West Meets East: An American in Japan | All Blogs


Addresses and Directions

By Josiah Lebowitz

When it comes to Japan, I've got a lot to talk about so to make it easier for me to choose subjects and easier for you to find the things you're most interseted in, I'm going to assign a schedule of sorts to this blog.  Here it is:
Monday: Daily Life (Thing relating to daily life in Japan such as housing, shopping, groceries, etc)
Tuesday & Wednesday: Travel Tips and Sightseeing (Travel tips and info on the best stuff to see and do in Japan.)
Thursday: Japanese Culture (Things about Japnese culture such as history, religion, holidays, mannerisms, etc.)
Friday: Food (Things about all the interesting types of food you can find in Japan.)

And now for today's daily life themed entry.

The streets of Jimbocho

Trying to find a building in Japan with nothing to go off of but its address is an interesting experience, to say the least. For an example, here’s the address of Sakura House, a Tokyo based company that specializes in renting apartments to foreigners on a month by month basis. Note that, to make this easier to follow, the address has been written in English instead of Japanese.

Nishi-Shinjuku K1 Bldg.
2F
7-2-6, Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
160-0023

The first and second lines are simple enough, as they just list the building name and floor, but it’s the rest of the address that we’re concerned about. What you want to do now is look it in reverse order (which is how it would be written in Japanese).

1. The number beginning with 160 is the zip code and, as such, is really only of any use to postal workers.

2. Tokyo is the name of the prefecture (think state or county). If you were wondering, Tokyo prefecture is made up of the greater Tokyo city area.

3. Tokyo, like some big US cities (and all but the smallest Japanese towns) is divided into various smaller cities (like how New York City has Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the like), called ku. Shinjuku is one of Tokyo’s ku.

4. Ku are further divided up into smaller “towns”. The building we’re looking for is in the Nishi-Shinjuku section of Shinjuku (Nishi means West, though not all town names are so straightforward).

5. Finally we come to a set of numbers, 7-2-6. Notice that we haven’t found any street names or building numbers yet. That’s what these are for…sort of. Towns, like Nishi-Shinjuku, are divided up into a set of numbered sections. The 7 tells us that the building is in section 7 of Nishi-Shinjuku. Unfortunately, unless you have a fairly detailed map on hand, it can often be rather hard to figure out how the sections are laid out (though you can at least get an idea of where you are by looking at the addresses on signs and street lamps). These sections, like Nishi-Shinjuku 7, are further divided up into even smaller areas, which is what the 2 is for. So we’re looking for a building in area 2 of section 7 of Nishi-Shinjuku, which is a part of the city of Shinjuku (Shinjuku-ku) in Tokyo.

6. Finally we have the last number in that set, the 6. It’s the number of the building itself. So all we need to do is find section 7, area 2, and walk down the street to the building between buildings 5 and 7, right? Unfortunately, no. Unlike in the US, buildings in Japan are numbered based on the order in which they were constructed and area 2 could easily contain several streets. So building 6 might be next to building 5, but it could just as easily be across the street or up to several blocks away in any given direction.

The streets of Akihabara

So, after all that, the best we can do with the Japanese address is find the right general area and wander aimlessly around until we spot the appropriate building. I have no idea how the person/people who designed this system ever thought it would be a good idea. This is why most stores and businesses in Japan include directions and/or a simple map in their advertisements, as it’s much easier to navigate by landmarks than addresses.

But what if you don’t have directions? Well, if you can hop on the internet, Google Maps usually works pretty well. But that only helps if you have a smart phone (and a very expensive international data plan) or looked up the location before you left your hotel or apartment.

If you think you can handle the language barrier, you can try asking a passerby or shopkeeper. Most Japanese people are very polite and will be happy to help (though they likely won’t be able to speak much English). I’ve even had some of the people I’ve asked for directions drop what they’re doing and spend the next five or ten minutes leading me all the way to my destination. The only problem is that, unless you’re looking for a very well-known spot, it’s quite likely that even the locals won’t know where it is. And, as it’s considered rude to refuse a polite request, they’re far more likely to take a guess (and probably give you wrong directions) than just say that they don’t know.

You best bet is to look for a koban (koh-bahn), or police box. These tiny roadside police stations are very common in larger cities like Tokyo and most small towns have one or two as well. Since crime in Japan is so low, and all koban are equipped with highly detailed maps of the surrounding area, the policemen spend a large portion of their time helping lost people (both Japanese and foreigners) find their way. Language will likely still be an issue but as long as you can show them the address (written in either Japanese or English) they should be able to help. Though it may take them a little while to find your destination on their maps.

And that’s how you find, or at least try to find, addresses in Japan. As you can see, it’s far better to get directions before you leave (either from a book, ad, etc or from Google Maps) and only resort to using the address if you absolutely have to.

COMMENTS

Please Login or Register to leave a comment.

Many thanks for this brilliant post! Many points have extremely useful. Hopefully, you’ll continue sharing your knowledge around.
Great Site

I actually checked right up your website considering Concerning listened to a great deal of pertaining to a person’s discussions.    domain registered

Prefer experience quickly checking all of the websites.  Social

That appears to be certainly great. Most of these teeny specifics are designed having great deal of track record expertise. I’m keen on the item lots.  Genius Profit Initiative

I stumbled upon this blog with a host of new possibilities to explore. Thank you for the friendly in sharing.  Granite Countertops In Springfield

Largely, I understand genital herpes virus treatments really are debating into your blog. That time period still, Now i’m damaged or lost.  Autoankauf Schweiz

Wonderful place the idea it’s definitely useful in addition to progressive keep us put up together with fresh revisions. it’s got valuable. appreciate it a good deal.
Regards: voyance en ligne gratuite

We really discover your site with regard to performing checks in addition We really now arrived at really feel therefore asked. We really seemed to be obtainable an activity to attempt your own for the unique creating business in addition Picture avoiding all of them. Perhaps now, with the way of thinking you really talented individuals, I will give it a try.  mttb review

Quickly it very good blog is going to irrefutably be particularly legendary amid a good number of authoring an important web log people today, considering diligent subject matter plus customer reviews.  eyelash studio

how to get more instagram likes  Individuals quite messed others ” up ” go on semester. Pertaining to any customers receive pay attention to and additionally keep on shut off the software.  free followers for instagram

The examples below is definetly for instance glimmer brilliant. Each one of these insignificant issues are built utilizing wide variety of cornerstone knowledge. I spend time these folks a great deal.  outube 2 mp3

I love your own publish. It’s great to determine a person explain in words in the center as well as clearness about this essential topic could be very easily noticed.  Buy phentermine online

This is exactly evenly a good material that i extremely extremely enjoyed reading viewing. It’s not regularly which i maintain opportunity to run a difficulty.  embroidery digitizing

My partner and i only want to tell you i always merely have a look at your internet site and also My partner and i believe it is extremely intriguing and also useful..  indonesian furniture

quite fascinating publish. this can be our very first time here. i stumbled upon consequently many fascinating products as part of your thread especially their discussion.. appreciate it for the publish!
Regards: Binding Of Isaac

This is very educational content and well for a change. It’s nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post!
Regards: voyant par telephone

I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thank you for the post.  seo service plans

Appraisal in fact give preference to further data files in relation to this unique, as long as its wonderful., Thankyou ideal for post.  cheap research papers for sale

I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thank you for the post.  recycle old computers

I really get pleasure from the kind of matters publish here. Appreciate it with regard to sharing us a terrific facts which is basically very helpful. Excellent day!Regards: Maths Tuition




Recent Posts
LOUDY-SIMPSON MIGRANT TRAP
By Nic.Korte
Sunday, May 14, 2017

TIME FOR A CHAT (A DOUBLE ENTENDRE FOR EARTH DAY)
By Nic.Korte
Sunday, April 23, 2017

WISDOM’S WISDOM OR HUMAN WISDOM?
By Nic.Korte
Friday, April 7, 2017

Tech Education a Must for Tech-Starved Mesa County
By David Goe
Friday, March 31, 2017

APRIL FOOLS’
By Nic.Korte
Friday, March 24, 2017


TOP JOBS




THE DAILY SENTINEL
734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
Editions
Subscribe to print edition
E-edition
Advertisers
Advertiser Tearsheet
Information

© 2017 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy