13 February 2010

Maps in Japan

One of the interesting things walking around streets of Tokyo is the map signboards scattering around the town to serve as a guide to explore the surrounding areas.

Usually the maps are placed at train stations, near the entrance/exit. Usually the maps are labeled with places of interests, local municipals, public services like police kiosk (koban), local parks and even public toilets.
Simply practical and useful for anyone to find out where they are heading.

Located at Yurakucho (有楽町), in between the Imperial Palace and Ginza.

Other than helping people to get to the destinations, it's also very useful to serve as a "GPS" to mark down where the person is, and the landmarks around. Usually where you're standing is located at the centre of the map as a red point.

At Omotesando (表参道), heading towards Meiji Jingu (明治神宮).

Whenever I get lost while randomly walking around, the first thing I'll find is these maps on the streets heh. And besides, it isn't that easy to get lost in Tokyo hah.

Well the 2 examples above are map signboards made by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. There are other similar maps too, especially in local parks or some landmark with huge area.

Detailed map of the Imperial Palace surroundings.

Tokyo University Komaba campus (東京大学駒場キャンパス), where I sit for the EJU exam last Nov.

Yushima Seido (湯島聖堂) near Ochanomizu. Comes with the landmark's details and descriptions.

Besides the landmarks this map suggested the ideal jogging trail as well. At Arakawa Nature Park (荒川自然公園).

At Asukayama Park (飛鳥山公園).

Toneri Park (舎人公園).

It's safe to say that with a minimum Geographical skills (at least can read simple map), you won't be getting lost in Tokyo. This is particularly useful if you wanna explore the town but dunno how to ask for directions in Japanese.

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