March 31, 2009

Guardian Angels

We've been seeing a lot of Guardian Angels around Tokorozawa Station lately. They're a non-profit organization that patrols the streets to insure safety. I don't know if I should be worried that there seems to be a need for them to be here, or reassured that they are here. Then again, we all need a guardian angel at one time or another.

One thing I will say is that it's a very brave person that can attempt to wear a red beret. Not everyone can pull off that look.

March 30, 2009


Dropped by the Bagus in Tokorozawa the other night. You can play pool and darts here. Darts are more popular than pool these days, but personally I like pool better.

They also have two foosball tables near the entrance. I used to come here alot to play pool in college but I'd never really noticed the foosball tables until last night. If you're ever there, you HAVE to play it! It's really a lot of fun!

You get 4 balls for 100yen.

March 27, 2009

East Exit Arcade

Heading home after a long day at work like everyone else.

March 26, 2009


Stopping in front of a stop sign painted on the road.

March 25, 2009

Bicycle Parking

7 minutes seems really short...but when you've had a full day of work walking around in 4 inch heels, a 7 minute walk can last a lifetime. This is why I ride my bike to the station sometimes.

This is where I park my bike. You can pay a monthly fee or buy a 200yen ticket for a day. Some of the parking space for bicycles around the station are outside, but this one is nice because it has a roof.

March 24, 2009

Pink Blossoms

There are still alot of plum blossoms in bloom around Tokorozawa. The plum blossoms are alot more pink than the cherry blossoms, which I like.

I think more people have plum trees in their yards here because the 'ume' (plum) is considered to be lucky.

March 23, 2009

Seibu Buildings

This is the pathway that goes right between the Seibu Railroad Building (left) and the Seibu Daini Building (right). But everyone uses this path, even if we don't work there, to get to the station.

I'm always surprised to see so many people go into the buildings around 7:30am. How long do they work???

March 22, 2009


This is the Tokorozawa Station East Exit Mailbox.

The mail is retrieved at 11:30/15:50/19:00 on weekdays, 11:25/15:45/19:00 on Saturdays, and 11:15/14:25 on holidays.

We actually have alot of mailboxes around Tokorozawa Station. Since 2003, most of the convenient stores have mailboxes, too. So it really IS convenient.

March 20, 2009

It's Spring!

Knew it was just around the corner...but now it's official! It's SPRING here in Tokorozawa! Yay! I've been waiting for THE longest time.

It's also Shunbun No Hi, the Vernal Equinox, today. It's a national holiday and is also recognized as the start of spring.

Spring in Japan, especially the mainland, brings a lot of misery to people who have hayfever like me and half of the population. Most people are allergic to the pollen from japanese cedars so you'll see people walking around wearing masks everywhere. The yellow sand that blows over from China doesn't help either.

But all that is worth it because it's warm out, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, everything is starting to bloom! (I'm sure some people would disagree...)

Anyways, these adorable daffodils were growing in a corner of a parking lot. I've noticed we have a lot of plants growing in the most random places here in Tokorozawa. I wonder if it just randomly grew there. However it got there, it brightens up the place so I think it's great.

March 19, 2009

Sweet Magnolia

I've started to see alot of magnolia flowers blooming on my way to work.

I think this one is the Yulan Magnolia. The flowers sort of stand upright on the branches. But if you look really closely, because the flower starts blooming on the south side where the sun hits them most, all the flowers tend to lean north.

From far away it sort of looks like a bunch of birds are perched on the branches.

March 18, 2009

Cherry Blossoms Bloom

The cherry blossoms have started blooming...tis the season for hanami!

Hanami is a must in the spring for Japanese people. It translates to 'watching flowers,' but mostly it's just enjoying eating and drinking with friends under/around the cherry trees.

It's such a big deal here because the cherry blossoms are in full bloom for about only a week, and everyone has to alter their schedules for hanami during that time. People keep on checking the weather forecasts and pray the blossoms are still intact. We even have forecast for the cherry blossoms so people will know when to start heading out to the park.

Anyways, it's still a little early in the season here. But this cherry tree in front of Kodera Ningyo, a shop that makes traditional japanese dolls, is getting a head start.

March 17, 2009

Perfect Weather

Warm clear skies ahead.
Highs in the upper 60's.

We're supposed to have an amazing week and I couldn't be happier!

PS: Thanks Gary ;)

March 16, 2009

The Last One

A camellia just hanging on by the neck. Pretty in pink.

March 15, 2009

Vending Machine

A typical vending machine on the side of the road.

I chose this one because I think Suntory's BOSS commercials are pretty funny. Tommy Lee Jones plays an alien on earth doing research. Who knew he did commercials?

March 12, 2009

Yamaguchi Resevoir Dam

This is a monument commemorating the completion of the earthquake safety construction on the dam in fall of 2002.

The writing is done by Shintaro Ishihara, the governor of Tokyo. I think it says something like 'the taste of winds every 5 days & rain every 10 days,' meaning stable weather brings peace to the world.

Does it?

March 11, 2009

Lake Sayama

Lake Sayama, also know as the Yamaguchi Reservoir, is a man-made lake used as a water supply for Tokyo. Lake Tama is also close by.

As it's surrounded by trees, there's alot of wildlife in this area. There's also a cycling trail all along the lake, which I've never used, but am very interested in. It should be really nice in the spring, seeing the cherry blossoms along the path and feeling the cool breeze.

All I need is a bike.

March 10, 2009

Evening at Koku Koen

See the view DOES look like central park! Except that all the buildings are tower condos that have been built in the last couple of years.

For a while there, because there were so many people moving into the condos, the elementary schools in the Tokorozawa area were really full. They were even considering making another district and building a new school. But with the declining birthrate and everything, I guess they decided against it.

Anyways, I just like the view.

March 8, 2009


I'm starting to love Kotesashi. Went to an indian restaurant called SHAMA. It's lit up like christmas all year long. Their food is delicious. Service very friendly.

But what I love most about this place is the TV they have on the counter that plays a whole bunch of classic indian movies! You know, the ones where everyone starts to sing and dance in the middle of nowhere. I could go back just for those movies.

Hanging Around the Station

It's getting warmer...can't wait to lounge around here again.

Tokorozawa Station opened in 1895, when the railroad extended on to Hon Kawagoe, which is now the Seibu Shinjuku Line. The last renovation a couple of years ago placed these tables and chairs here.

Great place to just hang out and watch people go by.

March 7, 2009

Air's Cafe

There's this retro cafe, sometimes bar, in Kotesashi called Air's Cafe. It's a great place to just hang out and have a couple of drinks. There's this huge TV on the wall that show everything from rock concerts to national geographic scenery. Oh, and they have these amazing sofas that you can just sink into!

It's only a few minutes walk from Kotesashi Staion. It's a small station, but alot of students access to Waseda University's Tokorozawa Campus, where they have the School of Human Sciences, from here. Which is probably why they have a bunch of small cafe's and bar's around the station. Definately should check it out.

March 3, 2009

Teeny Tiny Shrine

When heading out for a walk, we found this really small shrine beside a parking lot of an apartment. I've gone by this place a thousand times, but didn't know this was here until recently.

It even has a Torii, a gate that separates the normal and sacred worlds. I think this is a Myojin style Torii.

Anyways, these small shrines hidden away in small corners are just as interesting as the bigger ones...and I've come to realize, much easier to take a picture of.
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