October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Do you celebrate halloween?

In Japan, we don't have any halloween traditions. So we don't celebrate it, but we do still enjoy Halloween. Like this chocolate snack, Koala's March. Usually they're in a different wrapping, but this is the Halloween version that's being sold in October.

Cute, huh?
Happy Halloween!

October 30, 2009

Stretching Up

Sometime I wish I were taller so I could haul myself up onto a branch and hang upside down. Or so I could get comfy on a chair and read a good book. Or so I could try climbing to the very top and look out across the park.

Maybe I should just go get a step ladder...

October 29, 2009

Drop By the Bakery

The bakery Anten-Do is located on the East side of Tokorozawa Station. They always have a variety bread, doughnuts, and other pasteries for you to enjoy.

I always end up wandering into the store and buying more than I can eat. But it's worth it. Especially for the ones that just came out of the oven, mmmmh!

October 28, 2009

Paper Plane

This is a monument that stands in front of the Koku Koen Station. It was set up there in 1987 when the station first opened.

Koku Koen Station was named one of the 'Top 100 Stations in the Kanto Area' in 1998 by the current Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism because of its unique station design. The station building uses the image of the Henri Farman biplane, as it is the site of the first airfield in Japan.

All around Tokorozawa, and especially around Koku Koen Station, you can see a lot of monuments and designs that have to do with aviation. We're very proud that Tokorozawa is considered the birthplace of aviation in Japan.

October 27, 2009

October 26, 2009

Cosmos Pink

This is a Cosmos flower. It's also sometimes called Akizakura ('秋桜' meaning 'Autumn' and 'Cherry Blossom') in Japan. They are very popular fall flowers that a lot of people grow in their gardens.

Cosmos flowers come in a variety of pink shades. But I like the dark pink Cosmos the best.

October 24, 2009

Still Green

These green leaves will change color anytime now.

This is a Japanese Maple tree which we call 'Momiji' in Japanese. There are a few of these trees in the Japanese section of the park Koku Koen. They turn dark red, kind of a maroon-ish color, in the fall.

October 23, 2009

Fly Away

This is a monument located at the north gate of the Koku Koen, called 'Mirai Hikou,' which means something like 'Navigating the Future.' It was made by the sculptor Kouji Ishiguro.

October 22, 2009

I Heart Autumn

Found a leaf on the ground with a heart in the middle.

Mother nature must of been in the mood for art. She's such a romantic!

October 21, 2009

Rainbow of Colors

I thought the trees in Tokorozawa mostly all turn brown in the fall and always missed the burst of color we'd see up in northern Japan.

Well, I was sitting on a bench by Muse, a music hall, the other day and happened to look up. And there they were. The colorful leaves of fall that I'd been craving!

No idea what kind of tree it is but all the red, orange, green, and yellow colors but a big smile on my face.

October 20, 2009

Always Coca-Cola

The sun will always shine,
The birds will always sing,
As long as there's Coke
There's always the real thing!

I used to sing this jingle all the time. And I can't even drink Coke!

Anyways, I found this retro Coca-Cola vending machine the other day. At first I couldn't figure out what it was...but it's definately a vending machine. Except the coke isn't in a pet bottle, it's in a glass bin. You have to drink it there and put the bin back in the cart, just like the good old days!

October 19, 2009

Favorite Fall Fruit

These are Japanese persimmon. It's called 'Kaki(柿)' here. This is one of my favorite fruits.

Some people like them after they've turned soft, others like them crunchy, like me. But either way it's a really great fruit we see often in the fall.

October 17, 2009

Ready to Slow Down

Here's a little girl who's had a bit too much excitement. She's ready for her nap.

So am I.
Happy Weekend!

October 16, 2009

Small Tuba Player

I know this photo is out of focus...but she was just SO ADORABLE, I had to post it.

This little girl was trying so hard to carry her large tuba, that was starting to slide down, while blowing her heart out. All the people watching were cheering her on with a big 'Ganbare!' shout. It was really sweet.

October 15, 2009

Step in Time

Here are the women of Ayame again. They are carrying something called a Dashi.

This is a ornamented float that people carry around during the festivals. Each district has their own traditional dashi, which members carry together and display with great pride.

Usually it's the men who carry the dashi on their shoulders, as it is quite heavy. But the group Ayame, coming from the kanji 'colorful' and 'women' (彩女), is an all-women association. So this is a photo of the energetic women carrying the dashi. They all shout in time to the rhythm of the drums while moving forward slowly in synchronized steps. With the audience participating by shouting out or whistling, it's really very festive.

October 14, 2009

October 13, 2009

Tokorozawa Festival

The annual Tokorozawa Festival was this week! So I'll be posting photos of the festival for a few days.

This was part of the opening ceremony in front of Daiei, a Taiko (Japanese drum) performance by the group Ayame. All the Taiko players synchronized their movements, so you could enjoy not only listening to the powerful sound, but also by watching them perform.

October 11, 2009

Groovy Dog

I found this really cool dog sitting inside 'Taro no Ie,' a specialty store for dogs.

I don't have a dog, but if I did, I'd definitely come here. They had different types of dog food and all these cute doggie outfits! Made me wish I had a fluffy miniature poodle so I actually have a reason to come here.

October 9, 2009

Mr. Flexible

I really have no idea what he's doing, but he sure is flexible.

This is a billboard for Komatsuya, a local clothing shop. I walk by this place a lot but I never noticed it until the other day. I wonder what the shop was working to sell with this billboard. Maybe they were trying to show off his jeans...any ideas?

October 8, 2009

Flea Market

There was a small flea market outside of the shop 'Naro' on Sunday.

Some people were selling clothes, others magazines. They pretty much had a little bit of everthing.

October 7, 2009

Dango So Delish

Tokorozawa is famous for a couple of things. One of them is Yaki Dango (grilled dango).

Tokorozawa's Yaki Dango is made from rice powder. The reason for this is because the land included volcano ash, which meant the rice in Tokorozawa couldn't be cultivated in paddy fields, so they grew rice on dry soil. Apparently this means that the rice becomes hard and the people couldn't stand to eat it. Once the people of Tokorozawa realized that making dango from rice powder was much more appetizing than dry hard rice, the popularity grew.

So many people started making Yaki Dango that, during the Meiji Era, a Yaki Dango Society was born. And to this day most of the Dango shops around Tokozawa abide by the rules that were set up to preserve the original Tokorozawa Yaki Dango tradition.

Shogetsudo is one of those stores located along Prope Dori. You can get one stick for 100yen. But if you want one you'll have to hurry because they only make a certain amount and once it's gone, that's it for the day!

October 6, 2009

Good Work

Under the POST sign on someone's mailbox are the words "Gokuro sama," which pretty much translates to "thank you for the good work"!

Isn't that nice?

October 5, 2009

Plates 'n Cups

I found some great cups for tea. Or just about anything. But I think I'll use them for green tea.

October 3, 2009


We've got puddles all around Tokorozawa today. Need to watch where you're walking!

October 2, 2009

Standing In Line

People standing in a line, waiting for the train to come. I've heard people only do this here in Japan. Is this true or false?

October 1, 2009


It was one of those gloomy rainy mornings...but I found a small bush already starting to change color along the way to the station. The rosy color was a lovely contrast to the miserable weather.

This month's theme is 'Contrast.' I kept on forgetting about the theme days but finally remembered about this month's, thanks to Hilda from My Manila!
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants
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