The Places of No Interest

Views of common, everyday places in Japan

By Elena Lisina    - 2 min read

Very often when planning my trips to Japan and looking for information about places of interest, I can’t imagine what the surroundings will look like. Then, when I actually visit the places I’ve found interesting, I reach them by train or walk through quite common ‘places of no interest’ to get there. Those everyday places form a full picture of the country and that’s very important for me.

What are those places? Streets of cities with residential houses and shops, countryside views from train windows, bridges, local pubs, bicycle parking, yards, and so on. I understand that common things are an everyday reality for Japanese people, and they don’t visit famous temples or castles every day. Unlike picturesque gardens or temples, common views are a mixture of styles and times. That jumble is especially noticeable in big cities such as Tokyo and Osaka. Quiet small towns have more charm for me. In those towns traditional Japanese houses still exist and there are no bright modern advertising billboards; it feels like travelling back in time.

While staying with my friends in Nagano for a few days we went to a local supermarket, onsen, a modest but cheap sushi restaurant, and a small but cozy café. All of those everyday things make me feel closer to Japanese people -- much more than visiting famous places of interest. If temples and castles are like a glimpse into the frozen past, common views are warm and full of life – I like that! That’s why when heading to some ‘places of interest’ I can’t pass the ‘places of no interest’ without paying attention.

Common scenes can be met anywhere you go, and each detail you notice tells a story. The knowledge of the stories behind the things you encounter forms the attitude of being not just a tourist, but a person who loves that country.

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Elena Lisina

Elena Lisina @shiroi.tenshi

I love Japan very much! I like small towns of Japan where I can watch people doing their business and talk to them carefully. They're always friendly. I like Japanese gardens where I can just sit or walk and take my time. Also I like Shinto Jinja as being there I feel in peace. I like to watch sunsets and then to dine in some small local places. I like to soak into onsen after a long day of wandering. I like Japanese crafts very much as all items are made with great taste and skill. Nihon wo daisuki desuyo! My photos from Japan I also place here: Matane!