Thursday, May 07, 2009

My Old 'Hood

Every morning in Japan I would walk or ride my bike to school. It was a pleasant ten minutes on foot, five on the wheels. I'd walk pass vegetable patches and a few apartment buildings. On a fine day, futons would be hung over the balcony railings getting sunned.

I'd pass the same characters every morning. Mothers who'd just dropped their kids off to the local kindergarten, one of whom had a gorgeous long-haired golden retriever. The man riding his bike, dressed in a business suit with his briefcase in the basket on the front. The two school girls that would gossip on their way to the local public high school. The Brazilian guy who worked close to my house. The grandma who would use the phrase "Itterasshai" to send me off as if I was a family member.

While the scenery would change with the seasons, there was a garden filled with bonsai, plum blossoms in early spring and always seasonal vegetable in the gardens.

Used tatami mats breaking down to be used in the garden.


Plastic bottle soldiers guarding the flower pots.

On a good weather day, the senior citizens playing gateball.


Gloves waiting patiently for their owner to come back and work in the garden again.


A friendly farmer who was always in his patch except for in the worst of weather. He rode his three-wheeled bike from his house every morning and hung his radio on one of the posts. Without fail, he'd always have a friendly smile and a wave for me.

Large daikon radish.


Colourful cabbage scattered among the vegetables waiting to be eaten.

With this walk every morning, my days began with a smile.

7 comments:

m1k1 said...

It was fascinating to see the pictures, and hear the stories, of some of your everyday experiences in Japan.

trashalou said...

I think that would make me smile daily too. Will practice using taht lovely Granma's phrase to send my kids into school. Is it pronounced phonetically?

K and S said...

great walk route!

The Kasdan Family said...

Great stuff Melanie...love the pictures and the familiar sights. Hope all is well!

Semsavblanc said...

Aaww.. Reminiscing. Wasn't it beautiful? I hope your new morning routine brings you many smiles too.

Jenny said...

I bet you have heaps and heaps of wonderful photos like these taken during your time in japan-maybe a book's worth I think! I'd buy one!

handmaiden said...

i hope you find reasons to smile in yr new hood

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