For work related travel, I have started using Haneda for two reasons. The international terminal started operations a couple of years back and the opening of the newly built Tokyo Gate Bridge which makes it a 25 minute drive by a car from the Edogawa Ward.
The airport has many a currency exchange counters, but one counter I always stop by for currency exchange is the Mizuho Bank counter on the departure floor. No, its not because of better rates. See the counter below, it feels just like any other currency exchange counter, but then something caught my eye.Lets zoom in a bit on the counter…Hmm what are all those colorful paper creations spread out below the LED panel? Reminded of the Origami (paper folding art) that my daughter keeps on doing endlessly, I was intrigued of why would Origami be placed here. Art at the place of cash transactions seemed out of place. If you actually see the above image, the lady on the right counter where no customer is presently standing, she was busy creating these folding wonders!So what do we have here, beautiful creations carefully stacked! Bookmarks, boxes, birds (swans), mini kimono shapes and what not, and to top it all it was written “TAKE ONE FOR FREE”!!! WOW, really? I am in awe of the staff there who spend their spare time busy making these things. From a customers standpoint, it just feels a bit more approachable place than a purely professional transaction point.
The staff had made sure that they also had hand written English note to help people to pick one of the origami creations. Take free, but take ONE. with a cute illustration of a book and a heart mark. Neatly thought out.
I always pick up one as per the instruction, but since I travel too frequently I have collected quite a couple of those Origami works. A beautiful and small box is one that I picked up in my last trip.
…..and a Origami bookmark on yet another occasion.