flowers

May flowers in front of my apartment building

Dokudami in front of apartment building

Dokudami (どくだみ) is one of my favorite Tokyo weeds. It grows on cinder block walls and sidewalk cracks. Above is a large patch in front of my apartment building in May. The roughly 2 by 5 meter strip is a never changing display of flowers tended by the residents; its wildness contrasts with the clipped hedge on the other side of the entry path and heavily pruned trees in the parking lot.

Here are some other May flowers, including what is called in Japan “American jasmine.” The middle two plants I do not know the names. The last one is Datura, originally from Mexico.

"American Jasmine" in May, in front of apartment building

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Sidewalk flowers celebrate ramen shop opening

Sidewalk flowers celebrate ramen shop opening

Whenever a small business opens in Tokyo, there is a floral explosion outside as the shop owners’ friends and vendors provide enormous flower displays as a show of support and celebration. It also functions to draw the public’s attention to the new business. What an exuberance of color and quantity.