'Urban hiking' in Tsukuba, Ibaraki

‘Benches are for seating plants’–beauty salon along Nishi Ōdori.

This morning my wife and I went out on a walk like we always do on weekends lately. We would usually head out to Doho Park early in the morning, take a leisurely walk around it once, get some bread and coffee and head back home.

Today while we were taking the first steps out the door I said, “How about we walk briskly and call it ‘urban hiking’?” We haven’t had any hiking since last year.

She said, “Let’s do it! How about we go along the path at the back of Doho Park?” So we did.

Urban hiking: it’s just speedy osampo with hiking gear. (You don’t even need hiking gear actually.)

Looks like a good day for urban hiking! Shiny traffic mirrors invite photos.

A traffic safety ojizosan, guardian of motorists and pedestrians alike, near Doho Park.

A grey heron out on a morning hunt in Doho Park. Birdwatching is cool.

It’s mid-autumn and you can see it in the maple and ginkgo trees inside the park.

Students on the way to a Saturday school activity.

Encuit Bakery: I have no idea how to pronounce this in Japanese.

A very old letter post box, apparently still in use.

Empty wine bottles in front of a local restaurant.

Lost items are usually put on conspicuous places by passers-by so they can be easily found. The most expensive item I’ve seen like this is an iPhone, on a low concrete fence near our house.

An increasingly rare sight. In the early 90’s, pay phones were the only way to contact your relatives overseas.

I don’t know her politics, but maybe I’ll consider voting for Komeito’s Yamamoto-san on the next elections, if only on account of this poster.

Garbage collection area. The sign says, ‘Take your trash out by 8 o’clock in the morning.’