But everyone does in Tokyo.... unless it's raining.
One thing you have to get used to in Japan is the driving. No, not as an actual driver behind the wheel, as I don't really think I will ever be able to afford a car nor the gas nor the parking nor the et cetera, let alone the process of getting a drivers' license.
No, instead, I'm talking about being a pedestrian while the driving happens all around you. There is an unfortunate stereotype (as if any stereotype can be considered fortunate) that Asian drivers are very slow, and I honestly have no idea where this got started. Certainly it wasn't anyone who ever visited Asia. And while Tokyo isn't anywhere near as death-defying as Beijing, I have yet to get used to the craziness often around me.
Part of the problem is that the streets are so narrow as to accommodate maybe one car at a time, but they are, in fact, two-way streets. Add a pedestrian to the mix, because there would be literally no other way out of the maze of densely packed homes, and it is pretty crowded indeed.
Compounding the problem is that whenever there is rain (as there has been the past couple of days), it does nothing to slow the cars. In fact, the problem is worse because fewer people will walk or ride bicycles, adding to the number of cars. These narrow streets remind me of alleyways in most American suburbs, where I would expect people to drive maybe 5 to 10 miles an hour. Instead, cars routine drive 35 to 45 miles per hour, regardless of IF and HOW FAR AWAY they are to any pedestrians they cross.
Today, a lowered, tinted-windowed and wide-mufflered Fast and Furious fan rumbled by me with nearly a foot, if that, distance between us, because there was cross traffic and he could not wait the split second for the other car to pass and thus give me a wide berth.
Time for my best Robert De Niro: "Hey! I'm walkin' here!"