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Old May 6, 09, 1:22 pm   #1
 
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Quick question: What is "-chome"?

Planning honeymoon in Japan; trying to understand the books and guides.

I've seen this term, but I don't know what it means, and it's so obvious, no one explains it. Is it a street, a district, a thoroughfare, a block?
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Old May 6, 09, 1:32 pm   #2
 
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See, e.g., one of the following explanations:
http://www.planettokyo.com/index.cfm...avid/16/cid/9/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chome
http://everything2.com/title/house%2...20in%2520Japan
http://everything2.com/title/Chome
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Old May 6, 09, 1:58 pm   #3
 
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That rocks. I tried searching for "definition chome", but my engines assumed I wanted to know everything about chrome.
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Old May 6, 09, 9:40 pm   #4
 
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Basically, Japanese addresses work by narrowing down from larger to smaller.

Japanese cities are divided into ku, which are roughly similar to the boroughs of New York City in that they have their own city halls.

The ku are divided into cho, many of which were once independent villages, as old maps of Edo show. In modern Japan, these are roughly equivalent to large neighborhoods.

The cho are divided into chome which are numbered subdivisions of the cho.

The chome are divided into numbered banchi, which for all practical purposes are city blocks.

Finally, the banchi are divided into shikichi, or lots.

I'll illustrate with my address when I lived in Japan:

Nakano-ku
Nogata 2-1-5

The address tells you that I was in Nakano-ku, which is the first major stop after Shinjuku on the Chuo line, the main JR line running west of the city.

My cho was Nogata, but whenever people in Nakano asked where I lived, I said "Nogata ni-chome," or "second chome of Nogata."

The address also tells you that I lived on the first block in Nogata 2-chome and on the fifth lot to have a house built on it.

So how do you find anything in Japanese cities, especially since most streets are unnamed?

You use maps and learn to ask directions. When you're in Japan, you'll see that newspaper and magazine ads, even in the English-language press, contain little inset maps, showing how to reach the business from the nearest transit stop.

Kodansha's Tokyo City Atlas somehow manages to put all those names and numbers on its maps--and in two languages. It has larger maps of all the tourist areas, and browsing through it will give you an idea of how the city is organized.

When I invited people over, I told them my address, but my actual instructions ran like this: "Walk out the north entrance of Nakano Station, go through the Sun Mall and Broadway Mall (two continuous shopping arcades), turn left, cross the street, turn left again by the doctor's office that has a palm tree in front..."

If you're not sure where your hotel is, look up its website. There's bound to be a map showing the location.

In any case, don't worry about getting lost. Japanese people get lost all the time. It's part of the adventure.
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Old May 7, 09, 9:52 am   #5
 
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if you get lost ask a police officer at the koban(police box). they generally know the area around them really well.
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Old May 7, 09, 2:15 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksandness View Post
Basically, Japanese addresses work by narrowing down from larger to smaller.

Japanese cities are divided into ku, which are roughly similar to the boroughs of New York City in that they have their own city halls.
ku = ward and the rest of definition is correct in comparing it to boroughs of NYC i.e. brooklyn is a borough of NYC.

[quote]
The ku are divided into cho, many of which were once independent villages, as old maps of Edo show. In modern Japan, these are roughly equivalent to large neighborhoods.

The cho are divided into chome which are numbered subdivisions of the cho.

The chome are divided into numbered banchi, which for all practical purposes are city blocks.

Finally, the banchi are divided into shikichi, or lots.

I'll illustrate with my address when I lived in Japan:

Nakano-ku
Nogata 2-1-5

The address tells you that I was in Nakano-ku, which is the first major stop after Shinjuku on the Chuo line, the main JR line running west of the city.

My cho was Nogata, but whenever people in Nakano asked where I lived, I said "Nogata ni-chome," or "second chome of Nogata."

The address also tells you that I lived on the first block in Nogata 2-chome and on the fifth lot to have a house built on it.

So how do you find anything in Japanese cities, especially since most streets are unnamed?
Quote:
You use maps and learn to ask directions. When you're in Japan, you'll see that newspaper and magazine ads, even in the English-language press, contain little inset maps, showing how to reach the business from the nearest transit stop.
Best of it all, look at some of the posts on the street -- they even have those nifty signs showing what chome and what section of chome you are in.

Quote:
Kodansha's Tokyo City Atlas somehow manages to put all those names and numbers on its maps--and in two languages. It has larger maps of all the tourist areas, and browsing through it will give you an idea of how the city is organized.
Just remember the addresses in Japan are organized in a counter-clockwise order going outwards --- however, newer buildings take on the older addresses as they are replaced which is why one must be careful to further distinguish what building is which once at the address presented.

Quote:
When I invited people over, I told them my address, but my actual instructions ran like this: "Walk out the north entrance of Nakano Station, go through the Sun Mall and Broadway Mall (two continuous shopping arcades), turn left, cross the street, turn left again by the doctor's office that has a palm tree in front..."
Quote:
If you're not sure where your hotel is, look up its website. There's bound to be a map showing the location.
Quote:
In any case, don't worry about getting lost. Japanese people get lost all the time. It's part of the adventure.
Don't forget that Japanese people even then don't quite know the chome they're in!! :P

Sanosuke!
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Old May 8, 09, 5:26 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by Sanosuke View Post
Don't forget that Japanese people even then don't quite know the chome they're in!!
Nonsense. Every chome is very distinctive.
They say "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like chome"
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Old May 8, 09, 6:25 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron1262 View Post
if you get lost ask a police officer at the koban(police box). they generally know the area around them really well.
Like the time I was looking for the Atago Tokyu Inn, and I asked a cop where it was, and he didn't know, while we were in Atago. Or the time I asked the cops at the Azabu Juban koban where the donut store was, and they didn't know.
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Old May 8, 09, 11:19 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jib71 View Post
Nonsense. Every chome is very distinctive.
They say "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like chome"


As a Japanese native speaker, I don't feel "chome" and "home" rhyme completely.

If you say, 3 chome (like c+home), most cops in Japan don't understand.

"Chome" can be heard in a Japanese classic comic song in 1976.
Singer: Shimura Ken.
Title:  "Higashimurayama ondo" or "東村山音頭"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZhQbRySDYA

Higashimurayama Yon (4) chome
Higashimurayama San (3) chome
Higashimurayama (1) Icchome

Almost all the Japanese people aged in their 40s and 50s know this song.

In 2001, the singer Shimura was invited to Kohaku, which is discussed here many times, as a guest to sing the song.
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Old May 8, 09, 4:51 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O Sora View Post
As a Japanese native speaker, I don't feel "chome" and "home" rhyme completely.
The joke was optimized for Hebrew speakers.
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Old May 8, 09, 5:51 pm   #11
 
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Originally Posted by jib71 View Post
The joke was optimized for Hebrew speakers.
I saw that one go by and thought - yet another "ayb" thing.
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Old May 8, 09, 6:30 pm   #12
 
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Isn't chome the stuff that used to be on American made cars ?
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Old May 9, 09, 2:19 am   #13
 
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Originally Posted by Q Shoe Guy View Post
Isn't chome the stuff that used to be on American made cars ?
Yes. But these days, American cars are made out of debt.
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Old May 9, 09, 3:24 am   #14
 
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Oh, give me a chome,
Where the wild monkeys roam,
And the skies are not cloudy all daaaay...


Where to see wild monkeys in Japan?
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Old May 9, 09, 3:25 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q Shoe Guy View Post
Isn't chome the stuff that used to be on American made cars ?
Nowadays, the quality vehicles have Chlome on them instead.
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