May 31, 2009

Moshi Moshi

This is a payphone located inside the Tokorozawa Station. I think this is a MC-3PNC type that takes telephone cards, a 100 yen coin, and a 10yen coin.

We don't see payphones as much anymore. Probably because everyone has cellphones these days. I have to admit I haven't used one in years either. But I'm sure that there are still times that payphones come in handy.

'Moshi Moshi' means 'Hello' in Japanese. But it's only used for when we pick up the phone. Other than that it's mostly 'Konnichiwa.' So when I heard Snoop Dogg say 'Moshi moshi Japan!' on an MTV interview once, I had to laugh. Too cute.

May 30, 2009

The Body Shop

There was this little girl playing hide and seek...not from me, obviously, but someone at The Body Shop. So I ended up taking a picture of the whole store.

I was in love with their Vanilla series but no so much with the Fruity series. This is our only Body Shop in Tokorozawa. It's in the Parco at Shin Tokorozawa Station.

I discovered a great store this past holiday season: The Body Shop. Oh my God, that is the perfect last minute thoughtless gift warehouse. -Todd Barry

You really can't deny this. Funny guy.

May 29, 2009

Raindrops Keep Fallin On My Head

You know what it means when Hydrangeas start to bloom...the rainy season is here! It's been raining off and on this whole week. Need to get my rubber boots out.

Hydrangeas are called 'Ajisai' in Japanese. The kanji (紫陽花) roughly translates to 'purple sun flower' which sort of fits because it is shaped like a sun and some of them are purple. But I see pink, blue, and white hydrangeas too.

A pretty flower to brighten up the rainy day blues.

May 28, 2009

Streak Through Sunset

During the week, by the time I get home it's usually pitch black. But yesterday I actually caught the last part of the sunset. Wish I had a better was a lot more colorful than this. But you get the idea.

I should make it home earlier more often...the sunsets in Tokorozawa can be quite beautiful.

May 27, 2009

Koku Koen Station

On the platform of Koku Koen station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line. They have flowers on the platform fence. They also have small benches to sit on while you wait for the train, like this girl is doing.

Seibu Railway used this spot for their promotional poster this month (see below). I think they're trying to make the station more friendly by putting plants in and around the Seibu Line stations. Great idea.

May 26, 2009

Flower Shop: Hanayoshi 2

This is another photo I took at the flower shop. I don't know what type of Dahlia this is but I love all the different colors. I'm going to be back here again soon, can't keep away from all these lovely plants.

The flower shop Hanayoshi is open from 10am to 8pm. It's right next to Starbucks, you can't miss it.

May 25, 2009

Flower Shop: Hanayoshi

These are some herbs I found at a flower shop in Shin Tokorozawa. It's one of the shops in Parco, a popular mall here. I'd been looking for some basil so I bought it here.

I almost ended up buying flowers, too. But I restrained myself since I already had my hands pretty full with other stuff.

Flower shops are so much fun. Not only do they have the regular cut and/or planted flowers, but they also have plants and vegetables that are in season. I could browse around for hours.

May 24, 2009

Sainokuni Road

These pretty flowers and trees are planted along the road behind Seibu department store.

It said on the sign that these plants are being planted and taken care of by volunteers. I'm sure it takes a lot of time and energy to spruce up the place. But I'm very thankful for the nice people who contribute to the city this way.

May 23, 2009


Uchidaya Toriniku Ten (translated: Uchidaya Poultry Store) is located right behind the Seibu department store. It's a small shop but seems to be popular among locals. I hear they have good tasty chicken. People stop in after shopping, on their way back to the parking lot.

I really like this building, which is what first caught my eye. There are roads in the front and both sides of the building. And if you look really closely, they actually have a roof garden going.

This is a very interesting retro building.

May 22, 2009

Down Time

Taking a leisurely walk through Koku Koen. One of the best ways to relax around here.

Have a good weekend everyone :)

May 20, 2009

Plant Doe

Found these bright and cheery pink flowers on the side of the road.

I have no idea what kind of flower it is but the flower kind of looks like a hibiscus. But then the leaves look like a pumpkin plant.

I need to get myself a plant encyclopedia.

May 19, 2009

Stone Path

I walk by this house everyday and I love this little stone path that leads to their back yard. It's like the entrance to the secret garden.

May 18, 2009

Reflecting On Clouds

A great day to watch the clouds roll across the sky. I miss those lazy afternoons just laying around the field and trying to figure out what the clouds above are shaping into. I usually saw clouds that looked like animals.

But I guess I'll have to be satisfied with seeing the clouds on the windows of the Seibu Group building on my way to the station.

What do the clouds in your city look like?

May 17, 2009

Tree Trim

Someone has been taking really good care of this tree. I can image how time consuming it would be to have to grab a pair of huge scissors and even out all the branches that are starting to stick out.

Isn't that top branch is pretty high?

May 16, 2009

Still Growing

My favorite tree is doing well. So well, in fact, that I think it's actually gotten taller. Definately leafier.

Is that even a word? Leafier?

May 15, 2009


A one way sign telling me to go a-that-a-way.

Well...okay, if you insist.

May 14, 2009

Sushi Hatsu

I hear sushi is really popular just about anywhere now.

Well, this place is a popular sushi restaurant here in Tokorozawa. Sushi Hatsu is open from 11am to 14pm, and again from 4pm to 11pm. They have other dishes besides sashimi and sushi, like fried fish, if you can't eat it raw. They also have a very nice selection of Japanese sake.

May 13, 2009

Ready For Rain

It seems like it's going to rain today. The clouds are moving in. I'm hope it doesn't rain until I'm home.

But I'm sure the plants are happy.

May 12, 2009

Before the Train

The railroad crossing right next to Tokorozawa Station.

Depending on the time, the wait can be pretty long. There are four tracks going to and from Shinjuku and Ikebukuro. But I don't really mind waiting. I actually like the flashing red lights and the sound of the bell.

May 11, 2009

Roses Are Red

I absolutely adore these archways!

Aren't the roses great? The lady who lives there is always watering her plants when I walk by on my way to the station in the morning.

May 9, 2009

So Many Categories

Throwing out garbage used to be so simple.

Here in Tokorozawa, garbage is divided into roughly 7 categories. Combustible garbage, Plastic garbage, plastic bottles, Noncombustible/Hazardous garbage, Bottles/Cans/Spray cans, and Newspapers/Magazines/Cardboard boxes. Then there's the Oversize garbage, like couches and refrigerators, that need to be picked up for a certain fee. All these have to be thrown out on a specified day.

It's all written out here.

It just keeps on getting harder to throw things out. Which is probably why we need to reduce what we throw away. What was the motto...reduce, reuse, recycle?

May 8, 2009

Small Plants Are In

Everyone loves plants by the windowsill. Including me.

The other day I was looking for Pachira, a common yet popular indoor plant to have in Japan. I'm thinking about buying this small one I found at one of the shops in the station building, Beaux-Arts. They have a wide variety of small indoor plants and I can't quite make up my mind. Hmm...

May 7, 2009

City Tree

Our City Tree, the Ginkgo.

Famous for it's fan shaped leaves that turn yellow in the fall. But I really like the designs on the tree trunk, too.

May 5, 2009

Sprouting Up

Very bright green plants next to a bike rack.

Is it just me, or do they look like they're reaching for the sky?

May 4, 2009

The Cutting Edge

Remember that crazy leaning cherry tree I posted a while ago here?

Well, they've gone and cut it down! I really couldn't believe it when I walked past the street. I sort of looked around expecting to see it down the block or something...but it was definitely gone. And the stump looks like this...

I was pretty bummed about it. I was such a great cherry tree.

But I did find a new branch already sprouting out from the side of the stump. I'll have to keep tabs on this.

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