Sunday 8 July 2012

A neighbourhood walk around the world

Have you been looking at all the great pictures people have been posting of their neighbourhoods? K and I have been checking them out; he has enjoyed seeing what colour post-boxes are in different countries and then finding the places on his world map.

Today it's my turn to show you around our neck of the woods. We live on the Sea of Japan coast in Western Japan and it's pretty rural compared to the image many people may have of Japan. Our house is on the outskirts of a small city but it's not a modern suburb; the area was a village in its own right which has now been overtaken by the expanding city.

The rules for this series stated that we should post 12 photos, including...
1. a post box
2. a local store/cornershop
3. a manhole cover
4. a park/play area
5. a view of a typical street
6. a local form of transport
I've skipped the post box though, since Jo has already shown you a Japanese post box and ours are pretty much the same. I also crossed 'rice paddy', 'shrine gate' and 'temple statues' off my list after seeing her post!

So, without further ado, welcome to Yonago...

Our postman on his rounds (instead of the postbox!)

Our nearest shop. It's an old, family-run store selling everything from fresh fish to bedding plants.

Lots of places in Japan have beautifully decorated manhole covers. Ours is not one of them.


Our bus, on the old main road into town.


The local park, deserted at 9.30 on a weekday!


A typical residential street around here, just wide enough for a car to get down.


The village Shinto shrine.

The local community centre.


A typical house in the area.

A grave.


A field of banked up Japanese leeks (negi), a major product of the area.


A new house being built next-door.


A police car.

Well that's it! I hope you enjoyed it. There were lots of other things I wanted to show you too. In the past I've posted a variety of photos of everyday things from our life here in Japan so if this is your first time to visit my blog, do please have a look around. If you have any questions or comments about today's pictures, please add it to the comments section, I'll reply there too.

And the tour continues... You can find the rest of the tour dates here. It's New Zealand tomorrow!


  1. It`s really a lot more natural that Japan that others picture in their heads (with neon yodobashi kamera signs and all that). :) I like it! I went once to a place like this and I must say that I felt really calm and good there. So lucky you for living in a place like this. :) And I always liked the "tomare" signs on the streets. :) Thank you for showing us a "different" Japan.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! I always like to show this side of Japan (although we do have some neon too, if you go into the city), because this really is The Real Japan for so many people here.

  2. Are your streets one way or do you have to get good at reversing? And where do you park and walk?

    1. Nope, those streets are 2-way so yes, you need to be pretty good at reversing! They are mainly just used by people who live there though, so they are not too busy, although local people do use them as shortcuts. Usually you can just pull into someone's entrance or a side road or something if you see a car coming the other way. Most people have off-road parking for 1 or 2 cars at their homes or, if not, they pay to rent a space on an empty plot. Actually, when you buy a car you have to prove that you have a place to park it legally!

  3. Oh I just love seeing pictures of Japan - it's so mysterious to me but I feel drawn to the love of craft and of course Kawaii!!!

    1. Oh yes, lots of kawaii stuff here too! It was great to see your pictures too, your home in Sweden looks idyllic...

  4. your part of town looks like the other end of our town, where we live is a lot of new builds. After seeing some of the other tours it makes the Japanese roads look crazily narrow doesn't it?
    thanks for taking part
    jo xx

    1. Thanks for organising it all Jo! The roads here are narrow but I'm from Cornwall so they don't faze me :-)
      At least the narrow roads here don't usually go for miles with no pull-in place, up steep hills and around blind corners!

  5. My goodness; the negi rows are so precise! It puts my veggie patch to shame...

    I like how even the new house under construction looks like it's going to have the same style of roof as your example of a typical house. Adds character!

    1. There's so much effort put into growing those negi. They're banking them up all the time and then the negi are sold dirt-cheap; I can't see that they make much money on them.

      And yes, I think the new house will be in keeping with the area. Some new houses are in the more modern style, but we built ours in a traditonal way too. The western-style ones just look out of place here!

  6. These are fantastic! Looks a lot like my area but less mountainous.

    I wonder if you are getting new neighbours or if it is, like in our area, just the same family rebuilding?

    1. We can *see* mountains from here, but this area is very, very flat, a penisula which was once an island. Good for cycling!

      And yes, the new house is for the same family. It looks bigger than the old house so I think they must be hoping that their adult son and his family will be moving back one day...

  7. Good to see a "local's" view of a place. I love the police car, looks like an antique, I wonder if they are able to carry many suspects in those.

    The neighbourhood walk has been fun and this was no exception. The house style is amazing and that grave is elaborate. Are most graves in Japan like that or just in your area?

    Thanks for all the lovely pictures and for showing us your little bit of Japan.

  8. Thanks for visiting, and commenting! To answer your questions...

    I think the police car is mainly for police officers to get about in, they do have bigger ones too :-)

    The grave is typical of those throughout Japan I think.

    Pop in again sometime!

  9. I love the leek picture; Your soil looks so different from ours!