Mixing colors, shapes and origins on Tokyo balcony



This balcony vignette includes contrasting colors and shapes with plants from France, Australia, Pilipinas, and Tokyo (lavender, formium, banana, and kanamemochi).

Banana tree offers a tropical vibe on a narrow Tokyo balcony

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH


On our Tokyo balcony, late summer clouds, Edo-style morning glory, New Zealand flax, and a banana tree are a mix of Pacific Ocean geographies.

Night view of Tokyo balcony garden in summer


I’ve been experimenting with my digital camera to take night views of my Tokyo balcony garden. With the daytime heat, the garden is most enjoyable at night.


Put out the tobacco, Tokyo. Enough already.



Recently featured in the Nakano JR station underpass, this kids drawing uses elephants to persuade adults to stop smoking. The kids are right. Enough already!

Bicycle coffee brings Oakland business to Tokyo’s farmers market


I like the simplicity of the concept and logo: hand-roasted coffee from sustainable farms, delivered by bicycle. I love the gear motif in the pour-through ceramic. The concept is from Oakland, California.

Cherry blossoms will start popping on March 31 in Tokyo


桜開花の地図はとても詳しいと思いませんか? 日本だけです。

I love the obsessive forecasting of cherry blossom season, and its progression from south to north across the archipelago.


This San Francisco sidewalk garden reminds me of Tokyo

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.

Tokyo street gardeners are rule breakers

東京の路地に小さな庭のスペースを作る方は、一般のルールに従わないところが素敵です。このブログの写真を使って、友達のショウさんがBell Street Filmsと一緒に30秒のビデオを作ってくれました。去年、ショウさんはベランダの庭にデザイン人類学校と東京グリーンスペースについてビデオを作りました。

This 30 second clip features my photographs of flowerpot gardens and stories about their makers, who explain to me how they break the law in order to create safer streets. Last year, my friend Sho’s Bell Street Films made a short video about Tokyo Green Space and design anthropology, shot mostly in my balcony garden.

Another sad view of the Shibuya river. Is this Tokyo’s most unloved river?



Seeing Tokyo through netting and scaffolding


Living in a construction site has been strange. There’s less light, there are no plants outside, and there’s a netting between us and the city.

Tanuki goes for a swim at the Netherlands embassy in Tokyo

オランダ大使館で、タヌキさんが泳いでいます。「Still City」というワークショップのオープニング・パーティーです。

Tanuki san made a splash during the Still City workshop, a Dutch-Japan exploration of post-growth urban life.


More personal take on no-space gardening in Tokyo

Plant Journal Issue #3 includes my article about flower pot gardens in Tokyo. The article also includes interviews with two Nakano gardeners who use sidewalk and wall space to create extravagant seasonal gardens shared with neighbors. You can find stores that sell the magazine worldwide, or order it online.