I walked around 10km the other afternoon, just to explore. Kawasaki, Kanagawa is known as a pretty Industrial part of Japan. I suppose its a side of Japan foreigners don’t often see – not nearly as often as we see sparkling skyrises and busy shopping areas at least.
These photos are from my walk through the Kawasaki area on the way to Mizonokuchi. The neighborhoods are quiet and fairly run down. There is none of the hustle of Shibuya or Shinjuku. Half the cars on the road seem to be trucks carrying scrap metal and steel construction materials. Chain restaurants and decades old shops and small family-owned restaurants line the roads, along with an incredible number of car and motorcycle dealerships.
I’ve noticed that Americana is a common theme among old restaurants and clothing shops. Below this “L.A. Pizza” was a “5 dollar American Jeans Store,” both of which seem to be closed down.
In other words, its rude to smoke while walking. These signs are part of a government campaign to promote good manners, I suppose. They are common in trains, train stations, and smoking areas, and cover issues like public drunkenness and using cell phones on the train.
This fountain was at the entrance to a very small Buddhist shrine on the side of the road. It had a small laddle (not pictured) to fill with water that I believe is for rinsing your hands (and sometimes your mouth too) as a means of purification before entering. Tiny shrines like this are everywhere.
Are you surprised at all by these pictures? Do they coincide with your image of Japan? Its a very specific image that gets exported to the rest of the world and I don’t think areas like this are usually included in that.
*please click the images to see them full-view.