Month: December 2012

Unharvested persimmons and big moon over Nakano



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


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



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


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


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


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



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



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


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.


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



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



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?



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.


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