30 July 2013

Edo wind chime

Beautiful wind chime (風鈴 fūrin) with a cat's face in Yanaka. These glass wind chimes are characteristic of old Edo, and are actually called 江戸風鈴 (Edo fūrin).

27 July 2013

SA wine in a shitamachi supermarket

Funny how a small thing can turn you into a flag-waving patriot. When I spotted this South African wine in a shitamachi supermarket, I felt like doing a gumboot dance in the aisle. SA produces excellent wine, but you seldom see it in supermarkets in Japan. This is plonk, but hey, it's plonk from home. Home-home.

I had a senior moment when confronted by the label on the shelf. It took me at least a minute to figure out what サンオブ·アフリカ means. "Sanobu? There's a winery called Sanobu in Africa?" (The absence of an interpunct between "san" and "obu" confused me even more.)

A note to non-Japanese readers: "Sun of Africa" would be written サン·オブ·アフリカ or "San obu Afurika" in katakana, the Japanese script used for foreign words.

26 July 2013

Lina! Look!

Yes, I know you've seen it before, but when I walked past a Tokyo Marathon 2014 poster in a Metro Station this morning, I was so excited on your behalf that I stopped to take my own photo.

Lina is a Malaysian marathon runner. We both learned about this poster thanks to a tweet by Kaori.

PS: Why is Tokyo Tower bigger than Tokyo Sky Tree in this poster?!

24 July 2013

Edo wind chime and Chinese lantern plant

Two symbols of Edo: an Edo wind chime (江戸風鈴 Edo fūrin) and a Chinese lantern plant (ホオズキ hōzuki). The latter was used as a herbal diuretic, antiseptic and sedative. I took the photos at Tennō-ji (天王寺) in Yanaka.

20 July 2013

Cat stuff in Yanaka

Yanaka, an old neighbourhood in eastern Tokyo, is famous for its cats.

The writing on the T-shirt: "Do you have any last words?"

19 July 2013

Sky Tree (again) (grin)

This one's for Lina and Sarah. I took the first photo after a thunderstorm, when the sky was gray, but Sky Tree's antenna was a sliver of silver. It's not the first time I've noticed this: the second photo was taken in April, when late-afternoon sunlight hit the antenna at just the right angle.

17 July 2013

Late hydrangea

I spotted this unusual hydrangea in Yanaka last week. Unusual for two reasons: its colour combination, and the fact that it's still in full bloom in mid-July.

16 July 2013

I vote for the cutest smile

Japan will have a House of Councillors election in July. I can't vote, but if I could, I just might have moved to District 8 (Suginami). One of their candidates is Yamamoto Tarō (山本太郎), an actor turned politician. 

He's an independent, not affiliated with the LDP or the DPJ or the Doolally Euphoria Consummation PartyI know very little about him and his beliefs (apart from anti-nuclear, anti-TPP), but how could you not vote for that smile? If he could promise this obachan-to-be that her pension would be safe, that's it, he's my man.

My decision is, of course, entirely rational.

Who chooses these photos, and what are the criteria? White gloves and a phallic microphone that hides your face? Reams of copy? That older guy top left using the so-called feminine touch?

14 July 2013


I finally had a chance to take photos of Shirahigebashi (白鬚橋), and to update my post about the bridges across the Sumida River. Since I schlepped all the way to Mukōjima just to get photos of the bridge, on a day when the temperature was 35 but felt 40 (according to a weather app on my phone), I'm going to post more photos on this blog. Value for money effort. Ladies and gentlemen, Shirahigebashi, the bridge of the white moustache.

The bridge is currently undergoing renovations.


There was a boat (water scooter?) race on the river this morning.

My town!

13 July 2013

Green curtain time!

This one's for Cocomino. I spotted it in Yanaka.

8 July 2013

Rainbow over Sky Tree

Yesterday afternoon we had a thunderstorm in Tokyo; afterwards a rainbow arched over Sky Tree. 

4 July 2013

Have car, will park 2

This is even better than my first post about this topic. You'll notice that I've become appropriately circumspect, just like NHK News and Google Maps: I've erased the cars' numbers plates to protect privacy. It's a Japanese thing, quoth she with a smile. Photos taken with my phone while walking through Taitō.

1 July 2013

Stalking Sky Tree from Kachidokibashi

I was standing on Kachidokibashi when I took this photo.

Walking along the Sumida River towards Tsukishima: look who's here!

That white X-shaped bridge is Chūō-Oohashi.

My favourite game is playing peek-a-boo with Sky Tree. (^0^)