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Do I NEED a car?

Lately I've been wondering whether I could give up my car or not.

I figure it costs me at least 200,000 yen a year pretty much just to have, and that money might be better spent (saved) elsewhere.

I mean what do I really use my car for, anyway? To get to work and back....well, I could do that by bike in about 30 minutes.

To transport stuff....well, I don't often have that many big things to carry around where I would need a car, in all honesty. The only thing I can think of is cardboard. Lugging a huge piece of cardboard all the way to the recycling center would be pretty prohibative.

To travel? Well, Japan has plenty of trains for when the wanderlust comes.

My original plan when I first moved here was to get rid of my car and take the train everywhere. Unfortunately, my job at the time wasn't very accomodating to that idea, so I kept my car, and in the interim bought a new one. However I wonder if now I couldn't go back to my original plan and free myself from the car culture that has gripped me for so long.

I think I'll try to go this winter using the car as little as possible and see what happens. If I get through the winter, I think I'll be able to get through anything!

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Mikawa Ossan
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