You probably know that my last name — Kaita (海田) — is Japanese. However, in a country of Takahashis, Tanakas, and Suzukis, my name is quite uncommon. Most people don’t even recognize it as a Japanese name, and I have yet to meet another (unrelated) Kaita. Here’s a list of the 100 most popular Japanese surnames. The top 100 surnames cover about 33% of the population. My name isn’t anywhere even close to being on the list, in fact it’s more like 3700th.
So years ago, when I learned that there was a town called Kaita in Hiroshima with the same kanji as my last name, I made it my mission to someday visit this town with my name. And I finally made it!
Kaita-ichi (ichi means “town”) is the name of Kaita’s train stop. It’s actually not too far from Hiroshima Station.
The outside of the train station.
Kaita is a pretty sleepy little place, similar to any other small Japanese town.
So basically I just took photos of everything that said “Kaita” on it (in English or Japanese).
I hunted down Kaita town’s ward office.
Oh you know, just reading my news.
And hanging out at my town office.
Random Kaita town shrine.
Kaita post office. (No Kaita postcards, just Hiroshima ones.)
Kaita Public Hall.
If you need shelter, the Kaita Town Public Health Center is here for you.
Found another shrine up a very steep set of stairs.
At the top of the steps.
Graveyard (no Kaitas here that I could see).
It’s my town!
We’re covering up the “ichi” part so it just says “Kaita.”
Mike wonders where the train is and why we came out to the middle of nowhere for this.