3 in 30 - 2001.02.04 Sunday
During Beverly's first full day back in Akishima after two weeks in the States, we took a walk about one third the length of our Matsubara-cho (Pinetree neighborhood). At the corner of Edo Kaido, there is the Shimada bike shop. It is crammed full of motor bikes. When the shop closes for the day, where they put the ones that are now outside, I have no idea.
The motor bikes in the foreground of the picture are small bikes used for local commuting much like a bicycle. They are probably all have about 50cc engines. Maximum speed is about 50 KPH. These little bikes (more like scooters) sell for about $1,500.
The silver gray Kawasaki behind the screen reinforced glass looks more like a serious road bike. Though not yet customized, this bike sells for ¥ 1,150,00. At the current exchange rate, that's about $11,000, certainly more than I would want to pay to sit in the open air in traffic jams in Tokyo. On the other hand, many bikers in Japan don't always stay in the driving lanes prefering to go between rows of vehicles.
My brother calls it "white lining" and it is a certain invitation to disaster.
About fifty meters to the north of the Shimada bike shop is this narrow street where we were able to look into the back yard of this house. This tree has been tended for many years to look the way it does.
We haven't explored this little area of our neighborhood, though we regularly drive by the area. It looks mostly residential and there wouldn't be any reason for us to wander down these narrow streets.
Turning left from the previous picture is this view of the underpass beneath the Hachiko train line. The underpass was build when there was less automobile traffic and probably smaller cars. The train line leaves Haijima station, rises and turns south a few hundred meters to the west (left). This is a road we take when we want to enter the base from the south, or "golf course" gate.
We have seen this area of the neighborhood change over the years. The area on the immediate left was torn down and a new apartment building replaced it. The lot on the left closer to the tracks was torn down and is currently a parking lot. Some of the shops on the right have had facelifts. There is a sushi shop, a small food shop, a snack bar (read more bar than snacks), a barber shop and a dry cleaning shop.
One day while driving home, coming from the opposite direction, I saw a truck that was loaded too high try to make it beneath this underpass. The concrete top of the bridge sheared off half the driver's load of pipes. it was a mess to clean up.