After more than 100 posts with a lot of pictures and stories about Tokyo, I wanna try something new, starting with this post. I think that the photos I posted til today give quite a good impression on what this place here is like and how I feel about it. But, it’s still ‘just’ pictures, and even though I sometimes tell a little bit about the places where I shot them or some stories that explain a little background behind them, there’s always a lot of things that those pictures don’t tell.

Thinking about it further I noticed that sounds are a quite important part of my experience here. There are so many sounds, so many noises and voices that make Tokyo what it is. Those songs they play at pedestrian crossings when the lights turn green, or those fake bird noises underground (to make you feel more at ease), people screaming at you at markets/in restaurants/in department stores, or just that overwhelming mix of big screens/ads/and thousands of people at Shibuya crossing.

I would like to share some Tokyo Soundscapes with you in this new category. Starting with this:

Can you guess what it is? It’s not easy, so I’ll explain. Everyday at 4:30 p.m. this song is played over speakers throughout the whole city of Tokyo. Isn’t that amazing? It doesn’t matter where you are at that time, you are able to here it anywhere… But why? The story is that pupils in elementary school are being thaught that when they’re outside and play, and they hear that song being played over all those speakers, that they should return home. It starts getting dark around 4:30, so it makes perfect sense. And even though Tokyo is perfectly safe for kids going home even when it’s dark or something, teachers and families are not simply running the risk of the kids getting harmed in any other way. So, please go home when you hear that song.

I thought it’s a cute story and I wanted to tell you. And the thing is, I like that song a lot. Hearing it everyday at the same time, assuming that millions of kids playing in parks and playgrounds make their way home as soon as they hear it, it makes me feel that everything is alright somehow…

Soundscapes the first – more to come!