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My neighborhood in rural Tokyo (part 1)

Most of you know what I look like, but two months ago, I moved to a new neighborhood. It’s actually just a ten-minute walk from my old place, but being a twenty-minute walk from the nearest train station means that, in Tokyo, you’re getting pretty far out into the boonies. ^^

I love it! 😀

Actually, while the apartment specifications said that it was a 20-minute walk to the train station, I timed it and it’s only 15 minutes with the most direct route. Which is insteresting, because my last apartment stated 10 minutes, but I found that it was 12 minimum, and that’s on a good day! I guess it’s all relative. 😀

I actually love this apartment! I showed you the inside right after I moved in, but I’m not ready to show you it’s current state (It’s quite mixy-matchy at the moment and I’m still without the major pieces of furniture, like a couch ;D)

Instead, I want to show you my country-esque neighborhood! Who would have thought that this kind of farmland existed this close to the city center? ^^

I started, of course, by taking a left out of my apartment and hitting the street. I live right alongside a pretty big street, which is probably because if you don’t have a car, like me, then you will have to do a lot of walking. Hence, it seems that most people have cars.

I actually took my portrait lens this time, because I like the dreamy look that it can give scenery, and because it takes breathtaking pictures! Any portrait lens will do this, it doesn’t matter the brand! (I have a pentax, but I’m going to switch to a canon when I have the cash)

So, in any case, after passing the family (?) above, I walked by the apartment building next to mine, which has gorgeous flowers outside.

And, of course, a fence!

This is the same family as above! They came walking by with their little boy, teaching him how to walk up tall hills, obviously!

This man stared at me, probably because I am a tall, white girl. As far as I know, I’m the only one in my immediate area. Possibly the only tall one in Japan? Anyways! He was a starey-Mary, so I took a picture of his back after he passed. Fair play, right? The girl in the purple shirt in the back stared too, but I forgive her because I was actively taking a picture in her direction.

This guy had two cute dogs! I wonder if they were his? Those kinds of small dogs are really popular in Japan, whether one has a house or not. In fact, my friend Kimberly has two! (A different breed, though). I love her dogs, but only as a visitor. I prefer big dogs, to be honest!

When I was little, I was an avid reader of Dog Fancy, and I begged my parents to get me an Australian shepherd. She was my Christmas present one year, and I named her Eve. Unfortunately, as some shelter dogs do, she died soon from a dog disease called parvo. It was very traumatic, as she took her last breath with her head in my lap, while my parents were discussing whether or not to put her down in the background.

Oops, somehow a really sad, really personal story slipped out.. 🙁 We lived in California at the time, and she is buried underneath a joshua tree deep in the desert now. Goodbye Eve, you were loved!

Umm, completely unrelated, but here is what I saw next. It is a sign from a gas station. They seem to have been closed at that exact moment, late afternoon on a spring weekday.

And so I went on, passing fences and people..

..peering out from behind telephone poles to peek at houses.

On and on, into the country (I’m only about five minutes from my apartment at this point).

There is a lot of vegetation at one point on the left. I’m not sure why it is there, but I think that I will go and find out today! This sign was stuck in it, and it says, “Do not throw away trash here.” I find it sad that people would throw trash into the bushes like that, I can’t blame them in good conscience. You see, there are basically no public trash cans in Japan, and private trash is very strictly regulated. If you mess up on the trash that you put on the curb that one day a week it is okay, then the trash collectors put a sticker on it and leave it. I guess they expect you to go through it and take out the one offending article. Mostly it seems that the bags just lay there for weeks, and I have no idea what happens to them, because they do eventually disappear.

Tomorrow is a trash day, so I will take some pictures so that you can see what I mean!

Running, running! I had no idea where she was going, or how she could run in heeled sandals. I can’t!

Eventually, (about 30 seconds past the trash sign), I entered the real countryside. Of course, because this is Japan, with the most vending machines per capita of any country on the entire planet, there are even lonely vending machines in the country.

I love taking pictures like this one, right up a telephone pole!

Just for reference, the lens that I was using, a portrait one, has a really, really small focal length. That’s the length of the depth that can be in focus at one time. (Does that make sense?) In other words, a tiny, tiny amount. Everything outside of that will appear out of focus, and how out of focus depends on how far the subject is away from the camera. Blah blah blah, I’m sure. 🙂 You can’t zoom with this lens, you have to physically move closer or farther away to get more/less in the picture. It’s fun, though!

On my right were fields, anyway, and on my left were tiny construction sites. With cranes and everything 🙂

And you know how I was talking about trash rules? This sign explains them, but it’s really old and honestly out of date. 😛 I will explain more some other time!

Next, is proof that graffiti exists even in Japan. I didn’t want to take a proper picture because it was not very beautiful graffiti. XP

It’s not entirely impossible that this guy knows who did it, either!

Or him! He was running away (from me), after all!

Cars, cars everywhere!

I passed more of the countryside, all within a one-minute walk. 😀

And finally, within about a 7 minute walk from my house, I reached the frontier. Before this was country-ish, but this is where the larger farms start!

So, the Lawson (a convenience store) flag is the last vestige of civilization!

But before we venture out there (okay, I have! I routintely walk here for exercise and fun. Being an artist, I’m home a lot and so I don’t get a lot of exercise if I don’t make an effort to).

Whee!! About 7 minutes away (it took far longer to edit this post!), we arrived here! Let me know if you want to see more, because I have plenty more to post!! ^.^

(481 geeks have read this)

Hi! This is Jamie Lynn Lano! I am a Washington State (USA) native who: ☆ Holds a Bachelors of the Arts in Media Arts & Animation from AiPx. ☆ Worked as an assistant mangaka in Japan for Konomi Takeshi on The Prince of Tennis. ☆ Was an essay columnist for Asahi Weekly from 2008-2013. ☆ Was the star of Asahi Pop'n Press on Asahi TV (Japan) from 2009-2013 ☆ Was a write for Metropolis magazine in 2010. ☆ Has kept a blog foreeeeeeeeever! First and Current blogs.

One Comment

  • Shannon F. Olivas

    I ran a search for “rural Tokyo” (watching a Hing Kong action flick from the 90’s that is supposed to be in Tokyo and a car chase went through some really rural territory) and this was the fifth result or so. The page title sounded a lot more interesting because it was the most personal.

    Thanks for the look, and answering my question as to whether or not there were rural areas around Tokyo. I see this is from a few years back! Hope you’re doing well, have a great life!

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