My Street © 2011 Konstantin Volke. All rights reserved.

My Street

Taken in Tokyo, Japan.

In this picture there are certain things that are typical for the urban area in Tokyo and other cities.

I want to introduce some items starting from the left part of the picture.

  • First there are the gas tanks. Gas is still majorly used for cooking. Also most of the houses lack central heating. Thus, gas is also used heat, but there’s also a car delivering heating gas twice a week.
  • Then there’s the extinguisher. Most smaller houses are wood constructions. Resulting from the frequent earthquakes (yesterday there were two on one day) and the use of gas, fire spreads easily in the houses. And since you can shake your neighbor’s hand (because all the houses are very close to one another) fire also spreads easily among the houses. Whether a little fire extinguisher is the ideal solution to kill the flames remain to be seen.
  • There’s a yellow box leaning against the wall. Every Friday workers come and collect glass bottles from the yellow boxes. Of course residents leave them there the previously. There are also blue boxes for cans and nets for PET-bottles.
  • Just above the yellow box (and above the extinguisher, too) there’s a electricity meter reader outside the house. Usually there are gas meters, as well.
  • A guy with an umbrella: To his excuse, it’s raining here. But that doesn’t keep many Japanese from carrying umbrellas around. For that reason there’s an umbrella holder in front of every shop. Some even offer the opportunity to wrap ones umbrella with a plastic bag by dragging it through a little tool. Usually that is seen on restaurants and bars.
  • Overland electricity installation. Yes, there are cables everywhere. Even in the very city center of Tokyo cables are floating through the air.
  • Ok, let’s go to the right part of the house. Here we see the installation of an air condition. Nearly every apartment has one! Some people use them for the winter, too. But they drag an awful lot of electricity from the above mentioned cables.
  • Little parking spots: Cars are usually parked underneath the house in some kind of garage or on these parking spots. Usually they’re privately owned. If you happen to need to let your car somewhere while visiting a friend there are plenty of public parking lots. Each of them wants to be paid. That’s about 200 Yen (~2 Euro) per hours. During the night time it’s only half.
  • There’s a little blue something squeezed between the fence and the wall. That’s one of the nets for the PET-bottles. Similar nets are also used every Monday and Thursday to collect the normal trash. It’s usually chucked right on the street. The cover prevents garbage bags flying across the street.Bins are hardly seen in these kinds of neighborhoods.

That’s it so far. The picture really tells something about Japan, doesn’t it?

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