Tanuki stops for a foot bath on his way into Tokyo. Volunteers remind him of countless rules.



At the foot bath, volunteers remind tanuki that, like most places in Japan, there are countless rules to follow here. Can a wild animal find happiness in the world’s largest city? Please find out tomorrow when tanuki visits Shibaura House to discuss Making Friends.

Old grove on Nodai campus


Like all of Tokyo, the Nodai campus seems to be in a state of constant demolition and reconstruction. I like how they have preserved this old grove of tall trees that remind you that this Agricultural school has a one hundred plus year history as a center of innovation and learning.

Summer hydrangea spills white flowers from side street onto main road


I love this late blooming summer hydrangea with white flowers spilling from the side street onto the main road near our place. It’s called “Oakleaf hydrangea” or kashiwaba ajisai in Japanese. It’s native to hardwood forests in the southeastern United States. In addition to distinctive leaves, it’s one of the few hydrangeas with cone-shaped flower bunches. Maybe built-up Tokyo reminds this bush of its native forest.

Honeysuckle vines remind me of childhood path, the scent of summer


Honeysuckle is such a sweet, if sometimes rampant vine. It’s not so common in Tokyo. When I smelled this one, I stopped my bike for a few minutes along the Kanda river.