Thursday, April 30, 2009

Big City Noise

One thing has struck me about Tokyo.  It's absence of big city noise. Sure, we hear normal traffic and construction sounds, but very little else. No one blasts their stereo from their car, few people beep their horns and the buildings under construction are sheltered by elaborate walls and canvases which minimize the sounds. I've been told that there are officials who monitor the noise levels at construction sites to ensure they do not cause a great disturbance. When you ride the subway, no one holds loud conversations and absolutely no one talks on their cell phones.   

Now we happen to be living by a fire station, so we do hear a fair number of sirens throughout the day, but aside from that it is really quite peaceful for a city with a population that exceeds 12 million. Then again, perhaps the sheer size of the population explains the value the Japanese seem to place on minimizing the big city sounds. All I can say is thank goodness they do.


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