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What’s wrong with this picture?

For the average resident of Tokyo, they are invisible – seen so often that they become visual white noise, scrubbed from the conscious mind, but noted if absent.  For the visitor, their presence is ubiquitous, inescapeable and everywhere, marring any scene and impossible to ignore. They are of course the electric power lines skeining their way among and between buildings, …

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Neighborhood Watch – Tokyo style

 Out and about the other day scouting a new route and new sights for a new tour, I came across the following sign in one of the back streets of the Nezu-Sendagi-Yanaka area:  Signs like this are not uncommon, especially in the shita-machi (low city) parts of Tokyo, but they are usually more circumspect in the wording – most tend …

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Quick Tips for getting settled in Tokyo

After arriving in Tokyo, making the trip from the airport to your new home or apartment, and trying to get over the jetlag, the real process of getting settling in and adjusted begins. What this involves will certainly vary from person to person and family to family, but one thing is bound to be true: the realization of the fact …

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Virtual Edo 1: Take a stroll around Nihombashi!

Virtual Edo beckons!  Slip back in time via a short walk around one of Edo’s busiest neighborhoods: Nihombashi….  On the banks of the Nihombashi River, you will find Edo’s fish market, supplying the freshest catch to the Shogun and all of Edo’s residents. Enter Edo by clicking on this link:  http://slideroll.com/?s=n340qmgc Nihombashi was also the starting point for the five Great …

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Center of the World, Edo-style: Nihombashi

“All roads lead to Rome”was an oft used phrase and for a long time it was quite accurate – ALL roads did in fact lead to Rome.  In Edo-era Japan, a similar situation existed in that all of the five Great Highways originated at Nihombashi and all distance was measured from this point. Built in 1603, Nihombashi was also home …

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