nature

Against the moss wall, the trees cast shadows, and the orange lollipop mirror guides drivers.

moss_road_shadow_mirror_izu

苔の壁に、木々が影を落として、オレンジ色のカーブミラーが運転する人に注意しています。伊豆で。

I love this mix of nature and human effort. Against the moss wall, the trees cast shadows, and the orange lollipop mirror guides drivers. In Izu.

Double Face condo billboard offers city and nature, in image only

face_face_koenji_housing_billboard

家の近くに、「ダブルフィイス」というビルが建てられています。看板のまんなかに、モデルさんがいて、背景の半分は建物で、もう半分には森があります。実際には、木は1つも植えないみたいです。ところで “double-faced” は英語で「偽善」という意味もあります。

I assume Double Face has no specific meaning in Japanese. It’s hard to imagine the phrase being used in marketing when confidence and reputation are at stake.

Near my house is another new construction, Double Face in katakana or just Face Face in English. The concept is city and nature. But from what I see the building itself will contribute almost zero natural benefits to the sidewalk or community. Not even a single tree outside the mid-rise building. Again, I can sort of understand the concept, but the execution as a billboard and as a property leave much to be desired.

At this point in construction, what they’re offering the public is a vending machine, one of many drink machines along this boulevard.

Atami, a nearby onsen town uses nature characters to appeal to tourists

bender_atami_cartoon_sign

熱海で、自然をモチーフにしたキャラが観光客を呼ぼうとしています。新幹線で、東京から一時間未満で来れます。車のない若い人を引き寄せて、町づくりができるでしょうか。

These woodchucks with their ice cream cones and hair ribbons are irresistible. I also like the heavily shadowed angel fish which decorates a car parking tower also sponsored by “Happy & Sunlight” pachinko. With the ease of public transportation from Tokyo, I imagine Atami is ripe for reinvention for the post-automobile young people.

atami_parking_tower_happy_sunlight_shading

Living and found desk decor add nature to work

desk_late_fall_decoration

机の上にあるエアプラントや種子やザクロがあると、仕事が面白くなります。

At some point, my desk gained a bowl of air plants and small collection of foraged Tokyo nuts, seeds and a persimmon (pomegranate). Even in a small space, it’s nice to have nature near the computer.

Domesticated Mount Fuji in today’s Edo

mtfuji_clothespins_nakano_b

江戸時代から、富士山と都市は一緒にイメージされています。最近、富士山の噴火に関する記事が多いですね。

Recently, there have been several reports that Mount Fuji may erupt and cause an earthquake, or vice versa. What I love about this giant volcano is its utterly domestic and urban nature. Today’s urban views, completely with laundry drying, are an extension of hundreds of years of Edo visual representation.

These two weedy lots for sale attract bats at twilight

東京の夏は、草の背が高くなってたくさん茂ります。この売り出し中の空き地に、コウモリがよく来ます。いまのところ、虫が多そうです。コウモリには都合がいいですね。

A Tokyo summer quickly produces thick and tall weeds. These two empty lots are for sale near our house. In the meantime, they are supporting a large insect population, and attracting bats. There’s something wonderful about this temporary nature spot.

Long public path at Shinjuku Gyoen is an idyllic nature escape

新宿御苑の脇にある長い路はきれいです。木陰も小川もあります。夏は涼しいです。

It’s always fun to walk along this public path on the Shinjuku side of Shinjuku Gyoen. Shaded by tall trees, it’s a pleasant escape from the hard urban surfaces. There’s even a reconstructed creek to evoke the springs and rivers that used to flow naturally here.

Iconic New York City public spaces

ニューヨークのハイラインという新しい公園もセントラルパークも象徴的な公共空間です。自然と都市の関係がうまくできていて、気分がいいです。1934年から1980年まで使われていた電車の高架線路を公園にしたのが、ハイラインです。

On a recent trip to New York City, I took my film camera to some iconic parks. Above is the reservoir in Central Park, a place for exercise, leisure, and path between Upper East Side and Upper West Side.

Below is the High Line, a more recent park created from a dis-used elevated train line west of Chelsea. I love how in both environments, you can enjoy nature and feel connected to an urban landscape.

Rough Guide to Tokyo travel book cites Tokyo Green Space

.@skidgel が、新しい英語の東京の旅行ガイドに Tokyo Green Space がのせられたことがわかりました。観光客も東京で、自然を体験してもらえるかもしれないので、うれしいです。

Thanks to @skidgel, I saw that the current edition of The Rough Guide to Tokyo travel book features Tokyo Green Space on the second page of “what to do” under the heading of “towards a greener Tokyo.” It’s great to see that visitors are interested in experiencing nature in Tokyo.

Mature cherry trees cross Nakameguro river. Nearly full bloom.

花見に中目黒の川はとてもきれいです。ほとんど満開でした。2012年4月6日。

Nakameguro river is one of the best spots for viewing hanami. Last Friday was approximately 80%. Much family, student, friends, and co-worker public drinking and nature appreciation!

Today it’s windy and raining, so perhaps the season is already over as the petals fall fast.

Call for participation: public research on stratification, nature, and landscapes

I was delighted to hear from Italian collective Limno, which conducts public research on nature, who informed me about their upcoming issue on “the stratification of floristic, faunal, architectural, landscape elements of a particular place, their overlapping and interaction.”

The open call for “professionals and amateurs” will create material that will be juxtaposed to their study of a Venetian fort.

Please read more about this project and the call for participation. The deadline is April 15.

 

 

Graduate school applicant seeks books about Japanese culture, nature, and landscape

アメリカの大学院に応募する方がこのブログの読者に質問したいそうです:日本の自然とランドスケープ文化の意味について、何かおすすめの学術本がありますか? 私も読者のアイデアを聞きたいです。Image credit: Luis Mendo. From TEDxSeeds プレゼンテーション.

Which books define a Japanese cultural outlook on nature and landscapes? A perspective PhD student wrote to me asking about scholarly works that would allow a comparison with England. Is there a Japanese counterpart to Raymond Williams and William Hoskins, author of The Making of the English Landscape?

I am equally curious to hear what Tokyo Green Space readers know about this topic. So please help this perspective graduate student and share your favorite in the blog comments. Thank you!

はじめまして。
My name is Jennifer Jane Riddle, and Mr. Braiterman has kindly allowed me to introduce myself and use his blog space in order to ask readers about any texts or articles by Japanese authors that address spaces and landscapes in Japan.  I am currently applying to various PhD programs in the United States, and my goal is to examine how cultural attitudes towards natural spaces are cultivated and understood and how cultural values affect the way in which countryside spaces are used. Comparatively, I am looking at the countryside of England and English authors,  such as Raymond Williams, who wrote about British culture in relation to nature and the English countryside. I am also using more anthropological centered works, as well, such as the landscape histories of William Hoskins. As for works on Japan, I have read Jinnai Hidenobu’s work on Tokyo, and I am looking for similar writers, anthropologists, or theorists who write about Japanese relationships to countryside spaces, nature, and the environment. If anyone who enjoys this blog is aware of any Japanese scholars, past or present, who focus on culture, space and place in such a way, I would love to know more.
どうぞよろしくお願いします。

Image credit: Luis Mendo. From TEDxSeeds presentation.

Abandoned housing project is nature island of fruit and foliage

神宮前の路地を歩いているときに、廃墟の団地を発見しました。おそらくここに高級マンションが建てられます。この風景が破壊されるまでは、自然の島のようです。柿や紅葉や野生生物がいます。

Walking in the back streets in Jingumae, I came across this fantastic abandoned housing project. Soon the lot will no doubt be scraped and redeveloped into luxury residences with minimal landscaping. Until then, it’s an island of nature, full of persimmons, fall foliage, and wildlife.

Blue salvia, wood house, and bicycle

青色のサルビアと自転車と木造の家がかっこいい景色を作っています。庭というよりも、カジュアルで、気取らない、たくましい都市自然です。

Casual, unplanned, resilient. The city has a life of its own: season, history, transportation, housing, color, and mood.