Mapping Japan

Like I’ve said before, if I see a hill, I want to go up it. Here’s a photo from the top of one such intriguing hill in Kajigaya. I took this photo on an aimless morning walk after checking out of my hotel in Kawasaki. After posting it, I wanted to show a friend in Japan the actual location that I took the photo…

This Lot Intentionally Left Blank

Since “hill that Slonie found to be intriguing” doesn’t appear to be in Google’s directory (yet), I found the actual location by virtually following the route I walked that day. When I found it, a custom map was born!

The photo was taken facing North-East across that empty lot...

But, I started to get a little carried away, by searching out all kinds of locations I visited in Japan and adding them to the same map. Perhaps it’s obsessive, but it’s so fun to do! So here we go, my map of Japan…

Slonie Japan » (Google Maps)

This isn’t the first time I’ve done it, either. Back when I found out that Google had enabled Street View for Japan, I was struck with a serious bout of nostalgia for my 2007 trip. I wanted to see the apartment that had become my adopted home in Japan, but I didn’t have the address.  With Street View, I was able to use my recollection of the walk to virtually find my way from Tsutsujigaoka station to John’s apartment (thanks John!). As a bonus, I was able to see what it looked like when it snows in Tokyo.

Of course, such obsessive attempts at recalling the location at which a photo was taken have already been rendered obsolete by geotagging technology. I have no doubt that my next pocket camera will have a GPS receiver, and I’ll never “have” to do such a thing again. But with it, I’ll lose the sense of discovery that I get by re-tracing my steps on a map. Oh well, that’s progress!

Addendum:

Some details on the regular (non-satellite) mapset on Google are amazing! It blows my mind that somebody actually mapped the staircases inside this small park that I wandered through on a walk from Takanobaba to Ikebukuro. Yet here they are…

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5 Responses to Mapping Japan

  1. Micah says:

    I did the same thing.. Used Street View to locate that ramen shop near the police station in Shibuya that Kia had recommended, so that I could direct a friend there.

  2. superfred says:

    Blog looks very nice… chapeau. I’m pedaling squares with the stylo at the moment but have managed, unoriginally, to not jot down a few sentences about getting fat during the winter. Keep on traveling.

    • Slonie says:

      Thanks man! When you do write new posts, we’ll be ready to read them! I’m on my own winter de-training plan myself, having been mostly off the bike for a few weeks. But more on that later. The first Grasshopper is only a week away!

  3. nobu says:

    You walked down that far?!?! I didn’t know. I’ve never even been to that area haha.

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