Zippy Zoom Zoom

So there's 3 main ways to get around Matsue. Walking, Bicycle, and Car. There are buses, but I've never taken one, I don't really know the stops. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen a bus here. There is a train station with trains, but it seems to be mostly for leaving/coming to Matsue, not traveling in Matsue as far as I can tell.

My favorite way to travel is by bike! You don't have to buy gas, it's exercise, and depending on the time of day, you can actually travel faster on bike than by car due to traffic. Also, it easier to find places to park your bike. Dangers include getting hit by a car, falling off the tiny sidewalks into a gaijin trap (aka drainage ditch,) biking uphill, and getting your bike stolen.

This is my bike. It's beautiful and blue.

All bikes here seem to come with a basket, a bell, and most seem to have a lock. Unlike in America where we buy bike locks and chains, bikes here have a metal ring around the back tire.

You insert a key and the metal ring that goes through the spokes of the back wheel to keep it from turning pulls up into itself. When you get wherever you're going, you take push the metal back through the wheel and take the keys out. now, no one can ride your bike. Technically, they can lift it and steal it. Bike theft is one of the biggest crimes in Japan. The kickstands are completely different too. Instead of a pole on the side that the bike leans on, the kickstand wraps around the back of the tire. When not in motion, you lift the back of the bike up and pull it down so the back wheel is resting on it.

Where all the bikes live outside of my apartment.
The other way I travel is by car. Driving has it's advantages, you can go farther, there's air conditioning so you don't get crazy sweaty, you don't have to walk your car uphill, you can jam out to music, it doesn't take as long to get some place (unless traffic sucks.) The downsides include it's freaking scary driving on the wrong side of the road, people drive insane here, there are pedestrians and cyclists everywhere just begging to be hit, there is absolutely no parking anywhere, and if there is, you have to back into the itty bitty space, the roads are crazy narrow and people go 20 km over the speed limit and tail you if you don't, the construction signs make no sense, there are very few street signs, often the roads are not logical, just like in PA, you can also fall into gaijin traps with your car, and a car is much harder to get out of a concrete ditch than a bike is.
 This was my first car. A temporary one until my real car arrived. I only drove it for 2 days, and only hit the curb twice with it. Woops.

This is my car! I named it Sylvia. Sylvia the suzuki. It's pretty small (I wish is was smaller!) and I got it brand spannking factory new. I still have the plastic on the seats. I have yet to hit anything! Yay!

Sylvia's dashboard. Turn signals on the right of the steering wheel, windshield wipers on the left. Automatic, gear shift is up on the dash under the cd player. I'm gad there's a cd player because I could only find 1 radio station, and they talk more than play music. Although driving home from work once they seemed to be having the Eric Clapton music hour... strange.

So getting around is getting easier, but I must not get too complacent or I'm going to hit someone and end up in a ditch on the wrong side of the road. >.< Wish me luck!


  1. OMG - steering wheel on the right! So fun!

  2. You sold your Saturn for that backwards thing?! ;) I'm loving the entries on the blog!! -Shannon