We snuck behind some buildings to gain furtive access to the canal. It’s too bad that Shibaura’s many canals cannot be easily accessed. Once by the water, we saw decayed structures and ample garbage.
Last month Australia’s smlwrld‘s Bianca and Lucas invited me to go with them on a walking adventure in Shibaura. They took some great photos and wrote up a post calling Shibaura “an infrastructure theme park.”
I’d only been once before, drawn to see the new cultural space Shibaura House. This second time, in addition to stopping back at Shibaura House, we explored the neighborhood and were stunned by the mix of uses being made of these small man-made islands criss-crossed with canals.
There are many water works facilities, a giant incinerator, docks for shipping and at least one re-purposed warehouse named Tabloid, offices from the 70s and 80s, newer apartment towers, industrial buildings, a cement factory, elevated monorail, and the base of the Rainbow Bridge. The top photo shows party boats and a fishing boat, alongside offices and residences.
The water works facilities include sludge, sewage, treatment, and pumping. It seems like most of Tokyo’s plumbing ends up being processed and then released into Tokyo Bay in Shibaura. It’s something to think of when using a sink or toilet, or imagining what happens to the sewers during a heavy rainstorm. Below is a map showing five water work facilities.
I like how on this very official map, someone has written “これ？” (here?) with an arrow pointing to the giant round entrance ramp to Rainbow Bridge. I’ll post more photos in the coming days from this walk.
I love the deep blood red of this quince bud. Quince is called カリン (karin) in Japanese. In the background, you can see two chartreuse fruit fallen on the ground. Tokyo quince is not just decorative.
Our south-facing balcony gets a lot of winter sun. This pink camelia started blooming at new year, and it’s reaching its peak now.
I recently visited Tatsumi, a landfill island near Yumenoshima in in Koto-ku for a house party. There are lot of new housing developments alongside the canals and neighboring old housing complexes. It’s sad that the public infrastructure is so incomplete. This neighborhood would be much more appealing if the canal-side sidewalks and parks were continuous. This lack of access to the Bay makes me often forget that there is a Tokyo waterfront.
In Shibuya’s Mitake park, four men are pruning the trees. They are using a tall ladder and also a cherry picker. I appreciate skilled labor.
This plum bonsai is part of a tiny but incredibly abundant garden also on the way to Nakano station. This gardener clearly knows about plants and seasons. Because almost all his plants are in pots, they can be moved around for maximum enjoyment.
今年に、初めて自分の自転車を撤去されました。下北沢駅の近くに９０分だけ置いたのですが、自転車の「刑務所」に行かなければなりませんでした。警官も電話情報も誤った情報をくれたので、困りました。Bear Pond の喫茶店の親切のオーナおかげで、助かりました。手続きはとても頭が痛い。なぜちょっとした過ちがきつい罰になってしまうのでしょう。
Have you ever had your bike confiscated in Tokyo? After living here for more than three years, it finally happened to me a few days into the new year.
Lulled by the tranquility of new year in Tokyo, when many people are still with family in the countryside, and fooled by the laniards clearly demarking bike parking, Edoble’s Jess and I left our bikes near the Shimokitazawa station while we had lunch.
Nintely minutes later, the bikes were 5 stations aways. We received poor information from the local police office. The four officers kept insisting we’d need our bike registration numbers, which of course we didn’t need nor have. The phone number I reached also seemed to say that was the case.
We were saved from further misery and punishment by the affable owner of Bear Pond coffee shop. He phoned the information number for us, and let us know what to expect in terms of bringing our ID and paying the fine.
It was easy to find the bikes, after walking fifteen minutes from the station. The bike prison guys were reasonably helpful but the map they hand out only shows Setagaya! Jess’ intuition and iPhone map provided us a short-cut back to Nakano.
Together with Edoble‘s Jess and A Small Lab‘s Chris, I’ll be presenting about Tokyo Local Food at the special Global Cities Pecha Kucha this Thursday evening in Tokyo. I’ll post the slides online later, but please attend if you’re here.
今月は、Global Cities Weekと題しまして、世界中のPechaKucha Cityがそれぞれの都市のプレゼンテーションで各イベントを盛り上げています。私たちも東京に関するプレゼンテーションと一緒に皆様をお待ちしております！
Freezing temperatures and icy streets are keeping me indoors. But I am always amazed at how much still grows in Tokyo’s winter months. The most spectacular and surprising is this large citrus called “hassaku.”
For years I believed general comments about how the fruit is too sour to eat. Then I participated last year in Edoble’s hassaku marmalade-making. This tree can be seen everywhere in Tokyo, so it must be well suited. I like how it’s both decorative and edible!
In Tokyo, it rarely snows, and when it does, it’s usually gone within minutes or at most a day. It’s been super cold recently, and there’s been ice on the roads for some time now. Please be careful on bike or on foot.
In the foreground, there’s an automated surface parking lot on a lot that may get developed. The tall white structure is an elevated parking lot that is semi-permanent, and it appears to have been erected on the property of a fairly large temple and graveyard. On either side, offices and apartment buildings frame a dense and changing city.