Leap Day in Tokyo saw a surprising amount of snow, falling in large gobs from the sky and from roofs. Someone tipped me off that the trains are less impacted than the underground subway, and that snow slows the city less than rain. I took photos of a routine trip from my home.
The snow helped me see Tokyo again from a fresh perspective.
What makes Tokyo residential districts very charming and perhaps surprising for foreigners are the narrow pedestrian walkways and small streets where pedestrians and bicyclists outnumber cars.
There’s something pre-modern and non-rational about the web of small Tokyo lanes, with unpredictable turns and numerous dead ends. The densely packed two and three story buildings almost touch, with a mix of small apartments and single family houses. Neither walkways nor small streets are named, there is no grid, and small gardens and small shops are the only way to remember your path the next time.
The foliage is a mix of cultivated plants and “volunteers.” With rainfall plentiful year-round, it is easy to imagine the city reverting to jungle. If only there was less concrete.