Looking Out The Window In Japan

Dec 20th, 2008 | By | Category: Lifestyle

Have you even wondered what residents of Japan see when they look out their windows?  The images that you see online and in magazines tend to focus in on the temples, shrines and street life but don’t often show what it’s like to live in Japan.  Many Japanese people and most foreign residents live in apartment complexes rather than stand-alone houses.

A while back I proposed a challenge to my fellow Japan Bloggers at JapanSoc.  The challenge was to take  look at life in Japan beyond the tourist destinations and to show how people really live in Japan by taking a photo out their office or residence window/backdoor and write about it by December 15th.  I was overwhelmed with the number of people who chose to participate and the variety of views to be had from the homes of my fellow bloggers from Nagano in northern Japan, to Tokyo and then further south to Kakamigahara in Gifu Prefecture.

If you are planning a move to Japan or are just curious about what it’s like to live here you will enjoy perusing these images.

Nick has this view of the suburbs Kakamigahara City in Gifu Prefecture out his back window.


Jason from Jason’s Random Thoughts offers a different view from his home, also in Kakamigahara, Gifu Prefecture, and he swears he has a Ninja for a neighbor!


Jason Collin shares the beautiful skyline from his apartment in Shinjuku, Tokyo (via his Flickr stream).


In early November, the Penguin wrote about a Mount Fuji Eruption as seen from his apartment near Shinjuku, Tokyo.


Paul Hartrick shares the view towards Shinjuku from his balcony.


Andy in Tokyo share the view towards Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Yokohama from his spare bedroom.


Ken Lee see laundry when he looks out his window.


Dshack offers his view in Sumida-ku, Tokyo at dusk.


Awh from Alpha Whiskey Hotel has a view of Japanese road construction near the Higashi-Nakano Station in Tokyo (below left).



Chris from Nihongo Notes doesn’t have the best view, in fact he had to step outside of of his apartment above a Packinko Parlor in Nishi-Kawaguchi, Saitama Prefecture to take this shot (above right).

Mark offers this view of the Japanese Alps from his home outside of Nagano.


Honor of Tokyotopia has this view from her balcony in Tokyo.

View From Back Of Apartment Looking To The Right

Neil Duckett has this great view of Mt. Fuji from his office in Hon-Atsugi, about 90 minutes outside of Tokyo.


Thomas from Nihon Hacks shares the view of tsurushi-gaki drying on his balcony in Hyogo Prefecture as well as instructions on how to make these delicious dried persimmons on his website.


Danielle from Narrative Disorder shares the view of the fall colors she has from her window  in Nagoya.


Lastly, here is a sunset view looking out over Tokyo Bay from the apartment that I share with my husband in Makuhari, Chiba Prefecture, about 45 minutes from Tokyo.

Chiba Moon

So now you know, we live in the suburbs, in the city, or even in the country where our views aren’t very different from other places in the world.  Living in Japan is a great experience for most and offers a lot of great sightseeing opportunities and the ability to explore the culture for those willing to make the effort, but those opportunities don’t always lie right outside our doors.

I encourage you to browse around the sites of my fellow Japan Bloggers – we all have a different take on what it’s like to live here and the aspects of the culture that interest us are quite varied.  You can also keep up to date with Travel & Culture in Japan by subscribing to The Nihon Sun feed.

A big Domo! (thanks) goes out to everyone who took the time to participate in “Looking Out My Window in Japan”.

Images are presented with permission from the original photographer. None of the images may be used, reproduced or transmitted, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or the use of any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the photographer (please contact them through the links to their sites above of you would like to obtain such permission).

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  1. It’s interesting to see what people see from their windows. This is a good post idea Shane. And the view from your (former?) apartment in Chiba was pretty nice.

  2. These are some amazing photos, and it goes to show that the country is not so overrun in tradition that we all have a daibutsu or sky-scraping temple sitting somewhere along the horizon :)

    Thanks for posting the challenge, Shane!

  3. Great post and love all the photos… It’s like peeking inside peoples daily life…

  4. Hey, this is really cool. Nice job taking the time to collect all of these, it was well worth it!

  5. This is a good idea indeed!… May I offer some shots from my window (Yokohama, Kamaya Cho) here : http://www.jeromesadou.com/en/entry/16

  6. Thank you so much for sharing these with us! Posts like these make me want to visit Japan even more!

  7. I really enjoyed this post. Each view was interesting in its own way. Hopefully I can participate next time!

  8. Here’s the view from my old apartment in Sanda, Hyogo in December of 2006.

    I miss living across the street from a porn store.

  9. I offer my thanks and congrats on a great idea, too, Shane! It was really lovely to see where many of my fellow jBloggers are writing from. :)

  10. Great post, Shane!

    Are you going to have a weekly update? You know, like one new view per week submitted by a reader?

  11. […] Lastly, if you missed it you may want to take a moment to view what some Japan Bloggers see when they look out the window in Japan. […]

  12. It was a fun post to pull together and I also found it the results very interesting. All of your kind words are appreciated.

    Jason, we will be heading back to the same apartment after the holidays and the view is quite nice.

    Billy, original images of Japan are always welcome in the Japan Photo Gallery and a new one will be featured every Tuesday.

    Everyone is welcome submit an image. Contact The Nihon Sun to learn more or to submit a great photo of Japan for consideration.

  13. […] typical Japanese roadway is presented courtesy of Alfie Goodrich and was intended to be part of the Looking Out The Window in Japan collection that was posted earlier this week.  Technical challenges ensued and Alfie was kind […]

  14. […] Looking Out The Window In Japan nihonsun.com - A collection of photos outside peoples windows in Japan. […]

  15. […] I didn’t make it to The Nihon Sun’s Looking Out The Window In Japan compilation, so as a bonus, here’s one of my favorite […]

  16. great photos! my fiance and I will be moving to makuhari in a month.. any suggestions on where/how to look for apartments? i want one with a view like yours! :)

  17. Unfortunately I can’t be a lot of help as my husband’s employer found our apartment for us. The area we live in is Utase and is a 10-15 minute walk from Kaihin Makuhari station. Hopefully one of your employers will be able to help you out but feel free to email me directly to talk more about the area or plan a coffee/tour date upon your arrival.

  18. […] of inspiring articles and images from Japan similar to the collaboration that resulted in the  Looking Out The Window In Japan article late last […]

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