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August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, ...



I took this shot of a plant somewhere in Kawasaki near a very busy part of town.  There’s so much air pollution there nowadays.  But even still, even in other major cities in Yokohama, the biodiversity is can be quite interesting.  Just the other day I saw a palm tree and a cactus growing near this torn down old shack near my place and had wondered what the heck is a palm tree and a cactus doing thriving in this type of climate.


Inside the Yokohama bus terminal you can see these huge ventilation ducts that filter the air and exhaust fumes from the tour buses.   It’s nice seeing environmentally conscious Japanese people in modern cities take steps to cut carbon emissions.    It’s even nicer to see younger Japanese embracing this idea,too.   The English word “litter” is an offensive term in Japan.

In the U.S. you'd be lucky to find structures that are designed around the idea of environmentally conscious awareness.   When you see a ventilation duct in the U.S., it’s usually there to either help filter second hand smoke or to air condition a room or space.


The buses are mostly on time in Yokohama, but on Sundays they are usually always late.  The number of elderly that ride the buses daily is scary.  It’s not uncommon to stand by the exit door of the bus during the peak hours due to the buses being filled to capacity.  I mean, it’s good for me, you know…being crushed by a lovely Jukujo, but not so good when it’s not.


Here in Kanagawa you board the bus from the front and exit from the rear door.  In the countryside it’s the opposite; you board from the rear and exit from the front, but only this time you have to grab a ticket first and then pay before getting off the bus.  In the city you pay the standard fare of 210 yen first before you can ride the bus, and that one fare will cover you until you reach the final stop on that bus.  Just recently, Yokohama City implemented a “last bus” fare hike.  Now, instead of paying the usual 210 yen, you pay 420!


I love living here in Japan.  I love the natural surroundings of lush green and urban landscapes that blend into its huge megalopolises.  Not everything about modern societies is dreary, there’s still some life left, some soul left.


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