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Scorching heat doesn’t stop local parade

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猛暑の日なのに、新中野の祭りでは、御神輿をかつぐ方や大きな手作りの飾りを運んでいる方が頑張っていました。

The local Shin Nakano matsuri was held on a scorching hot day with few spectators. That didn’t stop the portable shrine lifters, or the giant hand-painted banner guy.

 

 

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Shinjuku cemetery framed by mysterious new construction

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新宿二丁目のお寺に、細い6階のビルを建てています。お墓の前には、大きな窓が一つしかありません。使い道は、お葬式かゲイバーではないだろうか。

I am confused by this new 6 story tower at the corner of a cemetery in Nichome. There are few windows, except for this giant floor to ceiling view of the graves on the first floor. Will this become 6 stories of micro-bars? Or is it a new vertical space to perform funerals and ceremonies for the dead?

Giant sidewalk weed is as tall as the shop behind it. Anyone know what it is?

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不便なところなのに、この背の高い雑草がお店の前に育っています。店のオーナは気にしていないようです。誰かこの植物の名前を知っていますか。

It seems that the shop owner has long accommodated herself and her shop to the annual giant weed that ‘s growing just in front. The leaves are enormous. What is this summer weed?

UPDATE: Thanks to my smart readers, I’ve learned it’s called キリ (kiri) in Japanese and Paulownia tomentosa in Latin.

Giant machine cleans the streets near my house

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なぜか分からないけど、道路を掃除している巨大な車を見たら、ワクワクしてしまいます。

I’m not sure why, but I feel excited watching this giant machine in action at night.

Tanuki offers giant shade structure to passers-by outside Shibaura House

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.@shibaurahouse の「友達を作ろう」のワークショップの参加者とタヌキさんは、歩道の日陰を提供するために、身体を変えました。

With help from Shibaura House’s Making Friends participants, tanuki transforms his body into a giant shade structure. 94760020

Giant tree fern with unusual trunk

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森林生態系保護地域のなかで、「丸八」という木生シダが見えます。巨大な木生シダはニュージーランドとサンフランシスコを思い出します。

Inside the fenced-in Nature Sanctuary, we saw this lovely native fern tree.

My neighbor is growing this giant loofah

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近所の人が大きいヘチマを育てています。秋に、花を見ましたが、こんなに大きくなっていて驚きました。

I noticed the huge yellow blossoms a few months ago, and now in this cold weather, my neighbor’s loofah are enormous.

A tropical escape from Tokyo winter in Shinjuku Gyoen reflects park and clouds

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寒いときに、新宿御苑の新しい温室を勧めます。温室のなかで、熱帯の植物を楽しみながら、外の東京の風景を楽しめます。全部ガラス張りなので、外側に反射している風景もすてきです。

The best place to escape Tokyo’s winter is inside the new greenhouse in Shinjuku Gyoen. I love exploring all the tropical plants, and seeing the fall and winter park landscapes through the glass walls. From the outside, the building reflects the giant trees and clouds.

Suginami ward’s giant green curtain shows positive activity by local government

今年の杉並区役所のグリーンカーテンはすてきです。

When people ask me about positive government action for urban nature, I always point to the Suginami ward’s giant green curtain. This massive screen of vines rises each summer on their eight story ward office next to the Minami Asagaya station on the Marunouchi subway line. It has inspired local residents to create their own balcony green curtains, inserted a huge green space that occupies very little square footage on the ground, and demonstrated that their old office building can be energy saving, attractive, and full of life.

Tanuki arrives in Azabujuban and stores his bike in his scrotum

麻布十番に来たときに、タヌキは自分の大きな睾丸の中に自転車を保管しています。駅の辺りをきれいにしています。

Tanuki doesn’t clutter the Azabujuban station area with his bike. He stores his bike in his giant scrotum.

Convenience store landscape lights up the evening with coconut palm tree

たくさんの外国人は、日本のデザインが上品でシンプルだと信じています。天皇陛下の別荘がある葉山という町で、コンビニの前にある大きい電気のヤシの木を見ました。

Everyone says how Hayama is where the Emperor has a summer home. No one mentions the Hayama Lawson’s giant, light-up coconut tree. Public landscapes reveal that design in Japan is often neither minimal nor elegant.

Hand cranked, shaved ice is an old fashioned summer treat

かき氷が美味しいです。手動クランクは昔の気分がして、かっこいです。

Shaved ice is a popular summer treat. I like this hand-cranked model. The ice is shining like a giant jewel.

Stone wall and giant trees offer rare glimpse into past

大きい木の影の下で、この芝公園の壁は江戸時代の建築を思い出させます。

This one stretch of wall at Shiba Koen, with the towering trees above it, provides a rare glimpse into Tokyo’s architectural past.

Cherry blossoms rising above giant buddha in Shinjuku Ni Chome temple

この新宿の二丁目のお寺は静かで広いところです。ここの桜が人を引き付けます。仏陀の赤い服はよだれかけみたいです。見ていると、お腹が減ってきます。

This temple in Shinjuku’s Ni Chome is a quiet open space in a crowded part of the city. It’s a great juxtaposition of the sacred and ordinary, nature and the built environment.

This day, the cherry tree in bloom seems to have enticed more people to enter. I am always charmed by the red cloth bibs place on buddha and ojizo statues. The bibs make me think the statues are preparing for a meal.