Month: July 2013

Sidewalk sunflowers bloom in busy Shinjuku commercial corridor

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新宿は、人工の照明ばかりなのに、この歩道のヒマワリが明るく見えます。区が植えたようではないです。誰がいつ植えたのでしょう。

I love these rogue sunflowers growing in the sidewalk of Shinjuku Dori, a busy commercial corridor. At night the flowers are brighter than all the artificial lights.

It’s a small jungle in summer on my Tokyo balcony garden

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夏はベランダの植物がみんな大きくなります。緑の葉が多いので、ジャングルがみたいです。

In summer, lush foliage dominates my balcony garden. The morning glory curtain continues to bloom facing the sun, but inside there’s a cacophony of leaf shape and color tone, including olive, fig, and camellia. With so much new growth, you can hardly see the narrow wood path.

The top two photos face west and east. The lowest photo also faces east, and shows the layering of shoulder high and knee high plants. The grass plant in the white ceramic has some red leaves, which make a dynamic accent to the many shades of green.

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Succulents on top of the air conditioner look good in heat of summer

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夏、エアコンの上はベランダの庭で一番暑いところです。今そこに多肉サボテンを置きました。この陶芸の植木鉢は手仕事屋久家で作りました。

The balcony summer hotspot is the air conditioner, almost always on and blowing hot air. This summer, I’m enjoying succulents which seem fine on top, but probably not in front, of the a/c. They have fun colors, shapes, and even textures. The ceramics were made at Kuge Crafts.

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Best present ever, from Hiyoko in the Netherlands

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ベルギーの友達が買った種を分けてくれました。わざわざ郵便で送ってくれました。特別なキュウリやヒマワリやエンドウ。どれも植木鉢で育てやすいです。サイズが小さいものばかりです。キツネのイラストと手紙と説明書のついた小さな封筒が素敵です。ヒヨコさん、ありがとうございます!

The best present I have received in a long time. This gorgeous letter, with an illustrated, fox character, and five types of seeds selected, in Belgium, to do well in flowerpots. They include mini sunflowers, mini cucumber, micro pea, rice beans, and micro basil.

Recently, a young friend was perplexed by the very concept of a stationery store. “What? Don’t you just send by phone and e-stickers?,” he asked. Some things must be analog.

Thank you, Hiyoko! The seeds are already srpouting.

Gifts are essential ingredient for Making Friends

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マルセル·モースという昔のフランス人類学者によると、プレゼントを提供するのが社会の基盤になります。「友達を作ろう」の企画に使えるアイデアです。

According to the early French anthropologist Marcel Mauss, gifts are the foundation of society. They are certainly convenient for Making Friends.

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Tanuki again inserts himself into Japanese electoral politics. Who would you trust most?

94760004もう一度、タヌキさんは日本の選挙に立候補します。誰を一番信頼できますか。

Will tanuki receive more votes than last election?

Tanuki offers giant shade structure to passers-by outside Shibaura House

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.@shibaurahouse の「友達を作ろう」のワークショップの参加者とタヌキさんは、歩道の日陰を提供するために、身体を変えました。

With help from Shibaura House’s Making Friends participants, tanuki transforms his body into a giant shade structure. 94760020

Making Friends successful encounter on Shibaura sidewalk, before being stopped by plainclothes policeman

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タヌキさんの「うまい棒」をもらった人は、しあわせになるそう。このイベントの途中で、お私服警官に、この辺りで、おかしい外人が子供に近づいているという通報があったと言われました。

Tanuki received many types of responses walking the streets of Shibaura. I like this guy’s face as he holds onto the umaibo salty snack given by tanuki. Tanuki also gave some masks to kids leaving school. A less friendly encounter was the plainclothes policemen who told us that there are had been many disturbing reports of foreigners coming and taking photos of school children. He looked like a normal 30 year old on a bike, until he flashed his badge. Fortunately, tanuki was not detained this time!

Grove of trees shimmers in summer heat

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夏の港区の芝で、森林の葉が光っています。涼しいスポットです。

Definitely a cool spot between Shiba Koen and the office and commercial district leading to Hamamatsucho.

Camphor tree gets mossy in Izu, and stands tall in central Tokyo

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最近、クスノキという巨大な木について知りました。中伊豆で見たものは、幹に苔がいっぱい生えていました。東京のオフィス・タワーの前にも、もっと乾燥したクスノキを見つけました。とても素敵だと思います。

I recently noticed this giant evergreen tree called camphor (or kusunoki in Japanese). A single, well cared for tree can easily become a local landmark. The above tree is in a mountaineous area of Izu. Below in front of a glass and metal tower in Shiba, across from Tokyo Tower.

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