One of these things is not like the other…

Things that our Tokyo neighborhood has that our Portland neighborhood doesn’t:

A government employee who is the weekday school-hour crossing guard:

Every morning from 7:50-8:10 and again in the afternoon! Except on Japanese holidays.

Every morning from 7:50-8:10 and again in the afternoon! Except on Japanese holidays.

6 vending machines within a block of our front door (7, if you count the cigarette machine):

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Several shrines and temples, including two that we walk by on our way to school every day:

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And this one in the other direction:

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A tatami repair shop–the smell of tatami wafting out of that place is so great!

This shop doubles as parking for the owner's car.

This shop doubles as parking for the owner’s car.

Public Japanese toilets–I’ve never had to use these particular ones, since my house is only a block away!

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I’ll just hold it, thanks.

 

A taxi passing by at least every 3 minutes–due in part to the aforementioned public toilet and cigarette vending machine in close proximity.  We never have to wait for a cab!

A bell melody that rings over a loudspeaker every day at 5:00 PM announcing cocktail hour testing the emergency response sound system

These bottles of water around planters all around the neighborhood (what is that for, anyway?):

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Also note, in the photos above–bikes just sitting there, not locked up, and not getting stolen.

The Bentleys, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and even plain old Porsches, driving around or parked in open garages and alleyways.  We’ve seen a few more rare beasts too, like a McLaren and a DeLorian.  This place is car-crazy!

A Buddhist cemetery in our backyard:

At yet another temple than the ones pictured above!

At yet another temple than the ones pictured above!

A new discovery around the block–a fishing pond? Tucked away at the end of a block in central Tokyo?

No idea this was at the end of a block near our house!

No idea this was at the end of a block near our house!

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The English sign pretty much says if you would like to “play fishing” and don’t speak Japanese, please bring a Japanese-speaking friend with you because the rules of the fishing pond are delicate and hard to explain in English.

 

People walking around with umbrellas…both in the rain AND in the sun!  The sun umbrellas are lined with reflective material.

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And a couple of weeks ago, it was election season, so for a few weeks there were campaign things going on, like political candidates driving around in vans, spouting their messages through a loudspeaker.  We easily saw 5-10 LOUD vans per day, and heard even more in the distance:

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This guy parked his van to speak from a platform for a while.

 

Also election related–these giant billboards sporting glamour shots of all of the candidates:

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The kids’ additions to the list:

Lots of people speaking Japanese (my observation–lots of other languages too!  We live in a very international area.)

Kids walking around/playing at the park by themselves without grownups

All in all, it’s pretty different living here!

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4 thoughts on “One of these things is not like the other…

  1. Really interesting. Are you still cooking mostly Japanese dishes? Could the water bottles be to keep stray animals out? Around here some people use milk jugs filled with water.

    • Hi Kathy! Actually, I rarely cook Japanese food since it’s actually really affordable to get Japanese food that is much better than what I can make! Mostly I cook western style food at home, but there are a few dishes that are pretty convenient like Japanese curry or udon noodle soups and stir fry that I make pretty often. I wonder if you’re right about the water bottles!

  2. This is so cool Beth! Thanks for posting. Our 3 boys all went through the Japanese Immersion school so we have visited Japan several times and have good friends in Santo and Kobe. Your observations are wonderful!!

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