My Street Japan. Final Day 50.

My Street Japan. DAY 50. Tammy T. Stone

My Street Japan. DAY 50. Tammy T. Stone

Instinct tells me that today is the last day of this project, and in honour of this, I repost my favourite shot of the series.

It’s not the most technically perfect short. It’s funny and blurry and a bit distorted.

What I love about this photo is that it is brimming with life.

This street, even this country, is not always brimming with my life, the way I experience it, anyway. But perception is a strong ally and a worst enemy, depending on our perspective. When I’m feeling low, I see an old street with an aging population and abandoned buildings – an abandoned commitment to life, and renewal.

On better days, I look around and see so much life it bursts my heart.

Life is just … life. We choose how to see it, and what to see.

Let’s choose life!

Thank you so much for your interest and participation. xo

My Street Japan. Day 49.

My Street Japan. DAY 40. Tammy T. Stone

My Street Japan. DAY 40. Tammy T. Stone

Bright light in soft night

Blurred arrow leading south

Each letter, indecipherable to me,

A maze of potential, an exciting journey

In all directions

Red, luscious and long.

My Street Japan. Day 46

My Street Japan. DAY 46. Tammy S. Stone

My Street Japan. DAY 46. Tammy S. Stone

Autumn giving way to winter

Too soon – the sun has been

Guiding our days infiltrating our dreams

Inviting mountain views warming the skin

And then it rains

And then it rains

A sweet whisper about passage

And the view comes closer

We draw within, examine cold hands

Attend to shortened breath

See the tree in the foreground

Color clinging still

Life upon life upon life

– Tammy T. Stone 2015

My Street Japan. Day 44

My Street Japan. DAY 44. Tammy T. Stone

My Street Japan. DAY 44. Tammy T. Stone

With a sky this clear and blue, what else is there to photograph?

I also enjoy the insignia on the building here – a nursing home (there is a shortage of these in Japan, by the way) – there are many really gorgeous circular insignia all over, marking various lineages and allegiances. So far, for me, they are just very pretty designs, but I’d love to learn more!

My Street Japan. Day 43.

My Street Japan. DAY 43. Tammy T. Stone

My Street Japan. DAY 43. Tammy T. Stone

Early morning. A schoolgirl, in uniform, on her bike, awaiting a day of learning, discovery … or socializing, or whatever it is she loves doing.

Where is her schoolbag? Is she going home to get it? Where is she coming from so early in the morning, in a uniform, no less? Delicious mystery.

Doing anything in autumn is magic.

My Street Japan. Day 42.

My Street Japan. DAY 42. Tammy T. Stone

My Street Japan. DAY 42. Tammy T. Stone

I remember being so surprised at the sight of these little boxy cars (which are surprisingly spacious inside) when I first moved here, so I thought you might enjoy a peek at them too.

I had expected sleep, uber-chic, state-of-the-art cars of tomorrow flying on the roads here. This is Japan, techno-land, right?

Sort of. Here, innovation combines with practically and eco-consciousness. Welcome the “Kei” car! These have a long and interesting history, but to make a long story short, they were introduced into the economy after WWII when people had no money to buy cars, and the manufacturers and the government alike wanted to help boost the economy with car sales. These “clean” cars were once less powerful than a lawnmower, but times have changed. These cars are still relatively light on cc power, but there are tax incentives for buying these “Kei” box cars, and they are extremely popular across the country.

I’ve grown to love these cultural anathema!

My Street Japan. DAY 41.

My Street Japan. DAY 41. Tammy T. Stone

My Street Japan. DAY 41. Tammy T. Stone

I love the bike culture here. It’s not hip, or cool, or not hip, or not cool. It just is. Old, young, all kinds. There are too many cars on the street, for sure, and a distinct lack of parking space, which makes me even more relieved to see that the bike culture is still going so very strong.

These are a few of the bikes lined up in their cozy little parking space in front of my building. There is no designated parking spot for our bikes. At first, we thought we’d bring them up to our apartment everyday. I lasted 0 days, and my husband lasted 1. Bike theft is fairly rampant here – people don’t steal them to keep, but to ride and leave at their destination, mostly. Police are pretty vigilant about checking for theft. So far, I’ve left my keys in my bike overnight at least three or four times, without a problem. My bike in Toronto, on the other hand, was parked safely off the road, and was stolen within weeks. Luck of the draw?

I love the polka-dot seat cover, though I’ve never met the bike’s owner, so I can’t compliment them on it yet. Also note the possibly illegally parked motorbike at the end – it’s there most days, so far with no problem.

Conspicuously absent is the little half-can of tomato juice that someone leaves in at least one of our baskets every few days, though there’s a can deposit box right next door at the Circle K convenience store.