Saturday, 21 December 2013

Suburban Tokyo

When I posted a picture on facebook of a grey and rainy day, one friend commented on how crowded the buildings were. Here's the picture:
It hadn't really occured to me how close together the buildings were since actually in this shot there's quite a lot of space compared to the rest of Tokyo. I did think about it though when we recently moved into our new flat. There are three patio door type windows - two in the main room and one in the bedroom, all of which lead out onto a balcony. One of the main room ones looks out onto a wall which is perhaps 2m away from the edge of the balcony. The other main room balcony has this view:
And the bedroom has this view:
So you can see how close the other houses and flats are in this area. There is basically no empty space at all. It makes me smile a bit because in the UK the planning regs insist you can't overlook other people's properties and people are entitled to privacy and so on. That is clearly not part of the planning laws here!

The big windows and balconies are going to be lovely in the other three seasons but aren't so handy in the winter. All are single glazed and drafty. This is clearly not a problem only I have noticed as I was able to buy this draft excluder tape in an attractive pattern which I've now used to make the bedroom considerably less windswept at night.
I'm not quite there with going around corners yet but it's not too bad.

While I've been typing we've just had another earthquake - my third since we arrived. This was just a magnitude 5.2 so the christmas tree and the rest of the flat just wobbled a bit but we had a 5.3 during the night which was a little bit stronger and I guess more noticeable when lying down.
This was my first daytime one though and the app on my phone gave me 13 seconds warning which was quite strange! Pooch tells me two close together is often a sign of building up to something bigger so I must get our emergency kit together. It largely consists of being able to use a bucket as a toilet from what I've read, in case the water mains are damaged. Having lived with Pooch for 9 years now that is a scenario I often worry about, so if that's the worst of it I'm sure we'll be fine.

I'll be taking more pictures of the neighbourhood and the flat in the next few days as it has stopped raining and is all sunny again. I hope everyone's christmas preparations are going well!

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