March 30, 2010

Sing it in the Box

This is for Lenola Daily Photo (amazing photos posted, go see!), who wanted to see what the karaoke box looks like at night!

You can see the guy in the orange jacket standing outside, looking for customers. Karaoke boxes usually have these staff outside. But my friend and I don't need any convincing, we're already heading there anyways!

These days, we're working on Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillet's duet song 'Lucky.' It's a really really great song!

Do you have a favorite duet song?

March 29, 2010

Where Am I?

This is a type of doughnut called 'Sata-Anda-Gi.' It means 'Sugar(Sata),' 'Oil(Anda,' and 'Fry(Agi)' in a regional dialect. There are actually a lot of people from this region living in Tokorozawa.

I made these last week for some of my co-workers. Both my grandma and mom used to make these for us as a snack when I was little and still living there. I can't make it as well as them but they turned out okay. I think I ate at least 1/4 of the batch. They were really good!

So...can you guess where I am right now? This place is famous for their Soki Soba, a type of noodle, and Awamori, an alcoholic beverage.

March 28, 2010

Taking a Flight

This is the tail of the airplane that is displayed right outside Koku Koen Station.

The YS-11 is the first and only aircraft to be produced in Japan. It's first flight was in August 1962. This JA8732 aircraft that is displayed was made in 1969 and used by All Nippon Airways.

The JA8732 aircraft's last flight was on April 13, 1997 from Oshima to Tokyo. You can read more about the aircraft here.

I though it appropriate to post a airplane since I will be taking a different ANA flight today for a family reunion. But I will try to post and visit everyone while I'm away. Hope you are all enjoying your weekend!

March 26, 2010

Sun Bathing

On a sunny day like this, many houses have their laundry and futon out on the veranda to take in the sun's rays.

I usually use the drying machine for my laundry but sometimes hang my futon out on the clothes-line, especially in the summer. I like how the futon is nice and fluffy after a few hours in the sun!

Take a look at different skies all around the world here.

March 24, 2010

Tokorozawa ENT Clinic

The little girl playing an instrument. She's on top of the sign for Tokorozawa ENT Clinic, the local otorhinolaryngologist.

The Tokorozawa ENT (which I found out stood for Ear, Nose, and Throat) Clinic was founded in 1977. The sign itself is very unique. I didn't realize it was a clinic until I went to see the otorhinolaryngologist there one day.

March 23, 2010

Offering Coins and Rice

The coins and rice are offerings for the stone images of Buddha. These stone images are set inside the grounds of Yakumo Shrine. It's been here since 1778, the Anei Era.

Usually the rice is offered first, because rice is the source of life for us. Many people also offer coins, especially the 5yen coin (the one with the hole). The Japanese word for '5yen' is 'Go-yen,' which is similar to the word 'Go-en,' which means 'fate' or 'luck.' So because of this play on words, many people offer a 5yen coin at shrines.

March 22, 2010

Weeping Beauty

Because of the crazy winter we had this year, the cherry blossoms at Koku Park haven't started blooming yet. But while walking around the park, I found this 'Shidare Ume (Weeping Plum Tree)' still in bloom.

The light pink blossoms are not only pretty to look at, but they also have a lovely fragrance.

The Weeping Plum blossoms usually bloom between January to March. So we only have a little more time to enjoy this beautiful tree!

March 21, 2010

Natural Light

This is the glass roof inside Shin Tokorozawa Station. It was put in during the renovation of the platform and station building in 1994.

I like how they use natural light inside the station.

March 20, 2010

Reflection on the Monument

This is a monument given to Tokorozawa from the local Tokorozawa Rotary Club, in honor of the city being the 'birthplace of aviation in Japan.' The words 'A Tokorozawa Filled With Culture' are written on the monument, under the drawing of the first airplane to take flight in Japan, the Henri Farman Biplane, in 1910.

See other reflections from around the world at Weekend Reflections.

March 19, 2010

Shin Tokorozawa South Plaza

Shin Tokorozawa South Plaza is a nine story apartment building with a couple of retail floors. It stands right outside Shin Tokorozawa Station.

This building was built in 1973, which in Japan is pretty ancient for an apartment building, but I like the round-shaped balcony that each unit has.

Take a look at different skies all around the world here.

March 18, 2010

Mr. Donut

Have you heard of Mister Donut?

It's a very popular doughnut store in Japan. We have other doughnut stores like Doughnut Plant and Krispy Kreme, but I think Mister Donut is still the most popular doughnut store here. Everyone calls it 'MisDo.'

The first Mister Donut store opened in 1971. Since then the chain has grown and now there are approximately 1,300 stores nationwide. There are four Mister Donut stores just in Tokorozawa. This is the one beside the Tokorozawa Station East Exit.

Sometimes Mister Donut has sales where every doughnut is 100yen! I always end up stopping by when I see this. There are so many doughnuts to choose from, but my favorite is the Golden Chocolate doughnut, below. I could eat a dozen!

March 17, 2010

Urban Legend

A pedestrian sign on the side of the road. It's said that there was a certain photo behind the making of this sign.

A cameraman was taking a walk around a park. There he saw a child with her father also taking a walk. The cheerful father smiling down at the sweet child. They were holding hands and playing a word game while walking.

The cameraman, quite taken with the way they look, grabbed his camera and took a photo. Suddenly, the father, who realized they were being photographed, gave the cameraman a piercing look. The cameraman, noticing the father's sudden alarm, apologized to the father, explaining that he wanted to take a natural photo of the father and child, and promised to send it once it was developed.

The father hearing this, smiled and thanked the cameraman, but stated that sending the photo was not necessary. Taking his child's hand, they quickly walked away.

At that time, the government wanted to establish a new pedestrian sign and was accepting ideas from the general public. The cameraman, on hearing this, remembered the photo he took at the park and came up with a design from the photo. To his surprise, his idea was accepted it became the new pedestrian sign!

A few months later, the cameraman was reading the newspaper. Without a thought, he turned to the local news section and saw a familiar face. Racking through his brain, he remembered that it was the father from the park.

The title of the article read 'Child Abductor-Murderer Caught!' and the small photo in the corner of the victim, was the child from the park.

What do you think? It's an urban legend, so whether you believe it or not, is up to you!

March 16, 2010

Bird in Pic

"I always ask that there be a flamingo in the picture."

- Michael Yaze quotes

Hmmm, I guess I do too. Well, for today.

March 15, 2010

Language of Flowers

In floriography, this pink camellia means 'Luxury' and 'Fashionable.' The camellia flower itself also means 'Perfect Enchantment' and 'Pride.'

I wonder who decides what is what. The camellia is more like 'Sweet Sign of Spring' for me. What do you think?

March 14, 2010

Colorful Wall

This is the exterior wall of the pastry shop, Emile.

Today is White Day in Japan, a day for the guys to give something to the girls. Kind of like a return for Valentine's Day.

I forgot all about it and wanted to stop by to buy a slice of cake, but the shop was packed with people. So I couldn't get a photo of their delicious cake, but I thought I'd show their lovely wall.

Happy White Day!

March 13, 2010

Good Ole Yellow Train

When you say Seibu Railway here, people automatically think of this yellow train.

The first yellow train was made in 1969, when the Seibu Chichibu Line opened. Since then there have been several different types of yellow trains. This one in the photo, the 9000 series, was made in 1993. It is a 10-car train and can be seen on all current Seibu lines.

Although newer trains that are no longer yellow have been developed, with nicer seats and 15-inch liquid-crystal displays, I still like the yellow trains the best.

March 12, 2010

Here At Last

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe spring has arrived!

This is a cherry tree in someone's yard, and as you can see, the blossoms have bloomed. Yay, at last!

Take a look at different skies all around the world here.

March 11, 2010

Stained Glass

This is the stained glass you will see when coming out of the East Exit ticket booth at Tokorazawa Station.

You can see various things located within Tokorozawa, like the roller coaster at Seibu Amusement Park and the Seibu Dome, home to the baseball team, Seibu Lions. The lake you can see behind the dome is Lake Sayama and the fireworks in the background are the annual fireworks they have at Seibu Amusement Park every weekend during the summer.

March 10, 2010

Back to Winter

So here I was, ready to take photo after photo of the soon-to-bloom cherry blossoms, and mother nature decides to dump another batch of snow on us.


March 9, 2010

Hanko Shop

I never noticed this wall before, but happened to see the big letters 'Ha(は)N(ん)Ko(こ)' written on it, and stopped to take a photo.

This is the wall of the store Shimada Inbo (島田印房), located on the corner of Prope Dori. They mainly have 'Hanko' or 'Inkan' which refers to a 'personal seal' that mostly every individual and company uses for official documents. I'm not quite sure, but the only time I use my signiture is when signing a creditcard reciept. Other than that, it's the Hanko.

But I was so focused on the wall, I completely forgot to take a photo of the actual Hanko! So sorry. I'll remember to go by next time. Until then, if you're interested, you can read about it here.

March 8, 2010

So Soon

Where DO the weekends go? I had a really really good weekend, but still can't believe it's monday already.

Just so I don't get the monday blues, I've posted photos of Koku Park on a sunny day. The plum blossom season is almost over but they're still some hanging on to the branches. Soon the park will be filled with cherry blossoms!

Well...I think I'm ready to face monday. Hope you all have a great week!

March 5, 2010

Going Home

Everyone heading for the west exit of Tokorozawa Station. After a long week, everyone must be ready to get on the train and head back home to relax.

Happy Weekend!

Take a look at different skies all around the world here.

March 4, 2010

In The Window

This house is a wonderful sky blue color. But there is one thing that always makes me stop and ponder.

What IS that brown thing on the windowsill?

March 3, 2010

Doll Festival

Today is Hina Matsuri (雛祭り) in Japan. It's sometimes called the Doll Festival in English. It is a day to wish good health and happiness for young girls.

Traditionally, the young girl's maternal grandparents would send this Hina Doll set in hopes that no bad things will happen. The doll set can have as many as 10 steps, decorated with many dolls, such as the Emperor and Empress, court ladies, and musicians. But as many people live in apartments that don't have as much space, smaller versions of the doll set are also popular.

Tokorozawa is actually very famous for their Hina Dolls. The history of Hina Doll craftsmanship in Tokorozawa can be found from over 160 years ago.

I talked to the nice lady at Shugetsu Kodera Ningyo, one of the Hina Doll shops near Tokorozawa station, and she told me that although many places have closed down from a lack of successor, there are still many Hina Doll shops around Tokorozawa.

This headless doll seems a little scary, but actually at this shop, they specialize in making the body of the dolls. The lady told me they order the heads from a different craft center.

Everything is handmade and very beautiful. You can even have them use your own Obi, a thick belt to wrap around a kimono, to make you an original doll!

I hope young girls all over Japan are enjoying the Doll Festival today!

March 2, 2010

A Bright Pink

This Camilla, called Tsubaki in Japanese, is in full bloom.

March 1, 2010


This is the passageway that connects two buildings that belong to the Seibu Group. Many people walk under it to get to Tokorozawa Station.

It all depends on the weather, but in a few more weeks the cherry blossoms will start to bloom! One of the reasons I like this spot so much is because there are cherry trees all along this path, so when they start blooming it's a really pretty path. Can't wait!

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