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> A Visit to Japan
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General ImpressionsHere are some general impressions of the Fuchu area … not to be confused with, say, downtown Tokyo.
First of all, everything was very green, there were lots of trees and plants and flowers everywhere, except maybe right around the train stations. There was one kind of flower I particularly liked, a kind of five-inch ball in pastel blue, purple, or sometimes yellow, that was actually made up of lots of small flowers.
It was rainy season, so the sky was overcast all the time … and I mean all the time. There was a period of about a minute where I could see shadows, and there were maybe three or four other times where I could identify individual clouds; the rest of the time the sky was a solid, opaque white. And, being rainy season, it was mostly hot and humid. There was some drizzle early on, but not later.
The streets were very clean. I'm sure paying for good street cleaning contributes to that, but I don't think it can be the whole explanation, I think there has to be some cultural element at work as well. For example, I occasionally saw people out in front of their shops picking up tiny little bits of trash. That was nice; I could identify with that.
The streets were narrow, too, of course, and the cars were small. Most places, there weren't any American-style sidewalks, just green-painted areas with wide white-painted borders that indicated where people were supposed to walk. Sometimes an entire street would be painted green.
Although there were a few tall buildings, particularly around the train stations, in most places the buildings were only two or three stories. But, the buildings went on and on … you could just keep walking and find more and more city. The only thing that changed was that some areas were residential.
Another thing that happened mainly around the train stations was that there were a fair number of signs in English, especially for bars and restaurants. Once you got past the signs out front, though, it was pretty much all Japanese.
Visit to Japan, A
@ October (2001)