A rose named “hope” sounds cheesy but is actually a super-rose


In May, I went to the “home center” (Nakano Shimachu) and bought the most expensive rose (about US$ 30). It’s name is L’Espoir, or Hope. It scores a perfect 5 in every attribute: grows well in pots, size of flower, scent, bloom frequency, and ease of growing. It’s also dedicated to the Tohoku March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

I am generally skeptical of industrial gardening, but I gave Hope a try. It turned out great on the 10th floor balcony. It may not have grown that tall, but it required no pesticide and bloomed often. I love the scent. To me, scent is essential in roses.

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View from the UV tent of the mouth of Tokyo bay and across to Chiba


For those sensitive to the sun, a UV tent is essential. An early beach day at Miura Kaigan, towards the southern tip of Kanagawa.

Gifts are essential ingredient for Making Friends


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