Tokyo Travels Part 04: Graffiti

This construction wall is a few blocks up from the Tsukiji market, right here.  There are three things that are striking about this wall, and that help demonstrate how Tokyo is different from most major cities around the world.
  1. It's clean.
  2. It's as white and shiny as a dry erase board.
  3. There is no graffiti of any kind (unless they used dry erase markers).
I saw remarkably little graffiti anywhere in the city.  Walls, vending machines, and trash cans all remained untagged, sporting only their owners' original art work.
The only graffiti I saw was while riding the train (JR Yamanote Line).  Even then, the graffiti was not on or in the subway cars.  It was on some of the walls lining the tracks that lead into tunnels.  It's in places that are dangerous and likely hard to clean.

Beyond the reach of the tunnels I saw some on what appeared to be the retaining wall of a park.  Again, it was right above the train tracks and visible only to passengers on the train.  And that graffiti was political in nature.  It had a mix of Japanese and English and protested in favor of the park and against Nike (who apparently wanted to build something in the park).

It was all the more attention grabbing because it was so rare. It was like I suddenly found myself along a more political, less narcissistic version of Atlantic AVE in Queens.

Seeing the city covered with clean walls was kind of nice.

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