The number of times we got lost and either approached a local or were approached ourselves by someone who was worried about us is incredible — we never had to become completely hopeless! One man, instead of just giving directions, led us over an entire bridge himself to ensure we wouldn't get lost when we asked how to get to Shibuya Crossing. One mother-daughter duo actually helped us haul our luggage five blocks to our hotel at 1 a.m. — and we had only asked them for directions! Another time, we asked a man working in a garage for directions and showed him our map and his entire crew came over, surrounded him to study the map together, and tried to figure out how to communicate the directions to us!
You've probably heard that even if you accidentally leave your phone, wallet, or bag behind, no one will steal it: It will stay right where you leave it, or someone will watch over it until you come back for it. That's the level of help and respect you'll find! Often you'll see that Japanese people can recognize the look of someone who is lost or see when you're trying to read a complicated map, and will approach you themselves asking if you need help. Furthermore, they're always eager to be friends or practice their English with you. You might have strangers asking to take photos with you, and they will often also try to respond in English, even if you speak Japanese, either to be polite or to try and practice with you, so don't take it rudely.