Month: December 2012

Unharvested persimmons and big moon over Nakano

persimmon_moon_nakano

日没に、収穫されなかった柿と大きな月が、同じ木みたいです。

These persimmon fruits are well past ripe, and just clinging to the branches. At dusk, the moon seems to be the same size as the fruit.

My neighbor is growing this giant loofah

giant_loofah_nakano
近所の人が大きいヘチマを育てています。秋に、花を見ましたが、こんなに大きくなっていて驚きました。

I noticed the huge yellow blossoms a few months ago, and now in this cold weather, my neighbor’s loofah are enormous.

Sky Tree at night, with willow tree in foreground

skytree_night_from_asakusa

浅草から、柳とスカイツリーが一緒に見えます。

Viewed from Asakusa, not only is Sky Tree bigger, but you can see more details of the lighting scheme.  From Nakano, you hardly notice the blue light, and the more subtle red trim. I also like how the willow references Tokyo’s Edo past, and Sky Tree, although newly built, appears to be a 1960s’ vision of the future.

Old Showa house, empty lot, 1960s small factory in shadow of Roppongi Hills

六本木ヒルズの後ろに、まだ古い工場や昭和時代の住居が残っています。

In the shadow of Roppongi Hills, one of Tokyo’s most expensive neighborhoods, there are still old factory buildings, Showa-era two story houses, and even empty lots alive with weeds. This mix of scale, land usage, and non-design is delightful.

Winter palm and white camellia cover Tokyo residence

palm_camellia_koenji
生い茂ったサザンカと背の高いシュロのヤシが明るい冬の風景を作っています。高円寺で。

I love this winter scene of rampant white camellia and tall native palms, with plenty of dead fronds still attached to the crown. The wild landscape makes the house cozy and bright in the cold weather.

Bright red flower is super saturated on balcony

seroshi_closeup_balcony_flower
セロシというベランダの花は、とても濃い赤色です。

This celosia flower (セロシ in Japanese) is so saturated that the color seems unreal. I also like how its leaves have red veins. Here’s what it looks like in portrait view.

Late crop of eggplants, red peppers, and daikon at Setagaya mini-farm

small_farm_eggplant_redpepper_setagaya_nodai_bike

農大に自転車で行く時、この小さい農園をいつも観察します。最近、ナスとトウガラシが熟していました。

Viewed through a chain link fence, ripe eggplants and chile peppers are growing in a small farm between the road and some apartments. I enjoy seeing this farm on my bike ride to Nodai.

A tropical escape from Tokyo winter in Shinjuku Gyoen reflects park and clouds

new_greenhouse_shinjukugyoen

寒いときに、新宿御苑の新しい温室を勧めます。温室のなかで、熱帯の植物を楽しみながら、外の東京の風景を楽しめます。全部ガラス張りなので、外側に反射している風景もすてきです。

The best place to escape Tokyo’s winter is inside the new greenhouse in Shinjuku Gyoen. I love exploring all the tropical plants, and seeing the fall and winter park landscapes through the glass walls. From the outside, the building reflects the giant trees and clouds.

Honeybee visits 10th floor balcony flowers, storing up winter food

honeybee_white_daisy_balcony_nakano
冬の準備のために、ミツバチはベランダの庭に訪れます。集中しているので、カメラに気が付かないようです。

On our balcony, I observed this honeybee harvesting daisy pollen. It was so enthralled with its work that it hardly seemed to notice me and my camera.

Deep purple, decorative pepper offers flowers and fruits. Viewable from kitchen desk.

decorative_pepper_balcony_nakano
ベランダの紫色の唐辛子には、フルーツも花もあります。台所の机から、見えます。

From my kitchen desk, I can see this lovely decorative pepper, that has purple fruits and flowers at the same time.

Insect skirt made of rice stalks decorates pine trees at traditional Japanese gardens

insect_skirt_hamarikyu_pine

日本庭園で見かける、こも巻きという藁の腹巻きは、季節を思わせる、きれいな手法ですが、実際は、松を守ることに効果的じゃないそうです。悪い虫を食べる良い虫も駆除してしまうからです。皇居の庭では、この手法は、もう使わないそうです。

This rice stalk skirt is a beautiful and seasonal Japanese garden craft. The intent is to naturally attract and remove harmful insects, although now it seems that some famous gardens no longer use it because it traps both harmful and beneficial insects.

Domesticated Mount Fuji in today’s Edo

mtfuji_clothespins_nakano_b

江戸時代から、富士山と都市は一緒にイメージされています。最近、富士山の噴火に関する記事が多いですね。

Recently, there have been several reports that Mount Fuji may erupt and cause an earthquake, or vice versa. What I love about this giant volcano is its utterly domestic and urban nature. Today’s urban views, completely with laundry drying, are an extension of hundreds of years of Edo visual representation.

Have you seen this cactus bonsai shop in Tokyo?

qusamura_cactus_bonsai_shop

サボテンの盆栽をはじめて見ました。AQというユーザー・エクスペリエンス(UX)の会社の友だちは、Qusamuraのきれいなデザインが大好きだそうです。

My friends at AQ, a Tokyo user experience agency, are big fans of Qusamura’s cactus bonsai. Lovely design.

Fresh off electoral defeat, tanuki hosts Santanuki party in Koenji this Friday. Please come.

dynamo_santanuki

金曜日、12月21日、20時半から、タヌキのサンタさんと、パーティをしましょう。高円寺のDynamoで待っています。プレセントがいっぱいですよ〜。@dynamo_koenji に感謝です。

Please come to Tanuki’s first ever Koenji Xmas party this Friday at Dynamo, a skate-board bar with felafel! Thanks @dynamo_koenji.

Friday, December 21, from 8.30 pm

Koenji Kita 3-1-1, Asahi building 1F

Dynamo’s website

dynamomap