Where is..?

From Switzerland I’m used that houses are numbered in a certain way. On one side of the street there are the even numbers, on the other side the uneven numbers. Walking along the street the number increase or decrease. If you know the street name, you just have to find the street and then follow the numbers.

Here in Japan, only major roads have names and street names are not part of any address. How does that work? Does is work?! Yes, it does :-)

That’s the address of the Taito City Office, the administrative center of the ward (or municipality) I live in:

〒110-8615東京都台東区東上野4丁目5番6号

Addresses here start with the postal code and then go from large (prefecture) to small (house):

〒110-8615 = Postal code

東京都 = Tokyo-to = Tokyo metropolis (= Prefecture)

台東区 = Taito-ku = Taito ward (= Municipality)

東上野 = Higashi-Ueno (= Neighbourhood)

4丁 = Chome nr. 4 (= District block)

5番 = Banchi nr. 5 (= City block)

6号 = House nr. 6 (House number)

Apart from the different order within the address, the numbering is also different here. The blocks and houses are numbered rather chronologically than geographically. The older a house, the lower its number.

So, how do you find any given address? The easiest way of course is to use an online map :-) But if you need to find a house without internet access, you can consult a township guide map. You find them at train and metro station exits and spread all over town.

Can you decipher the signs? :-)

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