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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wildlife in Yanaka Cemetery

Cat in Yanaka Cemetery Tokyo谷中墓地での野良猫と鴉

A recent visit to Tokyo's Yanaka Cemetery was pleasant and peaceful. It is just adjacent to the quaint area of Yanaka, which is also well worth a visit.

The spacious grounds of the cemetery are made for strolling, with beautiful cherry trees, many famous grave sites, and crisscrossing paths between the graves.

The most famous grave is that of Japan's final Shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu.

After several wrong turns, we finally found it. Not another human in sight in this secluded part of the park.

Along the way, however, several cats and crows observed our lack of progress. Both are common throughout urban Japan.

They feed off the refuse to be found in plastic garbage bags (no metal or plastic cans in Japan; you just put out your garbage in plastic bags), reproduce, and foul the environment. Because the cats are "cute," some people feed them.

In defense of the thousands (millions?) of cats and crows, the former keep down the rodent population down and the latter lessen the load on Japan's overburdened landfills.

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