Textures Underfoot

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creative perspectivesWalking home from the Kudan Kaikan beer garden Wednesday night, I reached Iidabashi, about halfway, and decided to spare my left instep from the growing blister my sandal was rubbing into it. I took off my shoes and walked the rest of the way home barefoot, taking great pleasure in the textures underfoot.

First I walked along a brick-paved street. It felt smooth and slightly warm. I liked the way my feet pressed into the cracks between the bricks, as if they would like to imprint me. After that too short stretch, I trod temporary asphalt paving for a while. The prickly uneven holes between tarred pebbles nipped at my toes.

At the intersection on Andozaka, I stood on the dotted yellow edging. I expected the rubbery plastic bumps to be more raised. I bounced around on it a little bit, unsuccessfully trying to position my reflex points for a massage before the light changed. The next bit of sidewalk patchworked old and new construction efforts - more temporary asphalt, a few squares of non-slip concrete, a couple of smoother tarred-over asphalts stretches.

I was pleased to discover how fun it is to climb the 60 stairs in the shortcut to our street in bare feet. The smooth concrete and tile steps are easier to take without shoes. And the summit achieved, I walked heel-to-toe on the smooth heat-painted white border to avoid my street's scratchy paving. The polished granite lobby and carpeted hallways of my building were welcome relief from the more robust exterior textures.

Take off your shoes and walk around outside today. See what you feel. You might be surprised.

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And in Tokyo, the looks you get are pretty special too!

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