|Poster at the Tokyo National Museum|
|Mitsokushimae underground station|
with floor tiles for blind people
to walk along
The citizens of Tokyo appear to work till they drop. In the evening the men return home after 8 p.m., pale and exhausted. Their eyes close and often they fall asleep on the underground trains despite the constantly broadcast announcements about the next station and how to behave there. A majority of people wear disposable facemasks, ostensibly to guard against germs, but I suspect also as a barrier to too much social contact. After a few days' observation I'd come to the conclusion that they must be a nation of introverts. At breakfast time (the Parisian style coffee and croissant is a popular choice) and in the lunch hours Japanese office workers often eat on their own at solitary tables in "hole-in-the-wall" restaurants, immersed in a book and / or smoking. Smoking is generally allowed indoors, but not on the street, unless you are in a designated smokers' area.
|Lunchtime at a quiet restaurant in the business district|
|Street in Shirakawa, Tokyo|
|Cars parked in Shirakawa, a residential area|