My neighbourhood

Tuesday 08th, March 2016 / 10:34 Written by
My neighbourhood

My hometown is a very ordinary suburban area fairly close to Kobe city. There are houses, shops and some rice paddies, just like any other typical town in Japan. While I am there I bike around the area early in the morning for exercise and to see what has changed over the years.

Gardener -1My next-door neighbour has a Japanese garden, and Gardener - 2the lady asks a professional gardener to trim the pine trees. It is a highly professional skill. You will see them working hard in major Japanese gardens. I saw them in Kokoen next to Himeji Castle and in Kenroku-en in Kanazawa.

NeighbourThe house across the road is world-famous on our neighbour2street. The owner has collected hundreds of plates and statues and piled them in his front garden. Every time I go back to Japan, I see it has grown with more items. It must be a lot of work to fasten them so they won’t get knocked down by Typhoons.

ojizo-sanOn the side of of the roads, I see small Buddha Ojizo-san - 2statues. I imagine they were sitting in the rice fields in the old days. Now surrounded by houses, they are inconspicuous but still worshiped by some neighbours. Ojizo-san is a protector of children, and we still hold a festival dedicated to him.

Car & Asagao - 1This car has been sitting in front of an old house for years. It was late summer and the morning glory was crawling all over it. This reminds me of a well-known haiku in the 18th century: Asagao ni (By Morning glory) Tsurube torarete (the well sweep was taken over) Morai mizu (I got the water elsewhere) – as I dared not remove the flower. I don’t think the car owner stopped driving to leave the flowers, though.

Asagao Haiku

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