3 in 30 - 2001.02.25 Sunday
It seemed like a nice day for a walk, so Beverly and I headed east in the neighborhood and looked for streets and alleys that we had not traveled before. There are quite a few. On the other hand, it seems that a whole section in the middle of the neighborhood has small factories. When we found ourselves back at Edo Kaido, the 30 minutes was about up.
There are some official government buildings in our neighborhood. This post office is one of them. This is the main post office of the city. There are also some small branch offices scattered about the neighborhood, one about two hundred meters from our house.
Against the sun to the west, it is difficult to see that both the Japanese flag and the post office symbol flag are on display in front of the building.
Across the street from the Post Office is this shop which looks a little more like a movie marquee than a bakery shop. But a bakery and pastry shop is what it is. The use of wheat as a food, came to Japan originally from Portugal, but in the intervening 400 years or so, some breads have taken on a uniquely original twist.
While visiting many years ago, Beverly's father purchased some puffs that looked like they might contain jelly or chocolate creme. Instead, they were filled with another Japanese sweetsweet black beans. What a surprise to find something a little less sweet than expected!
Again on the west side of the street is one of the larger of our local fire stations. For many years, Japanese construction was stereotypically wood and paper. While the stereotype was true, much of the new construction in the past 30-40 years has included vast amounts of concrete and steel.
Due to the wood and paper construction, and the use of charcoal burners for heating and cooking, as well as being a seismically active area of the world, there is an almost innate paranoia of building fires. Understandably so. The earthquake in Tokyo in the early part of the 20th century caused major damage, but most of the devastation of the city was the result of the ensuing fires from overturned burners and the volatility of construction materials.
It was this fear of city-wide fires which encouraged the U.S. to fire bomb Tokyo during World War II. Fifty-five years ago, the city of Tokyo, with its multi-million person population was completely leveled by Allied fire bombing.