George and Namiki's neighbourhood...
Both George and Namiki were working today so we did our grandparently duty (didn't need much persuading). We read books, sang songs, played with cardboard boxes etc., and then walked to George's school through this lovely neighbourhood. The yellow sign says something like 'This is a children's area, please take care'.
Japan's neighbourhoods are mixed in the best possible way - posh houses beside apartment blocks next to a row of middle income houses etc. I've never seen 'estates' of poor housing - definitely seen some poor housing but perhaps a row of maybe four or five really down-at-heel small dwellings next to a smart old-fashioned wooden house or a row of smart new houses. Very few houses have gardens, those belong mostly to the older wooden houses. Lots of Government is local, lots of community centres and locally run services, voted for locally and supportive of the local population. George runs quite a few workshops in various community centres.
The apartment block above is where George and Namiki live, on the 9th floor.
Tomorrow we get to collect Isaac from nursery school - great honour!