hollyhock

Omotesando Koffee has perfect traditional Japanese garden

隠れたところにある『Omotesando Koffee』というカフェに、小さくて完璧な日本庭園があります。ムクゲやモミジやアジサイのような伝統的な植物はたくましくて、育てやすいです。歴史もあります。コーヒーはとても美味しいです。

Minimal and superb Omotesando Koffee is a modular cube inside an old Omotesando house. It’s supposed to last one year, after which the building may be “reformed” as the Japanese call it.

In addition to delicious coffee in a nearly hidden spot, Omotesando Koffee has the most perfect Japanese garden with two benches for seating. I love the stone path, old light fixtures, and the very Tokyo odd mix of wood, bamboo, and the ubiquitous cinder block.

It’s a very small garden, with many traditional and resilient Japanese plants, including hollyhock, maple, and hydrangea. Worth finding if you’re in the area. Hollyhock is becoming my favorite late summer flower.

For those far away, I have included an image of the sign outside (it looks like a black frame), and the clever way they turn standard paper bags into a lovely and minimal branded object.

Hollyhocks are sign that summer is close

I love these hollyhocks growing on the side of a busy boulevard in Nakano. They are obviously self-sowed and extremely hardy. I marveled at them last year. I am certain that no one takes care of them, and yet they have spread up and down this boulevard.

Very rapidly, they grow over two meters tall. Along with hydrangea and azaleas, they are a sign that summer is close. I like how in this photo the flowers echo the verticality of the narrow high-rises and the Jeans Mate banner, and offer a contrast with the fast-moving, fossil-fuel dependent traffic.