It seems that most foreigners living in Japan find themselves feeling illiterate. You can’t speak to the locals and you can’t read. For me there are just enough things in English to keep me from going crazy. I can understand more Japanese than I can speak. One of the challenges of the city is that some of the streets are not marked with names and most of those that are look like this:
The white sign with the kanji tells the name of the street. The red and blue sign below it for Highway 1 also has the name of that street, Sakurada dori, in English and Japanese.Â The sign below that says, Akabanebasi in Japanese and English.Â I think it’s the name of the junction and not the street since the Akabanebashi subway station is there.
As you can see from this one corner getting around can be a bit challenging. When I first started riding my bike I would often find myself thinking, “I am not sure where I am and not sure how to get home.” My children would say I was lost. I am never lost! I can always figure out how to get home. So… I would just keep riding and eventually I would see this:
And when I found one of these landmarks I would be able to find my way home. Tokyo and Mori Towers can be seen from quite a distance from different parts of the city and besides that I have been blessed with a great sense of direction.