New Year’s Day Fuji View

New Year’s Day in Tokyo, and there’s a bright blue sky and view of Mount Fuji from the balcony. The southern exposure and high floor make it feel balmy during mid-day. You can see in the full photo below that I have planted winter kale, lavender, hibiscus, geranium, and something that looks like salvia but isn’t.

Neighborhood rice

Neighborhood rice

It’s wonderful to see rice growing in a simple residential street garden, alongside geraniums and other ornamentals. The rice is nearly ready to be harvested. Below you can see that it is growing in a blue plastic pot and a white styrofoam box. What it lacks in aesthetics it exceeds in frugality and resourcefulness.

I haven’t seen this neighbor in a while, since she offered us some beer on a warm day; unfortunately, we did not have time to stop then.

Neighborhood rice

Spring flowers

Spring flowers, Nakano mansion

These purple flowers are blooming outside our Tokyo apartment building. While the large trees and some bushes are regularly pruned by professionals, much of the front and side of the building are tended by women who live in the building. Other flowers include brugsmania, clivia, cymbidium orchids, poppies, clivia, azalea and geraniums. It’s an odd mix of cultivated and feral plants that are hardy enough to survive without irrigation.