One side effect of the houses-so-close-together-you-can-reach-out-and-touch-them-from-your window in Tokyo is the resulting prevelance of musical instruments in parks and out of the way places such as shrine and temple grounds.

In the states, if I walked into a park and heard music, I would think “buskers”. Here, it is usually someone practicing flute or guitar or violins because they don`t want to drive their neighbors crazy. (I have no idea what piano players do)

It`s cool, but weird in such a don`t-stick-out culture as here. The best one I`ve ever come across was the other day at a local park near Naoto`s parents` house in Tokyo: Alpine horns. And not just one horn, but like three of them. With accompanying little old Japanese ladies wearing green shorts and plaid vests.

Which is so utterly random and at the same time so utterly Japanese that I could have died laughing.

Of course no one, including Maika in her stroller, could understand what was so funny.