Nishi Ogikubo

Bonsai pots for air plants at Shiho ceramic studio show next week

史火陶芸教室の展示会のために、カラフラな盆栽の植木鉢を作り終わるところです。エアープラントを中に入れる予定です。陶芸の先生も生徒さんも作品を見せて、販売します。西荻窪で、11月23日から27日まで。時間があれば、是非、見にきてください。

Above are some of the colorful bonsai pots for air plants that I am finishing for the Shiho ceramic studio annual show in Nishi-Ogikubo. It takes place just south of the JR station from Friday Nov 23 through Tuesday Nov 27. The teachers Yoshiko and Yoshiichiro Kuge will display and sell their works, as well as ten students and a doll maker.

As you can see in the card below, this year’s theme is spouts. Mine is the only spout full of holes. They provide drainage for after you’ve dunked the air plant in water.

Please come if you’re interested in ceramics! Gallery Hiko, 3-37-21 Shoan, Suginami-ku. Google Map.

Update: Tokyo Weekender featured this show in their events listings!

Zenpukuji ponds attract many birds

善福寺の池はたくさん鳥を引き寄せます。西荻窪の駅の北にあって、散歩にすばらしいところです。

In a quiet neighborhood north of Nishi Ogikubo, the Zenpukuji ponds are a great place for a stroll and for bird watching. These two ponds are at the source of the Zenpukuji river, and I like how one is very open, while the other is almost entirely filled with reeds and places for birds to nest and forage. These photos are from a walk last month with my urbanist inspiration Chris Berthelsen and his family.

Shiho ceramic studio’s student exhibit

来週は、史火陶芸教室の生徒展示会です。今回で三回目の参加です。植木鉢花瓶を作りました。時間があれば、是非、来てください。11月19日から11月23日まで、ギャラリー彦にて。杉並区松庵3−37−21です。

Next weekend, November 19-23, is the Shiho ceramic studio‘s annual student exhibit. This will be my 3rd time participating. Please come by in Nishi Ogikubo if you can. There’s a very wide variety of ceramic types and styles, from kitchen goods to accessories and decorative pieces with many affordable items. I’ll be showing some recent flower pots and vases, along with the cafe ole bowl I made as part of this year’s theme.

The address is below. It’s a 4 minute walk from the South exit of the JR Nishiogikubo station on the Sobu and Chuo lines. Gallery Hiko is open from 11 to 18 everyday, except the last day when it closes at 17.
167-0054 Tokyo Suginami-ku Shouan 3−37−21
167-0054 東京都杉並区松庵3−37−21

Green wall outside liquor shop at Nishi Ogikubo station

Liquor shop’s green wall captures attention at JR station in Nishi Ogikubo.

西荻窪駅で、酒屋の緑の壁は注目を集めります。

I like this green wall surrounding the Dila liquor shop as you exit the Nishi Ogikubo JR station. It brightens up the station entrance and draws attention to the shop. It looks like the same type of wall system and plants that Marui uses inside its Shinjuku san-chome store and in the basement near the subway.

I hope this trend catches on, and more commercial spaces see the benefits of green walls. It would be great to see a greater variety of plants, rainwater catchment and re-use, and habitat creation. For now, any green wall catches attention, but perhaps soon there will be more experimentation and creativity.

Rose-covered homeware shop in Nishi Ogikubo

I love this rose-covered homeware shop in Nishi Ogikubo. It’s near an antique shop owned by a friend of the family. By June of each year, it is covered in gorgeous blooms. I particularly like the natural look of climbing roses (versus tea roses). The side view is even more exuberant!

Tree breaks out of pot and into soil

This is a close-up of a small tree that has survived the disintegration of its styrofoam planter box and rooted itself into the ground. It is amazing that it was able to force its way through the pavement and reach the soil.

This potted tree breaking the pavement to root itself in the ground is almost the opposite of the cana flower spreading under and breaking the road to reach the air above. I find these images hopeful signs that no matter how much we pave over nature or confine it to a pot, plants are resilient, resourceful and able to confound our built environment.

By rooting itself in the ground below the street, the tree is able to draw more nourishment and grow larger. I wish that governments and residents would begin to de-pave Tokyo, and it’s great to see that domestic plants are not waiting for us to act.