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Bunkyo-ku: from Kasuga to Myogadani

Tod & Kristen McQuillin
4 May 2003

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Between Korakuen and Myogadani stations, the Marunouchi subway is above ground. This is our neighborhood.

Much of Kasuga is residential. This quirky old building is a bit deceiving; 90% of the housing around here is modern apartment buildings.

In the back streets, you'll find gorgeous single family dwellings (ikkodate) with traditional gardens like this one.

Some gardens are smaller than others. Honeysuckle vines creep up to meet potted geraniums on a windowsill.

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The honeysuckle scents the entire block.

Colorful laundry and carp streamers brighten this drab apartment block.

We used to call these "fun meters." The faster they spin, the more fun you're having. But these don't look very fun at all.

I wonder if it's fun to hang out the window to put the laundry out to dry?

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In our neighborhood, there's land with a vacancy...

...and a house that's vanished.

The Marunouchi line tracks define the local hillside by dividing it into sections.

The area is full of temples and shrines. This one has a pretty cemetary.

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Offerings for a thirsty ghost.

Buddha with windchime.

This tiny, but popular, Inari jinja is tucked into an alcove of a house.

Sitting among houses on a small back street, the grand Electronics Meeting Hall is the headquarters of the "Pension Fund of Japan Electronics Information Technology Industry." Not too far away is Honda's labor union headquarters.

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This signs urges caution as there's a play park nearby. Let's go!

A zou-slide!

Hey, Kristen, come play!

When you are finished playing, please keep the sandbox clean by covering it with the net.

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Demonstrating Tokyo's most powerful drinking fountain.

The genkan of a local elementary school. Kids wear rubber-soled school slippers past this point. We got yelled at for taking this photo. "No photos in the school!" Oops.

Outside the school, faucets on the playground washbasin fascinated.

This verdant street snakes along the Eidan subway repair shops near the tracks.

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Although the speed is clearly marked on the streets...

...not all drivers obey.

Some roads aren't for vehicles at all.

This road winds under the Marunouchi line railyard.

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Public service: an antique thermometer sits on a wall outside the Eidan service yard.

Beware! Aggressive litter!

No, no! Read this first..."Let's stop throwing away trash and empty cans!"

These signs must work; this stretch of road is spotless.

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Someone has X'ed out the graffiti and written "baka" over it.

Bunkyo-ku is full of historical sites. This plaque explains that the last shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, died here. Behind the marker is a beautiful ginko tree and not-so-beautiful boarded up public housing.

An old, hand painted neighborhood map. It lists the owners' names for every building.

The subway pulls into Myogadani Station to end our tour.

Copyright 2003. Kristen McQuillin,