We spent an amazing 36 days in Japan! We did a lot of traveling, and we went back and forth between a lot of locations, cities, and districts. To make things easier to read and write, we have grouped everything in our travels into city locations and not exactly by time.
One of the main things that gets noticed in Japan is the way everything moves with effeciency, and conformity. A famous Japanese proverb is, "The nail that sticks out shall be hammered down". Perhaps this is the thing that creates a country that is so different on so many levels than America. It is hard to see anything but, when walking through cities and towns, as there is something about the people and the city that moves in an orderly and sophisticated fashion.
Other than Harajuku,
where it seems the majority of free spirit goes during holidays and weekends to blow off steam, we didn't see much difference in the people who moved about on the streets. The way they dressed, even when dressed casually seemed to blend in to everything else. All the men clean shaven in pants, all the women with long hair in skirts and heels.
Perhaps that was why I found myself taking so many pictures of motorcycles, cars, scooters, and bicycles we found during our walks around Japan. It seemed that the method of transportation choosen, provided people with a way to individilize themselves from each other, almost two wheeled vehicle different from the next. I found it interesting and wanted to share some of them.
Cars and 4 wheeled vehicles were often far less customized than those that only ran on two, but we saw a few during our time that stood out, most notably this VW van and the car below.
Unlike the majority of American cities, parking in Japan is scarce and rare, much like New York City, and in few places they have parking garages like a carousel, that rotates mechanically, lifting "parked cars" up into a building until their owners come to take them back. It is easy to see why motorycles and bicycles are so popular in Japan.
One thing to note is how small most motorcycles are in Japan. In the above picture the hand represents about the average height of an American Triumph Bonneville.