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Bottles filled with water/水入りペットボトル

During tours, I get interesting questions from tourists visiting Japan. Here are the answers to the questions that I got stumped by!

Q: What is with the bottled water lined along walls and around utility poles?

The bottles are said to deter dogs and cats from going about their business. Some people believe it is effective. However, it is actually a bit of a fib.

It was an April Fool prank from a gardener guru from New Zealand (a Mr. Eine Scarrow).  On a radio show in the 1980s, he said ‘If you leave a bottle filled with water on the lawn, dogs won’t poo.’ The tongue in cheek advice spread like wildfire, with many gardening enthusiasts in many countries believing it.

The guru later said he didn’t know how he came up with it, and ‘the secret to a good prank is to get a good laugh out of it and ensure no-one gets hurt.’ Surely, no one gets hurt . In any case, many Japanese people seem not to have got the memo yet !

The overwhelming number of bottles a friend of mine
came across

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