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barber pole on Nov. 2, Fukakusa neighborhood at 5 pm

barber pole on Nov. 2, Fukakusa neighborhood at 5 pm

This homey tableau captures an early evening moment: a few bikes parked and ready for residents to do an errand or pay a social visit, the commercial or craft activity located within residential areas (barber in this case), and the close fit of the narrow lanes that form capillaries to the city’s larger arteries.

In the long centuries before paving main routes and little lanes, it was customary many of the seasons of the year for residents or shopkeepers to sprinkle some water from hose (supplied city water under pressure) or from basin (well water, hand-pumped) to dampen the dust and benefit from the evaporation to cool the air slightly. Even now, at least in summer, there are a few merchants who will still sprinkle the blacktop in front of their own segment of the street, not for dust so much as for evaporation and the traditional atmosphere it creates, in effect welcoming customers on a (symbolically) washed surface.
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Photo taken @ 越前市 on 2 November 2017 (© anthroview / Flickr)

Related tags :
 canon s110, 915, takefu, fukui-ken, echizen city, hokuriku, rural japan, 915, 北陸, 福井県, 越前市, 武生, 田舎, 武生市, mizu maki, barber, barber pole, roji, narrow lane, 路地
 

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