JTB Workers Pass the Hat
Mainichi Daily News, October 15, 1964

Business was good enough for the Tryhorns at their store in Australia that they thought they should take a plane to Japan and see the sights, as well as the XVIII Olympiad in Tokyo. On Friday, October 9, the day before the start of the Olympics, the couple from Victoria disembarked from their floating hotel and transportation, the P&O Orient liner Oriana, to walk about Yokohama.

Unfortunately, as they saw the sites in Isezaki-cho, Mrs Tryhorn was pickpocketed. According to the October 15, Mainichi Daily News, in her stolen purse were train tickets for a limited express of the New Tokaido Line, a coupon for the Kyoto International Hotel, and a notice of remittance addressed to the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corp.

According to The Japan Times on October 20, the Metropolitan Police Department had actually been in the midst of a campaign to thwart pickpockets, starting a preventive program over three months previously to round up suspected pickpockets and keep them off the streets. By the time the Olympics began in October, they had arrested over 230 pickpockets. As a result, the number of pick pocket incidents dropped from 400 in April, 1964 to 120 in September when tourists and people related to the Olympics started arriving in Tokyo.

Unfortunately, the police didn’t catch the guy that picked the Tryhorns. The Japan Travel Bureau (JTB) , led by the manager of the South Pier Yokohama JTB branch, took it upon themselves to make it right for the Tryhorns. They collected money from the JTB staff so that they could buy new train tickets to Kyoto. They called the hotel in Kyoto to ensure that the Tryhorns could stay without the need for their coupon. And they called the bank to ensure that the couple could pick up their cash with the remittance paper when they came back to Yokohama.

Now that’s service!

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Expressway Akasaka Mitsuke, from the book "Tokyo Olympiad 1964_Kyodo News Service"
Expressway Akasaka Mitsuke, from the book “Tokyo Olympiad 1964_Kyodo News Service”

“It was my first time in Tokyo. Very nice people. Wonderful experience. We landed in Japan and the bus took us straight to the Olympic Village. When I saw the roads going through all the buildings, an amazing network of some 45 kilometers… I had been in New Zealand and Australia before but had never seen a road way like that. No intersections! No stops!”

Tokyo was pulling out all the stops to give the impression that it was a modern, efficient and clean city. One of the infrastructure improvements were the highways that wove through the cityscape above the ground, which impressed many people, including Indian field hockey Olympian, Gurbux Singh, who recounted his arrival to Japan above.

But not everything was perfect, as Robert Whiting wrote for The Japan Times last year.

Also unfinished were six of the planned expressways. Only two of the eight main expressways approved by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 1959 were fully completed, with two more only partially constructed. The elevated expressway from Roppongi to Shibuya was one of the incomplete projects. It remained unfinished for several more years.

Those highways that were finished were clogged with stop-and-start traffic. As a Chicago Tribune correspondent named Sam Jameson put it, “Building an expressway system based on a mathematical formula of a two-lane expressway merging into another two-lane expressway to create a two-lane expressway was not the smartest thing to do. It guaranteed congestion. The system had to have been designed by someone who had never driven.”

You can see black and white film of the highway construction in this 1963 newsreel from Pathe.