Abandoned local house has super-sized garden plants

abandoned_house_hydrangea_nakano

廃墟になった家のまわりに、だれにも世話をされていない庭がどんどん大きくなっています。アジサイはかなり背が高いと思いませんか? 東京では、一年中雨が降ります。

This is one of the tallest hydrangeas I have ever seen. It’s growing outside this once handsome house near where we live. Tokyo’s ample year-round rain make it easy for plants to survive without our help. I’m hoping they won’t tear down the place soon, because this wild garden only requires being left alone.

Morning glory on green curtain blooms longer in the rain

90300001
雨の日は、昼まで琉球アサガオが咲いています。いっぱいです。

For four years, this Okinawa morning glory returns each year. While the annual Edo morning glories are just starting to climb, the Okinawa morning glory is already blooming and extending its reach to all corners of the narrow balcony.

90300007

Vines and tall bush form kitchen curtain

雨に濡れた朝、部屋と都市の間のミニジャングルに、ベランダの木の葉やつるの植物が見えます。

On a wet morning, the balcony foliage forms a mini jungle between apartment and city.

Fieldwork event with Shibaura House on a rainy day

先月は芝浦ハウスでフィールドワークとグリーンマップのワークショップをしました。日本語で人類学を説明することがちょっと難しかったですが、参加者が創造的で知性的な方たちばかりでした。芝浦ハウスも写真をのせています

Last month I lead a fieldwork and green mapping workshop at Shibaura House. Despite the rain, participants seemed eager to explore Mita and Shibaura and to record the city with fresh eyes. It was a challenge for me to explain anthropology in Japanese. Shibaura House also posted photos.

Rain did not stop anti-nuclear protests over weekend

昨日新宿の「再稼働反対」のデモがありました。雨なのに、賑やかだった。

Crowds shouted “no to restarting” the nuclear reactors. First of 50 remaining plants fired up yesterday in Oi, also the scene of large protests.

“We are people who scoop. Environmentally active students.” That’s the welcome message for prospective students.

.@ilynam とユキさんと一緒に農大に来て、強い雨に降られました。入口に、「すくう人。環境学生』のポスターを見て、うれしくなりました。鈴木先生のために、海外に作られた日本庭園のことについて学べるサイトを作ります。デザインと庭と画像と土を一緒にするので、このプロジェクットは楽しいです。

It was raining when @ilynam and Yuki joined me for the first meeting to create a website for the 500 garden database of Japanese gardens outside Japan, a project I am helping Suzuki sensei with this year.

At the entrance to the school, somehow this rainy scene was an apt start for this exciting project where we will mix design, gardens, pixels, and soil. Bringing this knowledge online will be very helpful for people around the world who are interested in knowing about and visiting hundreds of Japanese gardens in dozens of countries. And working with design stars Ian and Yuki, I am confident that we can combine simplicity and beauty in the interface.

The banner offering campus tours for new students says, “We are people who scoop. Environmentally active students.” The word sukuu means “scoop” and also “save.”

Mature dogwood beautifies old Showa-era building in Tamchi

雨の日の田町、ハナミズキが昭和の建物をもっときれいに見せています。隣の建物が今はコインパーキングになってしまいました。@Shibaura House の岩中さんと散歩して、来月のフィールドワークのワークショップの準備をしました。

On a wet day in Tamachi, this mature dogwood beautifies a Showa era building. The building next door has been replaced with coin parking. I took a long walk with Iwanaka-san of Shibaura House to prepare for next month’s “field work” workshop on green mapping.

Pink and white azaleas shine in spring rainfall

雨で、歩道のツツジがキラキラと輝いています。ツツジはアメリカの東海岸の子供時代を思い出します。東高円寺のメトロの前で。

Azaleas bring back memories of the East Coast in the US, particularly the mid-Atlantic region where I grew up.

50 plus cactuses kept by local real estate office

小さな不動産屋さんには、大きなサボテンの庭があります。最近は雨が降ると、オフィスの人が中にサボテンを入れるのだそうです。プラスチックで覆われた外にずっとおいてあるサボテンもあります。
オフィスの人は寒い夜に外から事務所の中にみんなサボテンを入れると言いました。五十個以上の種類があります。重くて危ないし、とげがあるので、大変ですね。園芸家としての情熱と苦労に感心します。

Near the gallery where the Shiho ceramic show is held each year, there’s a small real estate office with an amazing collection of at least 50 cactuses. This year, I noticed that when it rains the realtor brings most of them inside, and covers a few outside with plastic.

The office definitely has more cactuses than customers. I am delighted by this plant lover’s dedication. When it’s cold, he brings many in for the night. Given how heavy and thorny the plants are, he’s obviously very dedicated to his passion.

Leaving the apartment on a rainy spring day

アパートの入り口から見えた、雨降りの朝の景色です。節電ですから、電気をほとんど消しています。中と外の対象がはっきりしていますね。

This is the view from my apartment building lobby on a rainy spring day. Because of energy conservation, many lights are turned off. This increases the contrast between indoors and outdoors.

I walk through this lobby every day, and rarely think about it or consider taking a photo. Recently, I participated in the Xerox and City photo workshop at Vacant, led by Hirano Taro and organzized by Too Much magazine as part of their Romantic Geographies series. We were asked to take photos of our breakfast and then our trip to the workshop in Harajuku. It made me think more about spaces that become automatic or ignored.

Tokyo residents are more aware of energy use and lighting now. Many parts of the city are less brighly lit: from billboards to train stations to residences. By lowering our lighting, we are more attuned to natural cycles, and more sensitive to the boundaries between private and public, indoor and outdoor, personal and shared resources.

Azaleas blooming on a wet spring day

春の雨の中でツツジが咲いている。この花は東京にも私の出身地にもよく咲きます。

This azalea is blooming in two colors on a wet spring day. Azaleas remind me of the mid-Atlantic in the United States, as they are commonly planted with Japanese maples, rhododendron, and flowering cherry trees. The rhaphis palm that serves as a companion plant is better suited to Tokyo than the frost-prone mid-Atlantic. In Tokyo, azaleas are often planted in low hedges alongside boulevards, as well as in traditional and small residential gardens.