below: brutal concrete "toys" from a park by the Tama river.
yes, it's a trilobite. My first thought was GOD I LOVE THIS COUNTRY.
amazing pedestrian walkway by my local station:
above: the pagoda facade was a nice touch.
back to the Tama river, a bit after the scary animal park is this: MAEDA AUTO – a company that rents exotic vehicles for TV and movie use!
Right next to Maeda Auto is a garbage hauling company that doubles as a uyoku (right-wing militia) group. Keeping Japan pure both metaphorically AND literally! The guys in their trash truck were on the left, while their right-wing loudspeaker truck was on the right. it was – i am not joking – playing speeches and patriotic songs as the guys were working.
It was kind of like a neo-nazi version of Stanford and Son!
below: why did i snap this picture of a typical, if run-down apartment?
the security camera! I was biking with my Japanese friend and said, "WTF security camera? In this dump? What do they have worth stealing?" and my friend said, "The camera is to prevent people from dumping their trash in the trash bins."
Readers: is this a phenomenon in your home countries?
Break in my house, sure, but for God's sake don't dump your trash. Recycling rules around this town are baroque as fuck. Like you can only recycle bottles twice a month. if you miss your deadline, you're stuck with them for 2 weeks. That might not seem like much, but multiply that by all the different types of trash, and multiply THAT by the fact that the vast majority of apartments don't have a dumpster. This means you are expected to keep several weeks of trash in your apartment and only throw it out THE DAY OF.
The building above, although crappy in most respects, has the most coveted of luxuries: a dumpster! Hence the camera.
Lest you think I'm exaggerating, here's another trash-cam, from a totally different 'hood:
What's funny to me is that the main building is a CUSTOM CAR PARTS STORE. And it DOES NOT have an external cam.
So next time you're trying to explain to your friends about Japan being sort of obsessed with purity and contamination, you now have another example.
below: what I hate about summers in Japan:
cicadas nesting in my beard.
below: some raunchy warehouses down where Tama river meets the ocean:
And now back to trash! Here is a forlorn pillow/panda. I don't know what's funnier: that the trash-collectors (perhaps the same uyoku from Nazi Stanford and Son?!?) didn't collect it, or that they attached a note to it, explaining specifically what bureaucratic category panda/pillows fall into.
and a photo roundup would never be complete without some language fun. . .
below, the absolute shittiest park in Tokyo:
it's your typical dirt-lot that passes for public recreation in "the world's most expensive city." But – check out the natural wonderland right behind the wall! What sets this dirt-lot apart from every other dirt-lot is that THE WHOLE PURPOSE OF THE PARK IS TO MAKE YOU JEALOUS OF THE REAL PARK BEHIND THE WALL. That walled-off bit of gorgeousness and lush greenery is basically the ONLY thing you can see from the dirt lot.
This represents the pure, distilled, concentrated, raw and uncut essence of Japanese parks: the public "park" is a vacant lot, while the private "not a park" is full of trees, lawns, probably duckies and bunnies.
Pure dick move.
Also: the non-park ALSO has video-cameras, just in case.
I went around it one time on the ole' bicycle, and it seems to NOT be a temple or museum – it looks like some Yakuza headquarters / fort thing.
below: more of Tokyo's "nature": a bit of the Zenpukujigawa river, which they're not content with concreting the bottom and sides, now they're building over the TOP of it, too. Rode the bike downriver from the construction, and the whole river turns like milky, semen-y white. WTF are they building there?
but it's not all bad: check out this AWESOME house in Nishi-Shinjuku:
below: a bus ad for a prep-school course. Normal so far, but . . .
Below: THIS is how a river is SUPPOSED to look:
A while back, I posted about these small shrines squeezed between modern-style buildings. And I stole the photos from other blogs, only linking to a few of them. I guess that is Tumblr's whole business model. Anyway here are some more pictures that I actually took this time;