Winter plants taken home by bike



Tulip bulbs, decorative cabbage, and a winter clematis.

Fantastic bicycle pit stop at Little Nap Coffee Stand

自転車を乗っているときに、代々木公園の隣にあるLittle Nap Coffee Stand でよく充電します。おしゃれな僕のサービスステーションです。

Yoyogi Park is my preferred route to get anywhere in Tokyo by bike. Little Nap Coffee Stand next to the park is always a great place to re-charge. Closed Mondays.

Bicycle shop anniversary party in Yoyogi Park


 Blue Lug という幡ヶ谷の自転車の店は、4周年記念を代々木公園で祝いました。今、お店は私が7年前にサンフランシスコで買った自転車をオーバーホールしてくれています。楽しみにしています。

Congratulations on four years, Blue Lug. The Hatagaya shop is overhauling my 7 year old Sully bike that I brought from San Francisco. Amazingly, the bike repair guys know Freewheel, the store on Valencia Street where I bought it. They confirmed that Freewheel, and not me personally, had originally assembled the bike.

Is this just across the water from Chiba?

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.

A city view without people

Often I bike under this maze of freeways, and sometimes I look up and see the Opera City tower rising 50 floors above. A city view without people and plants seems sad to me.

Have you seen a new year decoration on a car or bike?



I made this one at Kuge Crafts.

Where the soup comes from. The weekend farmers market.



This fall I started going to the farmers market every week. Usually by bike, and sometimes meeting my friend Luis. This beautifully arranged stall is where I stop first to pick up turnips, carrots with their leaves still attached, green and red peppers, yuzu, lemons, celery, and sweet potatoes. At United Nations University farmers market, in Aoyama, which is open every Saturday and Sunday.

I put my new year’s shimekazari decoration on my bike’s “grille”



I cleaned my bike with magical pink solution on new year’s eve, and Shu helped me attach the mini-shimekazari to the front.  For the next week, this bit of rice, pine, paper, and berrry may give the gods some place to rest as I bike to the late night sento.

Whenever possible, I bike through Yoyogi Park these weeks

できるときはいつも、自転車で代々木公園を通ります。最近 、天気がよかったから、楽しんでいる人がたくさんいました。

Whenever biking towards Shibuya or Aoyama, I make sure now to bike through Yoyogi Park. The weather has been beautiful, the leaves just starting to fall, and plenty of others enjoying the sunshine.

Toddler bike fleet lined up outside our apartment building



It’s adorable that between the bike parking and the car parking, there’s a fleet of toddler bikes. It looks like they are shared among all the kids in our apartment building. I wonder how long they’ve been stationed there.

Double Face condo billboard offers city and nature, in image only


家の近くに、「ダブルフィイス」というビルが建てられています。看板のまんなかに、モデルさんがいて、背景の半分は建物で、もう半分には森があります。実際には、木は1つも植えないみたいです。ところで “double-faced” は英語で「偽善」という意味もあります。

I assume Double Face has no specific meaning in Japanese. It’s hard to imagine the phrase being used in marketing when confidence and reputation are at stake.

Near my house is another new construction, Double Face in katakana or just Face Face in English. The concept is city and nature. But from what I see the building itself will contribute almost zero natural benefits to the sidewalk or community. Not even a single tree outside the mid-rise building. Again, I can sort of understand the concept, but the execution as a billboard and as a property leave much to be desired.

At this point in construction, what they’re offering the public is a vending machine, one of many drink machines along this boulevard.

Sidewalk sunflowers bloom in busy Shinjuku commercial corridor



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.

Grove of trees shimmers in summer heat


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

Sun lit mansion on way to Nodai campus



Between Kyodo station and Nodai’s campus, a few old mansions remain with large yards and mature trees. The bicycling student’s brown hair matches the wood fence.