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Hardside luggage is the thing in Japan

On a small island condensed with so much population it seemed to me, the doe eyed Westerner; that people in Japan were on the go, and with hardside luggage to tote! After nearly two weeks in Kyoto and Tokyo, train stations, airports and busy streets were filled with rolling cases, so hard you'd think James Bond was lugging secret weapons around. However, in contrast to oversized pieces in metallic and black traveling around the airport, small compact wheelie cases were bustling around the city: so shiny you could catch your reflection.

It amazed me how different something as universal as luggage could be: in the US hardside travel luggage is not the norm. In fact, quite the opposite! It seems most North American travelers prefer ballistic nylons and polyesters over the hard plastics. I mentioned this difference to a friend and the response was that when she lived in Asia, China especially, hard sided cases were the norm.

I haven't figured out what accounts for the different choices we, or other cultures make. Luggage trends in one culture, it's just that: in Japan it's hard rolling cases; US soft rolling cases. Go figure!

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