Wow, it's been more than a month since I wrote one of these. This post isn't so much about our city of Higashi Kurume, although most of the photos are from there, what is true about our city is true about much of Japan: there are lots of walls.
In Australia properties generally have fences, often quite minimal fences. Many have nothing at all at the front of the property. It is different in Japan. I'm not sure on the "why" of that, though one could guess that because properties are so small and buildings so jammed together, that people need to "mark their territory", though possibly for privacy too?
Most properties seem to have walls, usually concrete, or as you can see in the first picture here, concrete covered by tiles. Often a wall on the bottom half and a wire or metal portion on the top half.
Here are some samples from around here.
|This is our back wall/fence and our neighbours'.|
|This is only about 100m from our house. Both sides are fields, one with a hedge the other with nothing. Those|
concrete brick walls are very common on older properties.
|A neat little road that we walk down to go to the station and ride down to get to church. I love the built-in flower gardens!|
|Not sure why the sudden narrowing of the road here, this is just 30m from our house (our house is around the corner at the red stop sign in the "distance").|
|Yes, and vending machines are periodically set into walls. As are community rubbish "stations".|
|This is a newly built house, with a minimal wall, but I think privacy one reason they've opted for this type of fence. A six-foot fence would cut off any view from the windows and light would be minimised too.|
|More modern houses, like this one, have no front fence. That is primarily for ease of parking the car. This one has a covered place for parking bikes too (on the left)!|