May 27, 2018
While Japan is a super safe country in many ways, in other ways, I feel like there are lots of accidents waiting to happen. Japanese people aren't crazy about suing anyone for accidents like in the US, so things like open ditches along the side of the road are common.
I was once warned by a longtime expat to be careful about the rice fields in town, as each year it seemed like at least one student rode a bike into one of the fields on their way to school. There aren't usually fences around the deep rice fields, which are sometimes full of water or mud too.
The above photo is near my house, a narrow path or shortcut if you will, which many of us in the neighborhood use on a regular basis. There are both drains for excess rain water (shown) as well as a deeper ditch used to fill nearby rice fields with water during the growing season.
Last week, on my way home, I was distracted by one of many bugs flying into me that day, and rode my bike into the ditch above. Luckily I just got a few scrapes and bruises and my bike was fine. It's a bit embarrassing and I already feel like I'm about eight years old most of the time.
Anyway, be careful around these kinds of things while walking or on a bike. I don't want the same thing to happen to you!