July 29, 2009

Let's Go Lions!

So the Seibu Lions weren't doing very well at the start of the season. May and June were the worst, they lost so many games. I was pretty sure they wouldn't be able to pick up the pace this season.

But now it's July...and the Lions are coming back with a roar in the second half of the season!

I'm pretty excited! And so is Tokorozawa. We've got posters and banners around the station rooting them on!

July 28, 2009

Kitanodai Park

Kitanodai Park is one of the parks near Tokorozawa Station. Usually kids are playing around on the facilities and grandpa's and grandma's sitting around on the park bench.

But I guess it was too hot to be outside today.

July 27, 2009

Grow Them Flowers

These flowers are called Elatior Begonia. They come in many colors, all really sweet pastel colors. I couldn't resist them and got two at the flower shop right outside the East Exit of Tokorozawa Station. Aren't they cute?

July 26, 2009

West Exit

This is the West Exit of Tokorozawa Station. It leads on to Prope Dori, a shopping arcade.

You can see the Seibu Building rising above the staion. It's located on the otherside of the station. I really like how it reflects everything on a nice sunny day.

July 25, 2009

Sunny Sunny Day

Well, okay...so I THOUGHT more rain was on the way. But I guess not.

The sky was beautiful today. Great day. Great summer day. Love the weather. I'm hoping more of this weather continues.

July 23, 2009

A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall

We've been having rain again. Pretty intense rain. But for some lucky reason it's never raining when I'm heading toward the station.

Like today, it stopped raining about 10 minutes before I needed to leave. Someone must be very pleased with me.

More rain is still heading our way though.

July 21, 2009

Connect the Dots

It's really easy to spot this flower because it's such a bright color!

This flower is called 'Oni Yuri' in Japanese. I think it's a type of Tiger Lily. The dots remind me of freckles.

July 20, 2009

Toko-toko Market

I found this great shop the other day. They sell vegetables and other products that are made in Tokorozawa. I bought some fresh edamame and kabocha (pumpkin).

One thing I like about this place is that they sell fresh vegetables that are in season. If you go to a supermarket now, you can find just about any vegetable and fruit, regardless of the season. I mean, it's great when you want to make something...but it makes you forget the natural cycle. I think this is a great way to appreciate seasonal food.

The store is open from 9am to 6pm. Mondays are closed.

They would also appreciate it if you would bring your own shopping bags.

July 19, 2009

More Andon Lights

A few more photos of the Andon Lights from yesterday.

Some of them had really pretty pictures painted on it. They also had plastic bags covering it because it was raining a bit during the evening. But it didn't seem to affect the lights at all.

July 18, 2009

Andon Lights

I went by the Tokorozawa Andon Light Festival at the Ginza Chuo Plaza today. They were lit up all along the sidewalk and around the plaza.

Andon lights were originally used during the Edo era. They are paper lanterns made from washi, a type of Japanese paper, used as a signal device or a commercial sign, like there were tonight.

If you look closely you can see the name of shops around Tokorozawa on the side of the paper cover. All of them also had cute pictures painted on it.

July 17, 2009

Farman Street

The three-way intersection on Farman Street.

Farman Street is named after the 1910 Henri Farman III biplane, the first plane to test the Tokorozawa Airfield in 1911. It was one of the first airplanes produced by Farman Aviation Works, which was founded by Henry and Maurice Farman, two french brothers.

July 16, 2009

Retro Posters

Another couple of shots of the old movie posters along the Sakazuki Yokocho.

The one on the top is 'Yogiri yo Konya mo Arigato,' which I've never seen before. But I do know the guy on the poster, Yujiro Ishihawa. He was a very famous actor and his brother is actually the Governor of Tokyo Metropolis. But that's all I know.

The one bellow is 'Nihon Ichi no Otoko no Naka no Otoko.' Don't know any one here.

But I like these retro posters. Maybe I'll go borrow one of these movies sometime.

July 15, 2009

Sakazuki Yokocho

This is the entrance to the Sakazuki Yokocho. 'Sakazuki' usually refers to a cup used for sake or wine and 'Yokocho' is a road that is perpendicular to the main road.

Sakazuki Yokocho has a very 'Showa' feel to it. The Showa Period in Japan was from 1926 to 1989, so things during that time are now considered retro. Or what my parents call 'the-good-ole-days!'

You can see the poster of an old movie up on the wall near the entrance. It's a popular movie called 'Otoko wa Tsurai yo' which roughly translates to 'Men have it hard.' The main character, Tora-san, is loved by a lot of people here in Japan.

There are about 20 shops along the Sakazuki Yokocho. Most are izakayas or bars at night. But during the afternoon the shops also serve lunch.

July 14, 2009

The White Fox

Another shot of the Sakainari Shrine.

There are many Inari Shrines in Japan and most of them are protected by the white fox. They are messengers for the Inari God.

This white fox has a couple of pups with her. Some of the statues at other shrines are of very fierce looking foxes, but this one seems to actually be smiling. I wonder why.

She is standing on the left side of the walkway that leads to the shrine.

July 13, 2009

Sound the Bells

Hi, it's been awhile since my last post. I was in Sapporo for a wedding and didn't have time to do anything here. Very sorry. But I'm back!

These are the bells at the Sakainari Shrine. This shrine is said to have been built sometime between 1789 to 1800. The location was at first between Hiyoshicho and Miyukicho, but then the boundries changes, and another area, Higashicho, was added. So now every year the festival at Sakainari Shrine is hosted by tall 3 of the areas.

July 9, 2009

Tokorozawa Skyrise Tower

Another skyscraper apartment building, Tokorozawa Skyrise Tower, completed in March 1999. This building is 31 stories high with 292 apartment units. There are also 17 retail/office units.

On the first floor is Maruetsu, a popular supermarket. They are open from 10am to 1am, which must be very convenient for people who come home late.

July 8, 2009

After The Game

A little kid waiting for the light to turn green after a little league baseball game. He looks all tuckered out...I wonder if they won?

July 7, 2009


Today is Tanabata, or the Star Festival, here in Japan. It's not a national holiday, but we have Tanabata Festivals and other traditions to celebrate it.

The story goes...there was a princess called Orihime who was constantly weaving and a cow herder prince named Hikoboshi who was also always working. So Orihime's father, the King, introduced them, hoping they would hit it off. They did. In fact they had so much fun being together that they didn't work at all. This made the King very angry and they were separated on opposite sides of the Amanogawa, in English the Milky Way. But they were so sad the King felt sorry for them and allowed them to meet once a year on July 7th.

One of the most famous traditions is to write your wish or goals on a strip of paper called Tanzaku, and hang it on bamboo branches. It's said that the prince and princess are so happy to see each other on this day, they make the wish of everyone come true.

This one is written by a little boy who wrote 'I want to play in the pool.' It's simple wishes like this that make me smile.

July 6, 2009

Gracis Tower Atrium

Okay, I think I'm starting to get obsessed with Gracis Tower Tokorozawa. But I work in real estate so I can't help but be curious about buildings.

I noticed that this building has a 27 story atrium, which means that all the apartment units have several windows. Being able to open windows on both sides of the apartment means that it's cooler in the summer because the air can flow through. Although I'm sure most everyone just closes everything up and switches on their air conditioners.

Under the atrium is a couple of benches and tables. Great place to just sit and rest.

July 5, 2009

Gracis Tower Shops

To answer Hilda's question, under the clear roof of Gracis Tower Tokorozawa are several shops, restaurants, and medical facilities. It must be nice having them within the apartment building, especially right now during the rainy season.

There is a sign with a list of the tenants in the photo above.

And the photo below is what it looks like at night all lit up. I think I like how it looks better at night.

July 4, 2009

Gracis Tower Tokorozawa

Gracis Tower Tokorozawa is one of the skyscraper apartment buildings we have near the station.

It is 27 stories high and has 182 units.

July 2, 2009

It's Just Those Rainy Dayz

Still raining here in Tokorozawa. But it's mostly drizzle.

The rainy season should be over in the next week or so. I thought I should enjoy it while it lasts.

So since I had to go to the post office, I put on shorts and flipflops and walked through a field of grass on my way there. There's nothing like getting your feet wet with raindrops.

July 1, 2009


Another new month, another new theme. This month is 'Empty.'

I was actually going to try getting a photo of an empty parking lot. But then yesterday, I got back from work and suddenly realized that the station was empty. Well, at least where I was. It was actually a bit creepy because it wasn't as if it was really late at night. So where did everyone go?

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