died in the wool ______

To have no set purpose in one's life is the harlotry of the will -Stephen Mackenna-

Monday, June 13, 2005

Tokyo office observations

This morning I got an inquiry from our American counterpart. She wanted to confirm my address, saying 'the office is on Chiyoda-ku street right?'


Let's break this down with a graphic:

This is Tokyo. Let's start out by saying Tokyo IS NOT a city. The US is divided into states, Japan is divided up into prefectures. Tokyo is a special status prefecture.

Now, what most people think of as Tokyo, is the 23-ku area. ku (as in Chiyoda-ku)is translated as 'city' and 'ward', but they are similar to burroughs like in New York (I have actaully seen an albeit very old sign that translated it this way in Ikeburkuro)

In this picture, the eastern half is 23 ward area (thw western part are cities within Tokyo, and are relatively sparsely populated). I live in Minato-ku and work in Chiyoda-ku, 2 of the 3 most central wards (the other being chuo-ku), and is more or less considered the 'downtown' of Tokyo.(although as a study abroad student I lived in a very different kind of 'downtown')

Japan, and most asian countries in general, are not organized by 'streets'. A housing block is designated a number, and each house with in that block is assigned a number. Thus an address of 2-1-1 Chiyoda-ku would mean that the are in the second block of chiyoda-ku division 1, building 1. The numbers are assigned chronologically as they are built in the area, not numerically along a street of some kind, so building number 6 could be right next to bulding 23. You pretty much cannot find your way anywhere without printing out a map from yahoo or asking a police officer (this is also why driving navigation systems are so popular here and not so in the US)

So Chiyoda-ku street. It's where I work.


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