Facing The Tracks

I was walking into Oppama, and was waiting for a train to pass…


Oncoming train. Oppama, Japan.

when I noticed the backsides of the buildings that line the tracks.

They were asking to have their portraits taken.

So I obliged.


There is seldom any pretense on the backside of a track-facing building. Thousands may pass by in the trains, every day, but these backsides blend into a blur that people never notice.


Utilities connect at the backsides. Gas. Electricity. Communications. What you would never leave in front gets left at the back.


Put the vent where it’s needed. If you need those ladders, you know where they are. 

No formality, no careful esthetics here.


No niwaki here. Plants and vines grow in undisciplined freedom.


Some roofs are rustier than the sides of the train rails.


The train passes.

The gate rises.

And I continue the walk into Oppama.

One response to “Facing The Tracks

  1. How amusing. When I was in school, my home faced the tracks. We had 40 acres or so, and the house was build just a few yards back from the tracks! I suppose whomever built the house wanted it close to the frontage road. It was strange. Anyway, I kept my home quite nice, but no one noticed.

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