Tuesday, May 31, 2011

All The Way

This is the baseball field at Ochiai Chuo Park.

It's operated by the city of Shinjuku and anyone can rent this field, which is equipped with artificial turf  and field lights. This park, including the field, is all built above the Ochiai Water Reclamation Center, which is why you can only see part of the buildings behind the fence.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Eyes on You

I was on my way over to a friends place when I spotted this cat. It was looking around, until I pointed my camera. Then it looked straight at me.

I think it likes me.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bridge of Love

Someone loves someone named Kodama. Pretty sure they shouldn't be carving stuff on the bridge...but there's no stopping young love.

I remember when my friends and I were in grade school and carving "I heart so-and-so (changed quite often)" on tree trunks. I can't even remember how we carved things on the trees but when I went back to where I used to live a couple of years ago...my sister and I took a walk through the woods and imagine my surprise at seeing the carvings still there!

I wonder if whoever wrote on the bridge will have the same nostalgic feelings when they pass over this bridge someday.

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

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Above the City

This is on the 50th floor of Shinjuku Nomura Building, one of the many skyscrapers we have in Shinjuku.

Most of the skyscrapers are office buildings, but many of them have restaurants on the top floors. And they also have a viewing area where you can look outside.

It was kind of a cloudy day but seeing this city from above is always interesting. The houses and cars look like toys because they are so small. And the city seems to go on forever...

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

PS: Thank you Karin for the suggestion regarding the login problem! It worked and now I can post and comment on almost everyones blog posts. There are still a few that keep on taking me back to the login page so if I haven't commented back, that's the reason. Very sorry. Hopefully be back to normal by tomorrow!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dreams of Dusk

I love the sky right when the sun starts to set. Something so dreamy and romantic at that moment. Hope you are all have a lovely weekend!

Enjoy looking at more beautiful skies all around the world here.

PS: I'm very sorry I haven't been by all your posts to comment...something is wrong with my account and I can't seem to login or comment on anyones posts. Will be by as soon as I'm able. xx

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

All That Jazz

"Coffee" in kanji characters is written "珈琲," which you can see in the photo above. It's said that coffee was introduced to Japan in the late 18th century from the Netherlands. Seeing all the coffee shops we have now, I think it's safe to say that we've embraced this wonderful drink.

This coffee cafe is called Jazz Nutty and they play just about any kind of jazz there is. I only had a chance to peak in this time, but this cafe is a great place to enjoy good coffee and relax to various styles of jazz music. The owner of this store has a huge collection and you can even request songs to listen to.

I don't know enough about jazz to make a request but I hope I get a chance to find a few new favorite artists next time. Do you have a favorite?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Here Comes the Rain Again

Another rainy day. It's suppose to be like this for the rest of the week.

The temperature is almost chilly, which is perfect for all of us who work inside an office building, because it can get quite stuffy without using air conditioning. There are rumors currently going around that we'll all have to go into work an hour early or that we'll have to work weekends and take weekdays off in order to conserve energy this summer.

So although the rainy season is not my favorite time of the year, I have a feeling it's going to be a looong summer so I'm going to enjoy the cool rainy season while it lasts!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hidden Treasures

We've hit the rainy season, although it's not official yet.

One of my favorite pastimes on a rainy day is to sit by the window and read. And what better place to find a good story than a bookstore?

The Blue Parrot has been my favorite used English bookstore since college, when they had a store down the street from my university. But even after they moved their location to Shinjuku, I've come to browse often.

They have all sorts of books, everything from fiction to travel books. And because these books are so much cheaper than buying regular English books in Japan (usually around 2,000yen or US$20), I like to randomly pick up books by authors I've never read before.

For me, this place is like a big treasure box and I always find something interesting every time I go...and yes, I'm often there for hours at a time!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Collage of Colors

Sometimes I come across the most interesting buildings. Like this one, decorated with colorful tiles.

The whole building kind of looks like someone's art project, doesn't it?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Light My Way

I thought it was kind of cool how the light lit up the leaves.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato

Do you like tomatoes? Do you also like ramen? If you do, this is for you.

Tomato-men (Tomato noodle) is, for some reason, quite popular lately. So naturally I had to try it. Some ramen stores have tomato-men on their menu but this store, Taiyo no Tomato-men (太陽のトマト麺), specializes in tomato-men.

I tried the Cheese Tomato Ramen and you know what? It was surprisingly good! The soup was very thick with a hint of basil. And of course, cheese is good on anything!

So what do you think? Do you want to try it?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Down by the River

I found these small flowers were growing along Kanda River, near Yodo Bridge.

This river, which actually divides Shinjuku ward from Nakano ward all along this area, has a lovely path on both sides of the river that many people use for jogging or just walking. And with plants like this, I'm sure they're all enjoying the view, too.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Over Koshu Kaido

This is a footbridge over a large road called Koshu Kaido. It is connected to a part of Shinjuku Station's south exit and crosses over to Shinjuku Southern Terrace, which has a lot of shops and restaurants.

This section of Koshu Kaido is actually also a bridge that crosses over train lines that run below it. Approximately 60,000 cars and 140,000 people use this street everyday, which was built in 1925.

Tokyo National Highway Office has started a big project to renew this whole area for not only safety reasons but to reduce traffic and to make it more convenient for pedestrians. It is due to be completed sometime around 2015. (If anyone is interested, you can see the footbridge and the construction area on youtube here.)

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

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Can You Feel The Love

One of the most famous sculptures in Shinjuku is this LOVE, which is one of Robert Indiana's works. It's been here since 1993 and is a favorite photo spot for a lot of tourists.

I heard that if you can walk through the V and the E without touching the sculpture, you will find your one true love. May have to try it one of these days...

Raindrops on Azaleas

It's been raining the last few days.

Not sure if this is already the start of rainy season or just that a typhoon is heading our way. But these lovely Azaleas, which happen to be Shinjuku's city flower, don't seem to mind the rain at all.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Sign

This is the sign for Edogawabashi-dori, or Edogawabashi Street, which you can see behind it.

The sign also includes Shinjuku's city emblem in the upper right. The emblem was established in 1967 and it is actually a rhombus-shaped form of the kanji "Shin (新)," which means "New" and is also one of the kanji for our city name, Shinjuku (新宿).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Last One

Okay, it's way past cherry blossom season but I wanted to post one last photo. Hope you don't mind. The rainy season is starting and I haven't been able to take very many photos lately.

This was one of the prettiest cherry trees that was blooming in the park when I took this photo. But I thought it was funny how the kids were much more interested in playing with the dirt!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Minaka Bridge

A butterfly caught in the bridge above Myo-shoji River (妙正寺川).

There were some kids crossing the bridge ahead of me and they were pointing at the butterfly and shouting "Cho-cho, cho-cho!," which is how we say butterfly in Japanese.

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

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Coloring the River

"Some no Komichi" was an event to share the dyeing culture that is very big in this area of Shinjuku.

They hung these kimono cloth that were dyed by local artists along the river. Many people came to enjoy the pretty view. And, of course, to take pictures!

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

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dramatic Skies

Very happy it's Friday...and we had pretty skies, too!

Blue skies are nice but I like seeing blue skies with wispy clouds like this even more. Makes the sky more dramatic. What do you think?

Enjoy looking at more beautiful skies all around the world here.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Day for Children

There were a total of 101 Koi fish decorating the sky at Takadanobaba Park. We call these Koi-nobori (鯉のぼり). May 5 is Children's Day here in Japan and it's tradition to fly these Koi-nobori to wish the children a long and healthy life.

Even in the tsunami-struck areas, people are celebrating Children's Day. In a shelter in Ofunato City (Iwate Prefecture), some university student volunteers collected 60 Koi-nobori to fly for the many children there to enjoy. In an interview a little girl says, "Even though the tsunami took everything, I'm happy to have a fun day like this." I think the Koi-nobori has a deeper meaning for everyone this year more than ever.

I also wanted to introduce you to a blogger friend, Kevin, who is taking on a big project to help the many children in the disaster struck areas in Japan through the NGO group, Save the Children. He is training for a 60km ultra-marathon in the Kansai area next month as a fundraiser. To a girl like me who huffs and puffs just walking up a hill, I have a lot of respect for someone who can run miles...or in this case, kilometers. So I'm hoping I can support Kevin in a small way by giving a shout out to his Running To Help Japan project, which you can read about here. Or you can watch the Youtube video he made below!

We're closing in on 2 months since the initial March 11 earthquake and there are still many people living in shelters. In Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima Prefectures, there is said to be over 100 underage children who have lost both parents, and so many more who have lost either parent. I'm sure their daily lives have altered drastically, more than I can imagine. But I hope today that many of them were able to enjoy just being children and have a fun day outside, seeing the Koi-nobori fly.

Happy Children's Day!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Theme Day: Mailbox

A very european mailbox I spotted the other day and thought it would be perfect for this month's theme day.

The flower shop of London Royal Flower Design is on the first floor of this building. They also have classes teaching flower arrangements. Very pretty building, don't you think?

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants