Monday, March 7, 2011

Day Four! Day Three, Part Two!

So I didn't take very many pictures yesterday because winter decided to visit Japan for all of 12 hours. Everyone moaned and complained about the weather, but I know it was still far better than the snowy ridiculousness back at home. Since the weather has gone back to being gorgeous again, I thought this would be a perfect day to walk around like a tourist and take pictures of things that have been making me smile since I got here!
Exhibit A;
Yes, that is who you think it is. Mr. Tommy Lee Jones is whoring his face out around Tokyo! And what an amazing use of said face. Moving on.
Exhibit B;
This is a permanent fixture at the bottom of my street. A King Kong statue holding a school girl, a mere 4 stories high. Given the fact that most of the streets have names, and you have to use landmarks to remember where you live, I couldn't have asked for a more obvious "street sign." Please note that there is no particular reason for this statue. This building is a boxing gym/exclusive bar... not really seeing the connection to gargantuan gorillas.
Something that I smiled about for a full hour was this;

You wouldn't have seen this immortalized version of The Colonel Sanders, as he is hiding behind this giant sign here


But coming from the left of the store, he just JUMPS out at you. Awesomely creepy.

I kept seeing these buses every once in a while, speeding down the street. Turns out, this is an ambulance. The most adorable ambulance in the whole world. The firetrucks are the same size. I guess they only have little accidents and little fires. D'AWWWWWWWWWWWW. Not that it's a "ruler" measuring contest, but our emergency vehicles could eat their emergency vehicles. :)

On my walk about town, I found this beautiful little walkway that connected neighbourhoods.

It went past a school yard, and some kids were getting out early. I don't know if you can tell, but part of their uniform is this adorable "paddington bear"-esque little yellow bucket hat. So I creepily took pictures of children;
The neighbourhood I live in right now (Sangen-jaya) is considered one of the most safe in the entire city. There are cops on almost every corner, and even in front of this school (above left is a school). Although you can tell he's not too worried about thugs coming around to steal lunch money from the kids... I wanted to ask him to pose, but I thought that might be rude;
Poor guy has to stand there all day. I would be texting too, if that was my job.
More pictures of the park/walkway;
Cherry blossoms are out! I'm going to try to find more tomorrow, but this was the most 'in bloom' tree I could find. Considering that it was snowing 24 hours ago, I'm pretty impressed. To the left is an incredibly detailed description of what will happen if you don't follow the rules when it comes to taking care of your dog. Above that are the rules of the walkway/park. I love the juxtaposed threatening messages combined with these adorable cartoons. It seems to say "yes, we'll throw you in jail for 5 years if you step on our flowers, but we are going to be REALLY CUTE ABOUT IT!"

Speaking of cute;
You can't see it, but there is a strong spring under the panda to let kids bounce back and forth on it. I think I want one. It's really hard not to smile when you see this thing.

Here's an example of National Hang Your Laundry Out Your Window Day, although I'm beginning to think it's an everyday thing;

Apparently, drying your clothes using electricity is considered wasteful if you don't absolutely have to. The thing that bothers me about this is that this is TOKYO. One of the most polluted cities in the world. People walk around with face masks just to protect their lungs (more on this later, it's quite the phenomenon, this face mask obsession). And they're soaking their underwear in the toxins. I guess it's a cultural thing.

Here's some other random pictures;
This last one seems to be some kind of Japanese mascot. But not as much as HELLO KITTY, who is everywhere, being used to sell everything. Example;
Mortgage, Anyone? Well, if Hello Kitty endorses, it... I simply cannot refute the decision of an albino cat with an enlarged cranium! I actually walked passed this once, then doubled back just to take this picture. Lets just say that I got a lot of weird looks today.
On the left is a picture of the Seiyu, which is the Japanese equivalent of Walmart. It's just as garish and ugly as the ones at home, but since I'm on a budget, I most definitely have bought groceries there. On the right is a beautiful little shop dedicated to one food group. BEANS! That's actually the katakana (Japanese lettering) symbol for the word 'bean' on the sign. It sells mostly pastries with bean filling. More delicious than I've made it sound.
On the left is the major intersection at Sangen-jaya subway station. That big red 8 story sign is for a karaoke company. They're really, really serious about their lip-syncing and sing-a-longs here. On the right is a delicious (and ridiculously cheap 65 yen) steamed rice lunchable, with a fried pork center. If you were totally desperate, two of these could be filling enough to be dinner. Side note; I didn't know it was pork filled until I ate it... I like to live on the edge like that :)

And so this has been a very long post, so I will end it here, with some ASIAN PICTURES OF NATURE!
The last one is an orange tree. They seem to have fruit all year round.

1 comment:

  1. EDIT: most of the streets DO NOT have names! oops.