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What fruit is in season in Japan’s winter? Fragrant yuzu.

yuzu_inseason_farmersmarket

日本の冬は、どんなフルーツがシーズンでしょう? 良い香りのユズです。レモネードやドレッシングやお風呂に使います。特別な味と香りがします。

There’s giant ones and small ones at this Aoyama UNU farmers market stall. It’s good for lemonade, salad dressing, and bath water.

Have you ever heard of micro-basil?

micro_basil_balcony

マイクロ・バジルというバジルを聞いたことがありますか? ヒヨコさんからもらったたねの一つですが、たくさんありました。ちっちゃくて、おいしいです。

Micro-basil is small and tasty. Part of Hiyoko’s seed gift, this envelope contained by far the most seeds. Hundreds. As the sprouts grew larger, I started eating them as I thinned out the plants. Very tasty and delicate!

A closer view of decorative grass on Tokyo balcony

decorative_grass_detail_balcony_nakano

小さな植木鉢の草がもっと詳しく見えます。色と動きがあって、大好きです。

The color and movement of this grass growing in a small flowerpot are very enjoyable.

Planning a small garden at a new house in Nakano

nakano_new_house_landscaping
駅の途中、最近できた家の外に、小さな庭を作るようです。楽しみです。

I was so happy to see that the new neighbors are putting in a small garden. They built their house on a lot that used to have weeds and summer-time bats, after holding a Shinto ceremony. I am excited to see what they plant.

Red edged grass adds compact color and movement in wind

decorative_grass_summer_rain
小さな植木鉢の草の先は赤くて、風で動きます。今年の夏、大好きな植物の一つです。

In a narrow ceramic flowerpot, this red edged grass provides color and movement with the wind. It’s one of my favorite plants this summer.

This lovely shiso plant is growing in a small crack in the sidewalk

shiso_sidewalk_4seasongarden_nakano
駅の途中にある小さな庭はいつの季節でも楽しいですが、そばの舗装の亀裂からシソが育っています。おいしそうです。

The four seasons micro garden I often pass on the way to the station has a new summer addition. Shiso is growing from a crack. Almost all the other plants are in pots, so I wonder if this was planted or just sprung up naturally. It looks delicious!

Air plants in small containers sit on widow box

airplant_bonsai_shu_drawing_windowbench_home

窓際においたベンチの上の小さな植木鉢の中で、エアプラントが元気そうです。右は、手仕事屋久家でぼくが作った盆栽の植木鉢です。左は、衆生の猫の絵です。

Easy to move around, the tiny scale of air plants are a perfect fit for a Tokyo apartment. I made the bonsai pots on the right at Kuge Crafts. The cat drawing on the left is by Shu.

airplant_shu_drawing_home

A small vase brings color inside

vase_livingroom_home
小さな花瓶が家のなかを素敵に見せてくれます。備前の花瓶は手仕事屋久家で作りました。

I made this “bizen”, wood-fired vase at Kuge Crafts. The deep blue flower is called rindo (リンドウ) in Japanese.

Madam K hamburgers does not make room for new development

madamK_hamburger_construction

東京には、新しい開発に譲らない小さな建物もあります。昭和時代のMadam K ハンバーガーのサインが残っています。

It’s fun to see the small Tokyo hold-outs that refuse to become integrated in new developments. Long live, Madam K hamburgers.

Balcony lavender surrounded by strawberry, snap pea, and roofs

lavendar_nakano_balcony

来週、芝浦ハウスのコミュニティー・ハーブ・ガーデンについて話します。ハーブは味、料理、薬草、香水として使えます。都市の小さなスペースでも、ハーブは逞しく育ち、日常生活に役に立ちます。このベランダのラベンダーは東京の蝶を引き付けます。

Next week I am talking at Shibaura House’s Community Herb Garden talk event. Herbs can be used for flavor, food, medicine, and perfume. Even in small urban spaces, herbs are very tough and can be used in daily life. This balcony lavender attracts Tokyo butterflies.

Old Showa house, empty lot, 1960s small factory in shadow of Roppongi Hills

六本木ヒルズの後ろに、まだ古い工場や昭和時代の住居が残っています。

In the shadow of Roppongi Hills, one of Tokyo’s most expensive neighborhoods, there are still old factory buildings, Showa-era two story houses, and even empty lots alive with weeds. This mix of scale, land usage, and non-design is delightful.

Small potted plants on bamboo bench in Golden Gai

flowerpots_goldengai_mornin
ゴールデン街の朝、竹ベンチの上に、きれいな植木鉢が見えます。
It was fun to visit Golden Gai during the morning, with all the micro-bars closed and few people around. I love the well-kept potted plants on this bamboo bench.