This is a picture of Iwate-iioka station looking northward towards downtown Morioka. While not all neighborhoods are centralized around train stations, they are definitely a defining feature. You know what stop you live by, what times trains run to and from that stop, and especially when the last train is, in case you stay out late with friends. Facebook in Japan even has an option to put your train station at the top of your page, right next to where you go to school! Many students from Tsushida minami and surrounding neighborhoods bike to Iwate-iioka every day to take the train to school.
This is a picture of one of the main bicycle parking areas at Iwate University. A lot of students and the population of the city in general use their bikes to get around during the day, and visit around the neighborhood. When you own a bike in Japan, in combination with the train, you can get almost anywhere, you don’t even need a car! There are many roads that are bicycle friendly, including large clearly marked bicycle lanes (picture to come), as well as separate paths for pedestrians and bicycles (on bigger roads). You can often see Japanese of all ages riding their bikes around the neighborhood from day to day.