British Council

Sakura alongside roads

Nakano Dori is famous for its long rows of cherry trees. My friend who has lived in Nakano for decades explained how the wide street near the station is newer so the trees there are younger. The older trees have much more interesting bark, and at some points the canopies connect across the roadway. I love how the trees show the human care over so many years.

Walking, and perhaps even driving, is so much more fun during sakura time. Its beauty is related to how brief it is.

There is also a beautiful row of mature sakura along the Kanda River, which can be appreciated from inside the Chuo and Sobu trains or viewed from inside the British Council.

2 Upcoming Talks

If you’re in Tokyo, you are invited to attend two free talks I am giving soon through the British Council and the Harvard Club of Japan. Here’s the info:

Monday, April 5, Green Leaders Forum at the British Council near Iidabashi (In English with simultaneous Japanese translation)
DATE/TIME    Monday April 5, 2010 from 7pm to 9pm (doors open at 6:30pm)
ADMISSION   FREE! Includes wine, soft drinks and snacks
LOCATION     British Council, Iidabashi Station
(Note: Also speaking is Dr. Junichi Fujino, Senior Climate Policy Researcher, National Institute for Environmental Studies, NIES)

4月5日、月曜日、 Green Leaders Forum、英国文化振興会にて。日本語と英語の同時通訳があります。飯田橋の近くです。

Wednesday, April 14, Harvard Club of Japan event at Temple University (English only)
DATE/TIME    Wednesday April 14, 2010 from 7pm to 9pm (doors open at 6:30pm)
ADMISSION   FREE! Please bring your own bento or snack
LOCATION     Temple University, Azabu Hall, Room 206


Creative Cities contributor

Over the next two months, I will be regularly contributing blog posts to Creative Cities, a project by the British Council focused on creative cities in the UK, East Asia, and Australia. Under the direction of Australian arts director and editor Jess Scully, the Creative Cities brings together some exciting ideas from thirteen countries about the role of creative cities in our changing world.

This month, the focus is on sustainable cities, and I am looking forward to the discussion generated by the contributors and readers. My first post describes the very Japanese mix of otaku (geek) culture, old traditions, and environmental activism as Akihabara maids plant and harvest rice. I am excited to be in this exciting East Asian and UK discussion of the role of creative cities in solving problems and making our lives better.