Living in Japan can be quite a noisy experience. Even in my quiet little neighborhood, rarely a day passes without a great variety of sounds being heard. Four days a week the garbage truck fills the air with its most peculiar orugōru (オルゴール, music box) sound. At least once a week, a second-hand object dealer's car roams the streets in slow motion, with a cheerful female voice from the roof speaker announcing that the not so cheerful-looking man inside will take your old stuff free of charge (there's usually some hidden cost, by the way).

Street car vendors offer yakiimo (焼き芋, baked sweet potatoes), tofu (豆腐), and rāmen (ラーメン), as well as sekiyu (石油, kerosene) rations for your heater and saodake (竿竹) poles for your laundry. Each of these businesses comes with its own distinctive announcements, such as the two-note rappa (ラッパ, trumpet) call of the tofu man or the hypnotic yakiimo tune that cuts through cold winter nights.

Another thing that is quite impressive about the Japanese soundscape is the daily evening call that comes over the public toranpetto supīkā (トランペットスピーカー, trumpet speakers) to tell children that it's time to go home. There is a greater variety of these tunes — which can have rather cacophonic effects when you live at the borderline of two administrative areas — but probably most representative is the awesome yūyake koyake (夕焼け小焼け) song.