Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Won't Miss #525 - aural anarchy in shops

One thing which I hated in stores in Tokyo was the high level of noise. It wasn't just the normal playing of music in shops that you get in the U.S., but a near constant stream of announcements or advertising. When I walked through the local supermarket, Inageya, they'd constantly be playing their jingles over the loudspeaker and they stationed cassette players (yes, cassette players) around the store that blared out sales pitches. On top of that, you'd have people yammering over the loud speaker all of the time. I'm not talking about the occasional "please man checkout 3" sort of thing, but just constant chatter about whatever.

This sort of sound chaos was not rare or uncommon. What was rare or uncommon was to walk into a store and just find mellow music calmly and tastefully playing in the background. I won't miss the onslaught of noise that often accompanied shopping in Japan.