Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Minami-Azabu - our neighborhood

I have been here in Tokyo for almost a week now, and I'm starting to learn my neighborhood, "Minami-Azabu."  This area is full of apartment buildings and small shops.  Our apartment building is tucked away in a quiet area.  Small streets are not marked, and finding your way around can be very difficult!  We have learned to use landmarks, like the red mailbox in the photo below, to help us know where to turn.  This morning I walked to the fruit stand and grocery store, and on the way I took a few photos to show you. 

This red mailbox is a landmark for us - we know to turn down this street to our apartment.    There are vending machines on every corner.  Sadly, cigarettes are sold in vending machines, and many people in Japan still smoke. 

Cars are still a luxury for most people in Tokyo.  Biking is the way to go - walking also works!

Many people hang their bedding outside their windows in the sun for a few hours during the day.

There are convenience stores (pronounced "cone-bee-nee") everywhere - almost on every corner.  Convenience stores stock really good, fresh, prepared food as well as various necessities and snack foods.  You can see the three recycling containers outside the store.  Japanese people take recycling very seriously.

"100 Yen" stores (just like dollar stores) are very common, too. 

This fruit stand is a 7 minute walk from our apartment.  Peaches will be out of season soon and we are sure enjoying them while we can!  People are somewhat concerned about continuing radiation problems from the Fukushima nuclear plant, and so shopkeepers are anxious to let us know that their produce was grown in "safe" areas.
Here is a small Yakitori (meat on a stick) shop that Mr. Nanto nicknamed "Pops" because it seems like a real "Mom and Pop" type place. 
Mmmm.... what kind of milk do you think I should buy?  We will experiment until we figure out what we like best.  Milk comes in these small 1000 ml containers only.  Japanese people are not big milk drinkers!
Stay tuned for photos of a fall festival our neighborhood celebrated this past weekend.  Hello to everyone at Russell Street - I miss you!

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