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Visiting Tokyo (Part 14)

Most of these daytime photos are taken around residential areas. I really like the residential areas of Tokyo more than the busy streets and malls. Don’t get me wrong, the malls are great and I love being seeing nice decorations and nicely designed buildings. However, there is something about the peaceful feeling of residential streets that draws my attention.

Japanese houses are compact and yet they are designed to utilize the space within very well. If you remember some of the photos that Danny posted on his blog, you will realize that the staircase is very space saving. Compare to what we typically have in Vancouver, their stair case takes up only about half the area and yet be very functional.

I don’t find the houses in Japan particularly jam-packed to each other. They are close to each other but even in Vancouver, we have similar situations. What about in where you live? Can you borrow salt and pepper from your neighbor by tossing them across the windows?

You often see a lot of bikes around Tokyo. It is amazing how they bike along pedestrians and not hitting anyone. It is very contrasting to see such good usage of bikes even in a large city. In comparison, there are a lot more automobile traffic in Vancouver than bike traffic.

You will also find shopping streets in residential areas. They are neat and some are well covered so you can enjoy doing your chores even when it rains. And when it rains, most shops will help you cover your goods with extra plastic bags. I remember getting boxes of Gundams and they are all nicely covered for me because it was raining.

So compact and cute. Most houses are wood framed unless you live in apartments. It is the same in Vancouver. Wood frame structures are very popular probably because the materials are cheaper compared to concrete or bricks. And since Vancouver is also in the earthquake zone, wood structure is better suited. I remember when I lived in Melbourne, they have more brick houses and they need to be double insulated (two layers of brick wall with an air gap in between) as it can get pretty warm in the summer there. I like brick houses as they have a very different characteristic to them.

These look like there are multiple units joined together. We have very similar “multi-dwelling residential” buildings in Vancouver as well. We call them town houses. Do you know what they are called in Japanese? Of course, when you live in a town house, you get to know you neighbor very well, for example, what kind of music they like, what time they watch TV, etc.

So here is a fancy apartment building. I only managed to get the top of it as I was taking this picture from the limousine bus on an elevated highway. I like that sunroom structure on the roof. Wonder if they sun tan up there ^ ^;

Close to dinner time, you will find food stalls start to open for dining in or take out orders. We don’t live near any shopping amenities, or at least, not close enough for us to walk there. The closest ones are about 15 minutes away. So we usually drive out to save time.

I wonder what they serve. The time was still too early for dinner when I took this picture I was really curious about the food there. I guess I must have been hungry already.

And of course, what is a post of Tokyo without mentioning of their trains? Actually, this station is for light rail. The tracks are laid on the street level. On top of the light rail station is a normal train track. I really wonder why in Asia they can have such connected public transit system and Vancouver cannot = =;

And there are usually taxi stands right outside the train stations, too. This is extra handy at night if you happen to live far away from a train station and you like to get home quickly.

Hope you enjoyed this brief post.

2 replies
  1. FatB
    FatB says:

    One of the things that amaze me about Japan when I went was how their streets are always so clean. Growing up here, I’m use to all sorts of garbage blowing around, but there it’s immaculate.

    Reply

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