Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Akihabara Fire Station

There's a big fire station just outside the JR Akihabara train station, and every Saturday morning, there's a crowd of people lining up across the street waiting to get inside. I had no idea what was going on, so I swung by early one morning on my way to work.

A number of people in the English-speaking media lately have been commenting on how Japanese companies have been becoming less group-oriented, and that fewer of them do the group warm-up exercises in the morning. Well, that's what these guys are doing here.

Turns out that the line is to get into the examination center. Either these people are desperate to get *any* kind of work, or there's a secret pachinko parlor in the back that the public doesn't know about...

Here we have one of those "flood meters", showing the highest water levels in recorded history. Tokyo is right next to the ocean and is close to sea level. When the rains get heavy, flooding can be a real problem.

Even the fire department has its own cute manga-style mascot, here giving the name of the department and acting as a reminder to dial 119 in an emergency (look at the number on his chest).

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