafés are becoming more and more ubiquitous (!) in Japan, which, of course, is a good thing. And the Japanese, being on the whole a considerate people, make provision, as far as practicable, for other people’s needs. Outside this particular café a bench is provided together with an ashtray, partially filled with earth, for the convenience of their smoker patrons.
Astute readers will doubtless recognise the former use of the ashtray, and can draw their own conclusions about the way—none too soon—that smoking is going in Japan.
Text and photo © Gabriel Symonds