August 31, 2010

My Choice of Drink

Although the clothes stores have started selling corduroy and fur, it's still hot as ever in Tokorozawa. Not only Tokorozawa but everywhere in Japan, actually.

It's always so humid. Many people are suffering from heat exhaustion. Which is why it's important to take plenty of fluids this time of year!

When I plan on being outside for awhile, I always buy this drink at the convenience store. Kachiwari Lemon (かち割りレモン) is actually sold as a frozen drink. But since it's so hot outside it usually starts to melt right away and you can enjoy a cold drink to the very end!

August 29, 2010

Nice and Simple

This is the little footbridge that crosses over to the Japanese teahouse at Koku Park. I like how simple it is.

And if you turn around you have this view of the pond and waterfall.

Click below for more lovely photos of bridges around the world!

Sunday Bridges

August 28, 2010

Cool Running

I love seeing people do their thing while waiting for the light to turn green!

Some people practice their golf swing, some just tap their feet to some tune, and some stretch every muscle in their body.

Like this jogger here, who ran like the wind the minute the light turned green.

August 27, 2010

Making an Exit

This is Tokorozawa Station's east exit. We have a bookstore, convenience store, flower shop, and a couple of cafes and restaurants along the arcade.

This is the quiet side of Tokorozawa Station. The busy commercial street and supermarkets are mostly all on the otherside. But on Fridays, both sides are pretty busy. Hope you all have a great weekend!

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

August 26, 2010

Sparkling Summer Memories

This photo is blurry, I know. But fireworks are such a big part of summer in Japan, I wanted to post it anyway!

You really can't start or finish summer without fireworks. And although going to a fireworks festival is also a fun event, there's nothing like a night of sparklers with family and friends in your back yard or the local park.

All you need is a candle and a bin of water to put the sparklers in after you finish.

There are many types of sparklers but you can enjoy the sudden brightness of the crackling fireworks, the smell of smoke (which keep the mosquitos away), and the fun memories you make with any one you light up!

August 25, 2010

Retro is Back

This is one of my favorite buildings, the Shin Tokorozawa South Plaza. You can see the building in color here.

August 24, 2010

Bright Splash of Color

One of my favorite things at a matsuri (festival) are the Yo-yo water balloons!

You have to try to pull the balloons up with a paper hook, something I've never been able to do. Usually after a couple of tries, they just end up giving me the balloon!

August 23, 2010

Green Fluff

I can't quite figure out what this plant is...but they are growing down this path. Most of them are pretty round and it looks like many green balls are laying around.

If you look closely, it's actually made up of very thin grass-like leaves.

August 22, 2010

Cross Over to Eat

This is a small bridge at the entrance of the restaurant Marufuku Shokudo (まるふく食堂).

You can see some of their menu in the display. Marufuku Shokudo is a popular izakaya for locals, and they serve everything from noodles to sashimi. It's a great place to enjoy Japanese food!

Click below for more lovely photos of bridges around the world!

Sunday Bridges

August 21, 2010

Apartment Hunting

I liked this sign in front of a real estate agency. They've drawn out the apartment building and the room layout to show its appeal.

Besides the rent and common area charge, we usually pay a security deposit (Shikikin 敷金) and key money (Reikin 礼金) when renting an apartment. An average 1K (one room + kitchen) unit costs about 55,000yen/month in Tokorozawa. This is very cheap compared to Tokyo, where the rent is much more expensive for an even smaller unit.

See other reflections from around the world at Weekend Reflections hosted by James.

August 20, 2010

A Walk In The Clouds

We had amazing clouds scattered across the sky the other day! Aren't they great? Wouldn't it be fun if we could just hang out and roll around in the clouds?

I know it's scientifically impossible because clouds are really droplets of water or frozen crystals suspended in the atmosphere...blah blah blah.

Sometimes, although I do believe knowledge is power, I just feel like dreaming...

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

August 18, 2010

One Meter Deep

Another day at the pool.

This summer is so hot. And I know I say this every year...but I think this summer is the hottest we've had in a while!

Which is probably why the pool was so crowded.

August 17, 2010

Hot Feet

In Japan, we are always barefoot inside the house.

On a wonderful sunny day like this, sometimes we're barefoot outside, too! That is, until the concrete becomes too hot to walk on. Then you have to make a very important decision.

Do you calmly put your shoes back on? Or do you do the silly hot-hop dance until you find shade?

August 16, 2010

In Your Face

Tokorozawa has graffiti, too.

I spotted these two on my jogging course. They are always laughing at me as I huff and puff by them.

August 15, 2010

Look Up Then Down

This is another angle of Tokorozawa Rikkyo. And below is a view of the Seibu train that regularly passes under it.

The Seibu Line is famous for their yellow trains. But they actually have several types of silver trains with blue lines, too.

Click below for more lovely photos of bridges around the world!

Sunday Bridges

August 14, 2010


We've been having rain for a few hours every day lately.

But it's a blessing for me, because it cools down the temperature, and probably for this flower, too.

I'm thankful for many things today. Like the fact that today is my birthday and I am blessed to be surrounded by wonderful family and friends.

I'm also thankful for all my blog friends who stop by and/or comment on this blog! Hope you are all having a fantastic weekend!

August 13, 2010

Fuji in Pink

The end of another hectic week.

Did anyone realize that today is Friday the 13th? And can someone else tell me why Jason wears a hockey mask? Was he a former hockey player?

Far from the scary movies based on this day, I'm enjoying the evening and looking forward to this weekend. If you look closely at the photo, you can see an outline of Mt. Fuji. Happy weekend, everyone!

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

August 12, 2010


Spotted this coffee can sitting on the wall of someone's house.

I pour caffeine down my thoat everyday but I've never been a fan of drinking it black. Always end up making the 'ewwwww!' face.

I know, so nine-year-old of me...!

August 10, 2010

Flipping, Topping, and Eating

And here it is!

We usually put Okonomi-yaki sauce, mayonnaise, dried bonito flakes, and green seaweed seasoning (青のり) on top of the Okonomi-yaki. And it is very very good!

Oh, and since I don't eat either meat or fish, I usually get something like the Curry Mix (curry powder, potato, cheese, etc.) or Mochi Cheese Mix. You can even order your own mix and put in whatever you like, which is great for vegetarians!

And what's so much fun about Okonomi-yaki is that you get to make it by yourself. You have to use the spatulas to flip the Okonomi-yaki over, which can be quite disastrous without the right balance!

What's also interesting is the way we cut the Okonomi-yaki. You can see below that it's cut like a pizza, which is how we cut it in the Tokyo area. This is because we eat Okonomi-yaki as the main meal and usually we share with others.

In the Osaka area, on the other hand, they cut it in small squares because there they consider the Okonomi-yaki only a part of the whole meal and many eat it along with rice!

But whatever they put in it or how they cut it, Okonomi-yaki is a delicious meal you can enjoy with everyone!

August 9, 2010

In The Works

Have you ever had Okonomi-yaki?

It's very popular in Japan, and there are different ways of making it depending on the region. This is the bowl filled with various ingredients that the staff bring to you when you order. From the top is Beef/Green Onion (牛スジねぎ焼き), Pork/Kimchi (豚キムチ焼き), and Mochi/Cheese (もちチーズ焼き). I like how colorful every bowl looks!

And what we have to do is, although the bowl is close to over flowing, we need to mix everything until it looks like this, below. There is a flour mix in the bottom of the bowl and you need to mix it all up before grilling it on the pan.

This process takes some time, which I'm sure the store does on purpose, to make us all even more hungry!

Tune in tomorrow for the Okonomi-yaki after it's done!

August 8, 2010

Seibuen Station

A view of the rails below from a bridge that crosses over from Seibuen Station to the residential area behind the trees.

Seibuen Station is the last station on the Seibuen Line. Actually, it is one of two stations on the Seibuen Line. I'm not sure if you can actually call that a "line" but it's been called that since 1952. That's a pretty long time for someone not to contradict this, so I'm guessing the length doesn't matter.

To tell you the truth, this station is not technically in Tokorozawa. The border is right next to the station so it's really in the neighboring Higashi Murayama-shi. But I wanted to use it so I've added this old sign below that says "Seibuen Station (left), Seibu Yuenchi Station (right)."

Click below for more lovely photos of bridges around the world!

Sunday Bridges

August 7, 2010

Salad Udon

This is the Salad Udon they serve at the Koku Park food concession. It's a very popular menu during the summer.

Tokorozawa is actually known for their Udon, which is a thick noodle made from wheat flour. The reason for this is that the land in Tokorozawa was unsuitable for planting rice and so instead many people grew wheat. Thus the popularity of the udon grew.

This Salad Udon has tomato, cucumber, lettuce, seaweed, Japanese radish, mizuna (potherb mustard), soft seaweed, kamaboko (steamed fish paste), and katsuo-bushi (dried bonito) as toppings. All these are great for overcoming summer fatigue.

Good thing because all the seats are place outside!
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