I might move to Tokyo...and buy a scooter...

Good morning everyone,

Was it really cold on the way home yesterday? Or was it just me? Today won't be any warmer and there's also a chance of rain late tonight. The good news is that tomorrow and the next  four or five days are all expected to be sunny with highs around 19C or 20C. I guess I can deal with one or two chilly days in mid-November, knowing that it's going to warm up soon after.

Canadian licence plates are a lot like the ones in Japan. They have the province written at the top, then the plate number and that's about it. We have a bit more colour variation between provinces and some background pictures, but nothing too exciting unless you live in the Northwest Territories-in that case you get a bear-shaped licence.

 canadian licence plates

Things are a lot more interesting, though, for scooter owners in Japan, as the looser regulations for the vehicles’ plates means that visual options are wide open. What’s more, since plates are issued at a smaller-than-prefecture-wide level, they can include salutes to the local community.

So the city of Hakone has Evangelion license plates, Tokyo’s Sumida Ward has decided to incorporate more traditional artwork, and as of this month is offering plates inspired by legendary Japanese artist Hokusai.

The most celebrated of Japan’s ukiyo-e woodblock print creators, Hokusai was born in the mid-1700s in the area that’s now classified as Sumida Ward. On November 22, a museum dedicated to the artist’s life and paintings will open in Sumida, but owners of vehicles registered in the ward, and with an engine size under 50 cc, are already able to show their respect for the hometown hero with plate based on Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa.


The top ridge of the plate is cut to mimic the crest of the wave, and the plate also features a nod to one of Sumida’s more recent claims to fame, as the Tokyo Skytree (which didn’t open until 2011), can be seen in the distance, standing to the left of the peak of Mount Fuji.


It’s been a good year for Hokusai, as last spring it was also announced that the late artist’s works will be present in Japan’s redesigned passports. Sumida Ward’s new plates are one more feather in the cap of the late artist.

Do we have any cool licence plates for scooter owners in Hiroshima? If so, I might decide to stay here...maybe...ha ha!

Have a great day!

PS Oh, yeah. I almost forgot. Donald Trump won the election. Many people will worry. Many people will celebrate. For the vast majority of us non-Americans, it'll have little to no effect on our lives.

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