All around suburban Japan the sounds of the streets tell a story. Just as I was taking the photo above, a gust of wind caught the door of this abandoned shop, rattling it in its frame. These nondescript backstreets of Chiba and Saitama are quiet, but never silent. Be it the sound of a little old lady slowly wheeling her grocery cart, or a lawnmower humming softly in the distance. I don’t know what it is about these daily snippets of life in Japan that specifically resonates with me. I have experienced so many similar scenes in countries all over SE Asia. But in Japan there is an innocence and quiet serenity that I find it hard to put into words. Just today as I was walking along an empty street in Saitama, lonely speakers were playing jingly music to whoever cared to listen. And so I stood there and listened for a while, just taking it all in.