We were able to find a great little house in the middle of Tokyo. We live in Minato ward, and Hiroo district. Our house was a good choice—not as nice as some of the apartments we might have chosen, but, as Betsy put it, we would have “daily anxiety” about whether or not the kids were irritating the neighbors on six sides had we elected to live in a nicer apartment. We also have a great little courtyard that we can tell the kids to color with sidewalk chalk, or kick a soccer ball when they get too bouncy.
We also started exploring our neighborhood and found a number of small parks. To be completely honest, they make me a little sad. It’s nice to see a little play structure and all, but they’re so manicured and any place where grass is supposed to grow, it’s fenced off lest it be trampled to death by the four million people who live within half a mile of the park. Even so, it’s nice to find them, and there’s one with a slide made out of the rollers you generally see in a distribution center owned by FedEx. At least they have bathrooms.