More pictures from my walk in Mito.
I was disappointed that none of the coffee shops were open. I didn’t know then that coffee and tea houses in Japan (at least those that, like the ones pictured, are more on the kissaten end of the spectrum) frequently open from 10-7, not, you know, 6-9 like many coffee shops here. I think in big cities there are places to get your morning joe on the run (I’m pretty sure I’ve had early morning train station Starbucks), but where I lived, like here, tea and coffee were a lunch or afternoon thing.
I ran into painted manhole covers in a few places. I think they’re adorable! Some places, even the ones that weren’t painted were still cast with beautiful designs showcasing local flora, prominent buildings, or scenes from the town’s history. I am similarly enamoured of the local phenomenon of telephone pole beautification - little nudges of beautiful colour and simple designs in arguably the least beautiful part of the urban landscape: the walkways and road edges of main thoroughfares.