orientation: sketches

"...the inhabitants are brilliant at drawing these improvised sketches, that make, drawn on a piece of paper, a street, a building, a change of address a delicious form of communication... it's always a pleasure, to watch someone writing, but especially to watch someone drawing." (roland barthes)

on this way when searching for a bank, i came to know that there is also an interesting gallery close by...

add your comments or stories to this page

>Joshua, joshua_n (at) mail.goo.ne.jp - Tokyo, 2002-04-07
"Dear miry,

I wish you should ask me then, 'cause I was in Tokyo.
Yes, Address system in Japan is definitely different from western way, which is based on street. Japan's one is based on block.
I had studied about its origin but I forgot.

Who is best to ask when we lost?
Your choice was good. Policemen in KOBAN work for their area only, walk around frequently and know well. but they are not best. Best is postman in residential area. Ah, Policeman can speak English better than them? Uhhm, NO one can, may be.

However all, the map seems so miserable to me, it was natural to make the policeman suspicious to you;->

yoshi in Tokyo


>Mirjam Struppek, struppek (at) rhrk.uni-kl.de - Berlin, 2002-03-21
"My first encounter with the police:

It was my first stay in Tokyo and I was so glad to have found a very cheap place to stay. I mean it was really cheap. But OK. So I went out discovering the big City, equipped with my own little mapdrawings how to get back. Yet I soon noticed that I was completely lost. Happily I found this small “KOBAN”, a two man Police station. So I showed them my drawings and the address of the hotel. My Japanese was still miserable at that time so a not very clear discussion started “with hands and feet”. I was wondering: am I so much lost? I did not walk so far. And when they wanted to see my passport, I became really a bit afraid. Then they picked up the telephone to call someone who could speak English, so far I understood. Finally I heard an excited voice in broken English telling me I should not stay in this hostel. The area is too dangerous. I was irritated since I had such a secure feeling in this “biggest village of the world”. And I got the hostels adress at an information counter in the Airport. So it was hard to convince them that I could not find a better place at this time in the night. Finally they showed me the way but I had to promise them that I search for another place tomorrow.

Later I really started to appreciate these little KOBAN everywhere with its maps and friendly policemen. You need them to get along in this chaotic address system of Tokyo.

>su - 2001-03-02
"another map..."