The Ogaki Report

Details of life at IAMAS, in Ogaki, Japan.
As reported by Tamiko Thiel and Peter Graf, winter 1999-2000

Where in the world is Ogaki?

Backstreet Ogaki

Side street near the station.

There is not much public transportation within the city. A lot of people have cars, and many people of all ages get around by bicycle. When it rains, the umbrellas pop up and you keep on cycling, a skill I still need to practice.

This is the street that takes me from the station to RIST, the IAMAS student dormitory where I've been staying the first month in Ogaki.
near station
traffic And of course there is traffic.

Until 30 years ago Ogaki was criss-crossed by many small canals and rivers. Most of these have been filled in or paved over to provide streets for the car traffic. There's a good chance this used to be a river. A pedestrian overpass takes me across this street on the way to RIST.

By the way, many cars in Japan are white.
Front garden of a house.

The Japanese are of course legendary for their ability to create a beautiful garden in a tiny space. Many of the small 2-story city houses have small front gardens, which are probably their only green space since the bedding and laundry is also aired out front. This is one of the more luxurious front gardens of a house not too far from the station.
front garden
side streets Small back streets.

But just so we don't get too romantic, this is the typical scene in the small sidestreets in the area. Cute, but I'm not sure if I'd want to live in one.
Small back streets.

This is the south side, so this is their maximum light and air. Maybe this is why the highrise apartment buildings in Japan are typically called "mansions."
side streets
RIST RIST would qualify as a mansion, if it wasn't a student dorm. Don't ask me what RIST stands for, I still haven't figured it out.

It's about 10 minutes by bicyle from IAMAS, about half and hour by foot. It's a beautiful ride through the fields when the weather is warm and sunny, but since I work a lot at night, the cold dark bicycle rides home are encouraging me to find an apartment closer to IAMAS.

Main Page: Ogaki Report

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