Shūkichi and Tomi waved to their son and daughter as they got into the taxi

‘A pleasant visit,’ Tomi said to her husband when they were on the train back to Onomichi in the countryside. ‘They are both doing well in their careers.’

Hai,’ Shūkichi nodded.

‘And such a lovely apartment they live in. So high up.’ Tomi looked out the window and watched the skyscrapers of Tokyo fade away.

Back at the apartment they had borrowed for the day, Kōichi handed over ¥2,000 to the caretaker.

He caught up with Shige outside. They left behind the plush newly-built skyscrapers and walked through the Chuo area until they reached the small room they rented in a rundown block.

Shige had to go and open the salon for the afternoon. Kōichi had a night shift at the hospital.

It would shame their parents if they saw where their children lived, but it was all they could afford.


Written for ‘What Pegman Saw’, a weekly prompt based on a view from Google Maps. The idea is to write a piece of fiction of around 150 words based on the prompt. Full details can be found HERE. This week we’re in the suburbs of Tokyo, and a small homage to the great Yasujirō Ozu and the most well-known of his films.

More information about the film Tokyo Story HERE.

For more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

23 responses to “TOKYO STORY”

  1. Excellent story. I am a big fan of several Japanese authors and have had a lifelong fascination with all things Nihongo. If there are a million stories in the naked city, there are a hundred times that in Tokyo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks J Hardy. I have to confess to most of my knowledge of Japan coming through movies rather than books, so a Tokyo prompt led me in that direction.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your story. The characters came to life for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Scott, the film of the same name is well worth checking out if you haven’t seen it. A classic in character study.


  3. What a slice of Tokyo life have you shown.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting prompt using a Japanese film from before I was born. Rather melancholy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks James, a classic film.


  5. A simple tale with so much truth especially in this day and age. Our parents always want us to do better than they but the tides are turning. What a cool idea for a prompt, too! Thank you for sharing, Iain.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Nancy, very kind.


  6. […] love a writing prompt. I also love maps. When visiting Iain Kelly’s blog today I saw that his post was based on a very cool prompt using Google […]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the link 🙂


  7. What a wonderful, but sad little story. I can identify with the children’s struggles and desires.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The twists and turns in your story are very well done. I needed to read it twice to catch who was who. In no way the fault of the writer. Kudos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Alicia, always appreciate your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Authentic feel and voice to this nicely crafted tale.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sad reality for all too many. My inlaws are so ashamed of the simple apt we live in that they refuse to even acknowledge our existence anymore. Makes me no nevermind, but it pains my husband they don’t understand its what we can afford.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The older generation seem to struggle to accept the world has changed so much since they were younger. Owning a nice house is no longer a right, it is a privilege.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amen to that. We happen to like apt living in that we do not need to worry about landscaping or more importantly (and expensively) maintenance. It takes a huge burden off my shoulders.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Dear Iain,

    What a pity they felt the need for the charade. Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

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