sidewalk

A very urban, summer scene, with yukata sidewalk party, Odakyu train, and office tower

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH
都市の夏景色かもしれない。歩道に浴衣パーティーや小田急線の電車やオフィスタワーが見えます。

Biking fast through asphalt and concrete corridors

bike_freeway_yamate_operacity

東京を自転車で走るとき、大きい道路を行くのが一番早いです。山手通りの幅が広い歩道を自転車で乗ります。このオペラシティの前の交差点はちょっと怖いでしょう?

For moving quickly through the city, nothing is faster than using a bike on the main boulevards. This intersection, in front of Opera City, is particularly ugly. I stick to the wide sidewalk on Yamate Dori.

My banana tree came from this sidewalk flower shop

flower_shop_nakano_south

この歩道にある花屋さんから、バナナの木が来ました。家まで、持って歩きました。

In Nakano, of course. I carried the tree home.

“Have you seen my rice field?”

rice_bucket_tatami_shop

「私たちの田んぼを見ましたか」と聞かれました。畳屋のオーナーは歩道に置いたバケツで稲を育てています。Shibaura HouseのKanto Tour Guideの途中で偶然に会いました。家の畳を変えようかと考えています。

On Shibaura House’s Kanto Tour Guide in Suginami, we saw an open door and a man making tatami mats above the garage. The friendly proprietor of Haketa Tatami shop in Shin Koenji told us that his family has had this business in Suginami for decades, starting with his father. In addition to showing us his craftsmanship, he asked us whether we had seen his “rice field.” It’s in the white bucket, to the left of the shop sign.

I also learned that tatami mats should be changed every 3 or 4 years. Ours are coming up on 6 years, so maybe it’s time to order a new set?

tatami_shop_making

How do they do it on such crowded sidewalks?

bike_delivery_food_shinjuku_sidewalk
混雑した歩道で、こんなことができるなんて信じられません。新宿で、出前を運ぶ人はプロです。

Food delivery in crowded Shinjuku.

Is this Shinjuku sidewalk “nanohana” edible?

nanohana_flower_sidewalk_nichome_shinjuku
これは食べられますか。新宿二丁目の歩道で、菜の花が自然に顔を出しています。

It’s spring, and vegetables are growing spontaneously on Tokyo’s sidewalks.

A pop of color in a river of black and white outfits on crowded sidewalk

shigeki_kunashita_hanami

みんな白黒の服を着ているので、友達の青色の帽子が目立ちます。友達は「ハッセルブラッド」という古いフィルムカメラを持っています。

That’s my photographer friend Shigeki with the bright blue cap and the antique Hasselblad film camera. It was peak day for cherry blossoms at Kudanshita.

 

Foreigners still confused that Tokyo-ites love wearing face masks

mask_ad_senior_sidewalk_shinjuku

四月は外国人がたくさん日本に旅行しにきます。「なぜ日本人はマスクを使いますか。放射能が怖いのですか」とみんな私に聞きます。他の国では、病院で働く人たちしか使いません。

April is a month that attracts many foreign visitors. Again, I am asked in hushed tones, are Japanese wearing masks because of Fukushima and fears of nuclear fallout? Anyone who lives here knows it’s allergy season, and many people wear them out of a combination self-treatment and courtesy to others. Masks, normal and even polite in Japan, are perhaps the most common form of exotic costume when seen by foreigners.

This San Francisco sidewalk garden reminds me of Tokyo

garden_entrance_tokyostyle_sanfrancisco
サンフランシスコの歩道の庭は東京を思い出します。皆、植木鉢に植えられていて、スタンドもあります。
The simplicity of a garden made of pots, the tiered stand for packing more plants in a small space, and the generosity of the gardener remind me of Tokyo.