The European Sendai.
Being from Europe, I have found that the Izumi Ward (the area of the city where we live) reminds me a lot of my old stomping ground, Warsaw-Ursus, Poland. I still have a hard time actually admitting that I am comparing Japan to Poland but there are quite a few similarities! The first thing that struck was the Eastern Europe style apartment blocks. When I was growing up in Poland in the 1980s all post-war buildings were constructed with the Communist era architecture - concrete, tall, simple, and not the easiest on the eye. They were built to solve the housing shortage and to foster a collective nature in the society. I think this is exactly why I have been seeing so many of them in Japan thus far! Housing is limited on the island and the Japanese culture is a collective society by nature. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of beautiful old style Japanese buildings in the city but there are also A LOT of buildings as pictured above.
This is a typical Polish neighborhood in the city suburbs.
Concrete buildings with balconies, laundry drying, and a little green area in the middle of the apartments for kids to play on. For a second I thought I was walking around in Ursus but these apartment blocks are actually really close to our house in Sendai.
This is a typical Polish forest with huge pine trees.
I have a weak spot for forests, especially Polish forests.
We had a summer house near Warka, Poland and I spent all my summers running around in the wilderness. When I saw the Dainohara Forest Park in Sendai I fell in LOVE. This forest blew my Warka forests out of the water!
Beautiful tall pine trees, endless trails and so much more to discover!