Sunny day = laundry day!
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Japan has a national obsession with laundry, but I wouldn’t go so far in the opposite direction, either. The vast majority of Japanese homes contain a washer but no dryer, so people are really dependent on the elements to get their laundry done. Often, too – the washing machines here are really small in comparison to what we might be used to in the West, and laundry gets done often.
I lament often that houses here don’t have large, spacious balconies – to say nothing of lawns, or much space around the building at all – but there is always room for laundry, so that balconies are more often than not an outside room to hang clothes, rather than a place for leisure. Now that I’ve been here awhile, I’ve become quite the pro of harnessing the laundry pole to bring inside when it suddenly storms, and making the most of a small space to get the clothes dry.
I also never noticed that this sign says “fire hydrant” on it – now I must find the hydrant itself!