Month: March 2014

Her wedding dress is bigger than a shrub

mexican_wedding_palaceoffinearts

If swans were a unit of measurement, I would estimate this dress as 2 swans. At San Francisco’s most famous wedding backdrop, the Palace of Fine Arts.

ゴージャスな結婚式の写真です。

Cherry blossoms will start popping on March 31 in Tokyo

sakura_map

桜開花の地図はとても詳しいと思いませんか? 日本だけです。

I love the obsessive forecasting of cherry blossom season, and its progression from south to north across the archipelago.

 

This San Francisco sidewalk garden reminds me of Tokyo

garden_entrance_tokyostyle_sanfrancisco
サンフランシスコの歩道の庭は東京を思い出します。皆、植木鉢に植えられていて、スタンドもあります。
The simplicity of a garden made of pots, the tiered stand for packing more plants in a small space, and the generosity of the gardener remind me of Tokyo.

San Francisco winter full of sun and palm trees

kingpalm_clintonpark

サンフランシスコの冬はマイルドです。ヤシの木はカリフォルニアをもっと魅力的にします。

The mild San Francisco winter has been delightful. Palm trees add to California’s allure. This is the top of the palm tree trunk in the previous photo.

With the fence down, the view out back looks like a deep jungle

jungle_clintonpark
塀がないと、庭がとても深く見えます。左側のヤシの木はハワイから来ました。

The palm on the left side comes from high altitude Hawaii, and is uniquely suited to San Francisco’s cool ocean-side climate.

Reusing old wood to build a new fence

reclaimed_wood_fence_clintonpark
古い木材を使って新しい塀を作りました。古い木造の感じがいいでしょう?

I’ve been wanting to rebuild my small back fence, and wondered about using recycled wood. Then I realized that I could reuse some of the old fence. Thanks to Kap, my amazing gardener, for rebuilding the fence using old materials turned from vertical planks to horizontal orientation.

Fall and spring trees coexist on San Francisco streets

fall_spring_trees_sanfrancisco

サンフランシスコの道路では、梅の花びらも紅葉も一緒に見えます。可笑しいでしょう?

After living in Japan, seeing autumn foliage in background, and plum blossoms in foreground is a confusing mix of seasons. In California, there’s a wet and a dry season, with little temperature difference from month to month. It’s odd to see both plants from 2 season regions like the Mediterranean, South Africa, and Australia, and also from 4 season regions.

Is this just across the water from Chiba?

ocean_beach_sf_winter
ここは千葉の反対側? サンフランシスコの冬はだいたい夏より暖かいです。不思議でしょう。家から海まで自転車で行けます。

San Francisco is often warmer in winter than summer. The ocean is just a bike ride away.

Do you know the expression “snowbird”?

conservatory_flowers_sf_goldengatepark

「雪鳥」という英語の表現を聞いたことがありますか。カリフォルニア人も使いません。雪が好きな意味ではありません。ニューヨークの高齢者は冬、フロリダ州に行くという意味です。私はまだ高齢者ではないですが、冬が苦手です。

今年の冬、サンフランシスコで仕事をしていました。太平洋の「雪鳥」になりました。東京に引っ越すの前は、大学院生のときから、ずっとサンフランシスコに住んでいました。太平洋の二つの都市に住むことは刺激になります。、

Even my California friends misunderstand this term. They think it might be a bird that loves the snow. No, it’s an expression in the US’s Northeast to describe often elderly people who spend the winters in Florida.

This year, I’ve prematurely become a Pacific snowbird, spending the winter working in San Francisco, where I lived almost my entire adult life before moving to Tokyo. Living in two Pacific Coast cities is very stimulating.

Dramatic sky in Nakano

sunset_nakano
中野の空が燃えているみたいに見えます。新しく建ったビルのせいで、ベランダから富士山はもう見えません

The sky appears to be on fire. Unfortunately, the new building blocks our old view of Mount Fuji.

Palm tree crest marks shrine near Mount Fuji

Fujisan_shrine_crest2_shuro_Trachycarpus
私のパートナーがシュロの家紋を見つけました。富士山の神社の家です。

My spouse found this shuro family crest, which is displayed at a shrine near Mount Fuji. The shuro palm is native to Japan and grows wild in Tokyo. I’ve been delighted to find it in parking lots and formal gardens. This year we are planting seeds to see if we can grow it on the balcony.

Fujisan_shrine_crest_shuro_Trachycarpus