Little Venice

On my way to the gym this afternoon I took the long way, swinging out to the beach, then along the coast before swinging back into the sprawl.  I had the itch to take some pictures, and when none of my beach pics satisfied me I headed for a little neighborhood that I’ve driven through a few times and have always wanted to snap pictures of.  It’s right across the street from the ocean, and full of old wooden houses and barns, along with some old school stone structures that I believe were used for storing rice and other grains back in the day (I could be wrong about that).

I was slightly wary of wandering through this obviously-traditional neighborhood and snapping pictures willy-nilly, but I fell back on my foreigners license to perform non-Japanese behavior, and figured if anyone made a stink I could at least explain my motivations.  Turns out I didn’t see a single person.

I love my space, and the idea of living mere feet from my neighbors is not appealing to me.  Yet, there’s something very endearing about crowded Japanese neighborhoods — the narrow streets, the smell of your neighbor’s dinner seeping out of windows and vents, the sounds of whatever is going inside through the single-pane glass and thin walls.  The coziness of Japanese neighborhoods is interesting to me because the notion of privacy is quite strong here; people don’t ask too many questions, and they don’t openly express their personal aches and pains.  In public, there is a definite wall behind which your personal life exists, but in these tight neighborhoods, there are all sorts of clues.

What I love about this particular neighborhood is the network of canals that weave between the houses and along the roads.  Open drainage canals are common here, but these are especially wide and deep.  Wish I had a canal at my house.

Apologies for the lack of camera angles here; they’re a little redundant.

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Here’s one of the boy, post sob last night.  Cuteness resumed.

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I’ve got a four-day weekend going on here, but have to head into the office tomorrow to do some work.  Since I’ll have two more days off after, I’m not too cut up about it.  Have a great weekend wherever you may be.

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