sakura_cakes_shinjukugyoen_hanami

このお花見のとき限定のお土産はおいしいでしょうか? パッケージはきれいだけれど、工場で作った味しかしないかもしれません。

An explosion of pink packaging envelopes these factory-produced cakes, available only during cherry blossom season. I would not classify this as a natural food.

mask_ad_senior_sidewalk_shinjuku

四月は外国人がたくさん日本に旅行しにきます。「なぜ日本人はマスクを使いますか。放射能が怖いのですか」とみんな私に聞きます。他の国では、病院で働く人たちしか使いません。

April is a month that attracts many foreign visitors. Again, I am asked in hushed tones, are Japanese wearing masks because of Fukushima and fears of nuclear fallout? Anyone who lives here knows it’s allergy season, and many people wear them out of a combination self-treatment and courtesy to others. Masks, normal and even polite in Japan, are perhaps the most common form of exotic costume when seen by foreigners.

tokyo_street_gardens_ikebanainternational_sample

東京の路上の庭についての記事と写真が『Ikebana International』(国際生け花)という雑誌に載りました。英語だけで申し訳ありませんが、是非、記事のコピーをご覧になってください (PDF, 1.4 MB)。

Ikebana International asked me to write about Tokyo street gardens and share my photos for their member-supported publication that dates back to 1956. Thanks to the editor Kim Schuefftan for allowing me to reach a very different garden audience. I am curious what Ikebana International and Tokyo Green Space readers think about the article, Tokyo Street Gardens: Unrecognized Beauty (7 page PDF, 1.4 MB). Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 24-30. 2014.

cemetery_new_bldg_construction_nichome

新宿二丁目のお寺に、細い6階のビルを建てています。お墓の前には、大きな窓が一つしかありません。使い道は、お葬式かゲイバーではないだろうか。

I am confused by this new 6 story tower at the corner of a cemetery in Nichome. There are few windows, except for this giant floor to ceiling view of the graves on the first floor. Will this become 6 stories of micro-bars? Or is it a new vertical space to perform funerals and ceremonies for the dead?

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