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Physically locating an address in Tokyo the old-fashioned way

I grew up in Australia and I always thought of an address as the following: property number, street name, suburb, state, postcode.

Well all that went out the window when I first set eyes on a Japanese address — for one thing, it was all written in Japanese.

Everything seemed to be in the reverse order and there were a lot of hyphens and numbers at the end that suggested some kind of range.

What those hyphens and numbers meant, I had no idea and I didn’t really have to think while I was sending letters because the postal workers would take care of everything for me.

In 2002, however, everything changed when I decided to cold call renewable energy companies in Tokyo and hit them with my charm and a freshly printed CV.

Searching online I assembled a list of addresses to visit, but after that, I still had to physically locate them.

And this is how I came to understand how the address system in Tokyo worked.

I present my findings in the following video.



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