Feb 222010

When I lived in Japan, I was mystified by the street numbers and constantly lost.  Alex Case  stopped by a while ago and kindly enlightened me. In case you missed his explanation, I’ve just come across this two minute TED video that explains all and some other delightful stuff. Enjoy!

Gosh, if only I had understood that when I lived in Toyko. Now if  I could just crack the road signs in Philadelphia,…

 Posted by at 5:29 am

  5 Responses to “The opposite is also true”

  1. I never knew that about the address system in Japan. South Korea has a similar system leftover from the Japanese colonial days…I still can’t get my head around my address, and I’ve been living in the same place for 5+ years!

  2. Yeah, the system would be fine if Japanese people understood it. But actually, NO ONE can read an address! You try getting something delivered or catching a taxi! Don’t feel so bad, Vicki ; D

  3. I don’t know about street numbers in Japan but when i was there – so far back i can’t remember when – it was the underground/subway/metro that destroyed me.

    Nothing i saw written on maps or signs bore any resemblance to anything my brain had registered before.

    I followed blindly the crowds.

  4. Hi Vicki
    I worked for a Japanese company for several years and I also went there on business. My Japanese boss explained the numbering system to me, which he said was completely logical – but utterly crazy! Luckily for me the company sent their own drivers to ferry us around. I’m pretty sure they got lost too though – they just didn’t admit to it.

    I agree with Darren – the cab drivers often need to make long detours.

    Thanks for the video link.

  5. Neil, Darren, Chris and Deborah, thank you all so much for your lovely contributions.

    Well Darren, if folks in Japan are still fumbling around trying to find one another, I won’t feel bad – specially as the Korean system is still a mystery for Neil after five years.

    I think the trick on the trains was to count the stops, Chris, or learn kanji and hilagana of course, but that takes a little longer, of course,.

    Deborah, you have reminded me of another long lost skill I used to practice a lot in Japanese – how to direct a cab driver.

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