Weill in Japan Jason Weill Web Productions
home day by day photos


My host family had a house in the Suginami ward of Tokyo, a mostly quiet area closest to the Asagaya and Ogikubo stations on JR East's Chuo lines. Every day, I walked about 20 minutes from my home to the train station and another 20 back. On some occasions, I stopped to take some pictures.

About a block away from home was this bulletin board, on which community notices were posted.  On a typical walk to the station, I saw a few more billboards like it. In case of fire, this box provides a means to call the fire department. This fruit stand, always open to the public, was among a row of small shops and cafes that I passed every day. Mister Donut, or literally misutaa donatsu, is currently a subsidiary of the U.S.'s Dunkin Donuts.  When I could find the time, I patronized these shops.  The donuts are among the best I've had, and the iced coffee gives me more than enough energy to face the day -- and face my fellow students who look down on me for eating coffee and donuts. This shop sells ceramics and coffee products.  I don't know why it has a giant plush Garfield toy outside. I never visited the San Jacques Bistro in my hometown, but I did get a kick out of this sign out front.  It means "not open yet." NTT has been courteous enough to set up phone booths even in seemingly inconvenient locations.  This phone booth also features an ISDN jack, but my laptop doesn't have an ISDN modem that would work with it. The little dolphin mascot adorns a light post that connects a surprisingly intricate series of phone, power, and television wires. I kind of liked this sign for apartments visible from the train tracks at Ogikubo station.  "Foreigners welcome!" it proclaims. This pink and yellow structure is part of a beautiful condominium complex located not far from my host family.  It was built very recently and looks incredible, so I don't even want to think about how expensive it is to live there. The view from just outside Ogikubo train station. The front of the Nichidainiko school, which I passed on my way to the train station. The rear of the massive Nichidainiko school. This is a koban, or police box, that is staffed 24 hours a day for the benefit of the public. Every koban has a mention of death and injury statistics in its jurisdiction over the past 24 hours.  The day before I took this photo, nobody died and 273 people were injured in this koban's jurisdiction. A post office box. The local Shinto shrine in Suginami-ku. For only 300 yen (about US$2.50) you too can take a "Trendy Shower." Due to small sidewalk space, trash cans are not left outside individual homes.  Instead, people must bring their trash and recyclables to collection points located every other block.  Large items such as tables and appliances must be picked up by appointment.