Thursday, December 30, 2010

Oh my God!

Ginza, a place I love but don't often visit because of the crowds. However, if you get there on weekends before 11, it ain't so bad.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Art of Education

The Student

The Teacher

The Motivation?

Tokyo Institute of Technology, Ookayama, Tokyo.

Come to think of it, spending forever studying might not be such a bad thing, if the pay were better.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Autumn at Tamagawadai Park

Despite earlier predictions, the autumn leaves in my part of Tokyo have been quite colorful.

After very close to 11 years here, I am beginning to get used to the late, warm autumns. I used to think it strange that autumn leaves were peaking in late November/early December as they have long ago peaked and fallen back home.

Now I am tempted to agree with people who tell me that the weather is getting cold---at 60 degrees!!!!!

I have been here too darned long.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Under the Ginkgo trees

There is a street just above Denenchofu station where many celebrities and other well-off folks live that is somewhat famous for it spring and autumn ginkgo trees. Famous enough that on autumn weekends the street is somewhat crowded with people taking photos and children playing in the leaves. It isn't the peak yet, but plenty of people were out yesterday. In another week or so, just as the color peaks, the street cleaners will be busy sweeping up the leaves as quickly as they fall. Kids haven't much time to play in them.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tamagawa Autumn

Every year in early November, I walk the 20 minutes or so to the Tama River specifically looking for this type of scene. It usually happens around 4-4:30 on a certain part of the river just as the sun's angle gets low enough to backlight only parts of the river and vegetation. It's an indication for me that fall has really begun in Tokyo.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


Can't get enough of this street. It's hidden away about 30-40 yards from Jiyugaoka station. It's in plain view if you look, but I never paid it much attention until recently. The light this time of year is especially good from about 10 Am to 1130.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Enjoying a day off

November 3, Culture Day in Japan. I got to hang around back alleys again in the morning waiting for something interesting. I thought this young lady was kinda interesting, but that's just me.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


No need for a dictionary to get the definition of mezurashii:*

Antique Japanese autos are a rare sight, let alone a Chevy pickup.

*Rare; unusual; novel

Friday, October 29, 2010

Umbrella check

Perhaps preparing for the belated typhoon season of 2010. There has only been one to hit Tokyo this year, and had you blinked you would have missed it. The second is predicted this weekend.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Window Shopping

I am spending too much time in Jiyugaoka, as shop owners seem to know more about me than I do myself.

Yesterday a young fellow stepped out of one of the shops and asked me all the standard questions---"Where are you from" and so on---and then asked "Do you take photos around here often? "Yes, a few times a week," I answered. "Every Saturday and Sunday," he replied. Then he told me that he thought it was a good place to take photos, which I suppose might explain why I go there so often. It's a bit different than most areas of Tokyo.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Only in Japan: Four seasons

Said to be only country with four distinct seasons---a fact that tends to surprise people who come from other countries with four distinct seasons. I wouldn't call the weather "fall-like" yet, according to the standards of my home, but it is certainly very distinct from the scorching summer weather we had this year.

Sunday, October 03, 2010


And no doubt about it.

This friendly lady stepped out of the shop, saw me taking photos and gave me a perfect pose and a nice smile. What else can a man ask for?

Taken on a pleasant Indian summer Sunday in Jiyugaoka. Has to be one of the most interesting little parts of Tokyo.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Out for a quick lunch in Marunouchi

At least I was not prohibited from taking a photo here, something not always permitted in the area. I'd avoid the Mitsubishi building, which for some reason (terrorists? corporate espionage?) is entirely off limits to photography.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Japan's hottest summer ended yesterday with a bang. The 71st day of 30-plus degree temperature in Tokyo this year. Today it was about 20, with rain.
tsukareta...mou ii !

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Okonomiyaki again

I can hardly pass by this okonomiyaki place in Jiyugaoka without stopping to look at all of its old signs and posters. I think that they were put up to enhance the old look of the place. If so, they have done an excellent job.

I don't know how the okomomiyaki is, but just the looks of the building makes me wanna try it.

Aasu mosquito coils

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Just when I thought autumn would never come, Tokyo has cooled just a bit since the typhoon of a few days ago. "Cooled" being relative as I would have never considered 87 degrees as cool until after I had enjoyed 6 or 7 Tokyo summers. Who knows, perhaps I'll join the crowd and consider 55 degrees cold.

But it is a bit cooler and the sun is changing to a more autumnal position. The shadows are getting longer and afternoons seem to be developing a more "golden" cast.

Perfect timing for the weekend festival in Okusawa, Tokyo.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

To work, Ladies!

On Saturday morning, I was hanging around an alley in Jiyugaoka---oh, that sounds a little weird---and at about 10AM a group of 6 or 7 ladies marched up and suddenly stopped a few meters away. At first, I was pleased that I had stopped a group of nice-looking ladies in their tracks with my mere presence. Then the lady with the clipboard began handing out instructions.

Within a few seconds, they had all disappeared inside in what seemed like an attack on the department store. I have no idea what it was all about, but they sure looked very serious. They even forgot about me.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


After the hottest August in Tokyo since 1946, September---with its promise of cool, crisp autumn nights and mild warm days---sans the promise of cool, crisp autumn nights and mild warm days has arrived in Jiyugaoka, Tokyo. Another 34 (95F) plus degree day.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The streets are so clean!

Morning clean up, Jiyugaoka, Tokyo

I often get comments from folks overseas about how clean Tokyo's streets look. I noticed that years ago when I first visited Tokyo, but I hardly pay attention anymore. Granted, there are places in Tokyo and Kanagawa where things ain't so pristine, but I don't often photograph those.

The cleanliness isn't magic, of course, someone has to clean them. Usually shops are responsible for keeping the street in front clean. Every morning before opening, you can see people cleaning up, often hosing the street down or at least sweeping.

This doesn't seem to apply so much during the rare snows in the area as snow and ice can remain piled up for quite a while. I used to make decent pocket change (very decent) when it snowed by shoveling snow in front of some of the small shops near where I lived.

Edited to correct an error. I said I sued to make decent pocket change, but I meant I used to.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A busy Saturday

despite the heat which may even be letting up a bit. Only a fool would believe that though.

It being a Saturday, I took another walk through the more interesting places nearby---leaving out the over-priced and rather dull area of Denenchofu.

The shop where tofu is made and sold seemed very busy today.

Plenty of fresh produce at one of the tempting restaurants. One young fellow who worked there was quite helpful when I was taking photos outside.

Some guys just have an enviable knack for fashion in Jiyugaoka

Some gals have decent taste in bicycles

And some women have really nice...uhhh...taste in the restaurants they pass by. By the way, there's a daily Happy Hour from 1700-2000 at the yakiniku restaurant on the right. I wonder what the horumon listed on the menu is? Something akin to chitlins? I'll pass on the 100 yen Asahi Super Dry though, no matter the temperature or the price.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A little fatherly advice

Good god man! I believe this image has been manipulated! It is no longer a 3 dimensional scene with sound, wind, smells, and living things. Grandpa never did things this way. Then again, this catches the moment and the feeling for me.

Dad was advising the little fellow where he could ride and where he shouldn't.

Ookayama, Tokyo.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Weekday shoppers

Serious business

I believe this young lady considers shopping serious business. Either that or she is wondering why the idiot is sitting around taking photos of people doing nothing more than walking down the street. I have no answer for that.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Okonomiyaki served here

And I assume smoking is permitted inside. Don't know how the okonomiyaki ( a pancake-like food made of flour, cabbage, and other ingredients from seafood to bacon and cheese) is, but just the looks of the place makes me want to eat there regardless of any smoking.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Some gotta work:


Some get to play:

This one too!

All of them!

oshigoto: job,
tabitai: I wanna eat it
daisuki: (I) love (them)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Under the tracks


Since I have been in Japan, I have never been especially enthralled by the the events most associated with Japan. I don't really have nay special interest in Geisha, most popular festivals, Shibuya crossing and other well-traveled spots. I do admit a weakness for Kyoto, but so far, that's about it.

Recently, for a number of reasons including the time, expense, and frustration of getting away from town as well as a bit of a change in personal circumstances, I have become more and more interested in people and how they actually live their lives.

Watch the bikes!

On what may turn out to be one of the last days of sunny weather before rainy season begins, I spent some time under the railroad tracks in Jiyugaoka. For a place under the railroad tracks, it's an awfully nice area.


It's a lovely day.