fun

Break-time and waiting for the next jump

bmx_taking_break_pedal_day_yoyogi_park

休憩時間に、次のジャンプを待っています。若いので、怖いもの知らずなのでしょうか? 見るだけで充分楽しかったです。

Does youth make these riders more fearless? Pedal Day also featured BMX jumping. It was fun to watch.

bmx_preparing_pedal_day_yoyogi_park

Even closer view of succulents reveal texture and vermillion edges

succulent2_balcony

クローズアップで、多肉植物の細部と様子が見えます。この二つは色と形が違いますが、端の濃い赤色は同じです。

Close-up you can see so many fun details about the balcony succulents. I like how these have different leaf forms, but both have vermillion edges. I have four succulents in three flowerpots, which makes a great small arrangement.

succulent3_balcony

Succulents on top of the air conditioner look good in heat of summer

94790023

夏、エアコンの上はベランダの庭で一番暑いところです。今そこに多肉サボテンを置きました。この陶芸の植木鉢は手仕事屋久家で作りました。

The balcony summer hotspot is the air conditioner, almost always on and blowing hot air. This summer, I’m enjoying succulents which seem fine on top, but probably not in front, of the a/c. They have fun colors, shapes, and even textures. The ceramics were made at Kuge Crafts.

94790025

Madam K hamburgers does not make room for new development

madamK_hamburger_construction

東京には、新しい開発に譲らない小さな建物もあります。昭和時代のMadam K ハンバーガーのサインが残っています。

It’s fun to see the small Tokyo hold-outs that refuse to become integrated in new developments. Long live, Madam K hamburgers.

Koenji has a mix of styles from different decades

koenji_look_old_facade
高円寺のルックという商店街には、違う時代からのいろいろな建物とサインのスタイルがあります。

On Koenji’s Look shopping street, the mix of building styles and signage is fun.

Wood and string toy provides old-fashioned challenge

balance_game_sanjamatsuri

剣玉は、伝統的な遊びです。

It’s nice to see the young people at the matsuri giving their smartphones a rest and enjoying some old-fashioned games, like kendama which involves catching a ball tied to two wood cups with a string.

Front door decorations made by hand celebrate the new year

shimekazari_nakano_frontdoor
マンションのドアに、手作りのしめ飾りを飾っています。萩原さんのワークショップで作りました。楽しかったです。

Here is the new year’s decoration (shimekazari) I created at Shiho studio for our front door. Although there’s a common look to commercial ones, including these at Muji, there’s a lot of variety in terms of shape and materials.

Below is Kuge sensei’s lovely arrangement at the entrance to her studio. The tiny black ball with three colorful petals is a traditional toy played with a badminton-like shuttlecock.  shimekazari_kuge_studioLongtime Shiho studio student Hagiwara-san led the workshop and provided these amazing materials, including red berries, pine, paper, and seed pods.

hagiwara_shimekazari kuge_yoshiko_meg_shimekazari

Small potted plants on bamboo bench in Golden Gai

flowerpots_goldengai_mornin
ゴールデン街の朝、竹ベンチの上に、きれいな植木鉢が見えます。
It was fun to visit Golden Gai during the morning, with all the micro-bars closed and few people around. I love the well-kept potted plants on this bamboo bench.

Balloon vine is a fun summer climber

経堂駅から農大に行く途中で、面白い庭がある家をいつも観察します。去年は色々なアサガオが育っていました。今は、背の高いフウセンカズラがたくさんの緑とオレンジ色の実を見せてくれています。私たちのベランダにもこの夏のつる草があります。

On the long walk from Kyodo station to Nodai (Tokyo University of Agriculture), there’s a house and large garden where the residents are always gardening. This year they created a huge, two meter high trellis of fusenkazura (フウセンカズラ). The name is literally balloon kudzu, and despite looking delicate, it’s very hardy. The vine produces lots of white flowers, followed by a multitude of green balls that then turn orange. This year, I’m growing two specimens on our balcony.

A temporary fishing pool for kids

日本で携帯釣りプールを初めて見ました。楽しそうです。

I like this fishing game that’s often at Japanese festivals. Above is from Asagaya’s Tanabata festival. The scoop is made of a paper that quickly dissolves, so you want to catch as many fish as fast as you can.

Lively Green Drinks monthly event by @greenzjp held @shibaurahouse

楽しい @Greenzjp のGreen Drinks Tokyoのイベントに参加しました。素敵な@ShibauraHouse で行われました。東京ローカルフルーツについて、ちょっと話しました。Green Drinks Tokyoのイベントは毎月あって、自分で作るおにぎりもあります。

The Green Drinks Tokyo event hosted by @greenzjp and held @shibaurhouse was very lively. Greenz.jp is creating a lot of content and community around sustainability in Japan. I spoke briefly about Tokyo Local Fruits. There’s make-your-own onigiri and a lively group eager to learn and share.

Small and multifunctional space makes gardening fun

このベランダは小さいのに、多機能です。庭に加えて、洗濯機も物干用のロープもエアコンもあります。普通の東京ベランダです。

Our Tokyo balcony, like everyone’s, is a multi-purpose space: washing machine, clothes line, air conditioner. I like the constraint of gardening in a small space. There’s room for one tiny kid’s chair, and the blue bucket and ladle are what I use to water the garden.

Commemorating Japan suspending nuclear power on May 6, 2012

日本の原発の全休止が実行されて、5月6日に高円寺でパレードがありました。演説、抗議のプラカード、散歩、音楽、そしてコズプレがありました。あいにく、強い嵐が来て、雹が降っていました。それでも、幸せな会合でした。

The day after Japan suspended operations at the last nuclear plant, there was a celebration in Koenji that involved speeches, protest signs, marching, music, and fun costumes. Unfortunately, as soon as the march began, there was incredible hail and wind. Nonetheless, it was a happy parade throughout Koenji.

Continue reading

Plum bonsai in tiny but abundant home garden

梅の木の盆栽が小さくて豊富な庭に置かれました。中野駅の途中にあります。植木屋さんは季節と植物をよく知っています。植物が植木鉢で育っているので、いろいろな楽しみのために移動しやすいです。

This plum bonsai is part of a tiny but incredibly abundant garden also on the way to Nakano station. This gardener clearly knows about plants and seasons. Because almost all his plants are in pots, they can be moved around for maximum enjoyment.

Mini apples in flower arrangement

あなたの近所の花屋はミニりんごを売っていますか。楽しいと思っています。東京でよく見ます。この壁の花瓶を史火陶芸教室で作りました。

Does your local florist include mini-apples in their arrangements? It’s very common now in Tokyo, and I think it adds a fun element. This wall vase I made at Shiho ceramic studio.