June 30, 2007

Prepared Anyway

This month was supposed to be the rainy season. There wasn't much rain in Tokyo in June 2007, but this shop was prepared. Some shops put plastic curtains up to protect their wares. Click to enlarge.

Morning Glories

This is our first morning glory this summer. This one is a Japanese morning glory. See the white star? That is the main characteristic of a Japanese morning glory.

When people draw morning glories here, they draw a star in the middle. This flower is one of the symbols of summer.

Here's a summer fan and a handkerchief.

This is what our morning glory looked like yesterday.

We planted a lot of different kinds together. I put the pictures out in front to take this picture. This first morning glory was kinda scraggly, but it was a happy sight.

Hopefully, more will bloom soon. This is near our gate.

The morning glories came in pots like these. We bought them from a flower shop.

We also planted some from seeds. These seed pods were from last year's flowers.

When morning glories first come up, they look like this.

Later as they mature most leaves look like this. Actually, that is sunlight and a shadow on this leaf. Look back at the third picture and click to enlarge. Some morning glories have very different leaves. Some are one color. Some are variegated, with dark green and light green stripes. Some leaves have different shapes.

Growing morning glories is part of Japanese first graders' summer schoolwork. The morning glories at Little Brother's school are big and have been blooming for a while. (I was at the school yesterday.) Do a blog search to find other posts about first graders' morning glories. Little Brother is in sixth grade. Sixth graders are growing potatoes.

Hydrangea Festival

Hydrangea in our neighborhood. Note the train whizzing by in the background. Click to enlarge.

There is a hydrangea festival in Fuchu. This sign was in the Fuchu station. The big letters down the middle say "ajisai matsuri" in hiragana. Ajisai means "hydrangea" and matsuri means "festival". The festival ends July 1st, tomorrow.

These banners were along the "skywalk". During the Christmas holidays, there were starlights along this walk. Check the December archives to the right.

Kids Web Japan --hiragana

June 29, 2007

More than One!

I've been watching over this little praying mantis that lives on our lily. (We only have one lily bulb.) I check on the praying mantis every day. He's peeking over the lily stem at the camera. Click to enlarge.

We have more than one baby praying mantis, though. Here's another one.

And this one was in the front of the garden on the emergency supplies shed.


As I watched him, the wind blew him all the way down to the bottom again.

I think they all came out of here.

June 28, 2007

Young Woman Carrying a Daikon

She stopped by the vegetable stand near our house. The man there gives a plastic bag if you need one, but a lot of people use their own bags to carry their purchases.

June 27, 2007

Vegetable Stand Man

This is our vegetable stand man. We've been buying vegetables from him for over 15 years. His vegetable stand is near our house. When Little Brother was small, every time we passed the stand he wanted to buy a daikon, radish, for Baba.

He was working when I walked by, but stopped and let me take his picture. He comes to his fields by bike. He carries his hoe over his shoulder. I hope I can get a picture of that someday!

His fields are behind a park. Click to enlarge and you may be able to see a lonely daikon, radish, on the right.

In another field there were only two little taro. The dirt is really dry! It sprinkled for two days, but it wasn't enough to get the dirt wet.

Click on the labels below to see other posts and pictures.

June 26, 2007

Bugs and Water

The rains came. Rather, drizzle came. This is supposed to be the rainy season! These are hydrangea leaves covered in spider webs and raindrops.

Click to enlarge and you may be able to see the spider. It hid so this is the only picture I could get.

This little ladybug didn't seem bothered by the camera or the rain.

This doodle bug or roly-poly wasn't bothered either. Doodle bugs over here are quite audacious! They are slow to roll up. Papa calls them "toilet bugs". They do clean up after the dogs. I never noticed that before. I used to play with them when I was a kid in the United States. We leave these alone.

June 24, 2007

A Souvenir from a Business Trip

Papa brought this box home from his business trip. It is from the Ise Peninsula near Nagoya. The expiration date is stamped on it. Click on the picture to see the purple circle.

The date written inside the circle is 19.6.23. The year is Heisei 19, the 19th year of the Emperor's reign. 2007 is also used here in Japan. 6 is the month of June and 23 is the day. Papa bought this on the June 23, 2007. We should eat it by the 24th.

This is the box without the paper wrapping.

It is a box of balls of glutinous rice covered in azuki bean paste. They are called akafuku. Yummy! There was a wooden spatula(on the right) included to spoon them out. Click to enlarge and you can see how akafuku is written in hiragana. It is written on the wooden spatula.

Boxes of sweets, rice crackers, and specialty foods are sold at train stations and rest stops. Each area of Japan has its own selection that it is famous for.

Kids Web Japan--hiragana

June 23, 2007

Walking Home with a Rug

We walk everywhere we go unless Papa is home with the car. So, if we buy something, we have to carry it home. Most people ride bicycles or walk. Stores will deliver things for you or they will make it easy for you to carry things home on your own.

The store wrapped this rug and attached a handle for me. The bubble wrap taped around the handle made it even more comfortable! I save the handles and carry one with me. I forgot to tell the salesperson that I had one.

Stores provide plastic or paper shopping bags. When people go out shopping, they usually carry vinyl shopping bags to carry small bags of purchases. This one was available near the register where I bought the rug. It was 20 yen. Do you know how to figure that out in your country's currency?

Click to enlarge. Do you see a familiar name on this bag?

June 22, 2007


Edamame is sold in bundles here. This bundle is taped at the top and at the roots. Sometimes twine or rubber bands are used. People carry bundles of edamame down the streets of our neighborhood during the summer. I once saw a farmer walk into his field, pull up a bundle, and then walk home. Mud dropped from the roots as we walked along. Talk about fresh!

Big Sister cut these from the stems. She used scissors and cut the top of the edamame at a slant. Then, according to Baba's instructions, the edamame were washed in salt water. Then they were put in boiling salt water for a few minutes. We ate them warm. They are also eaten cold. They are a tasty snack.

June 21, 2007

Under the Sun

June is the rainy season, but there hasn't been much rain. People are using parasols not umbrellas. Click to enlarge the picture to see the woman on the sidewalk.

That's a pizza delivery motorcycle. Click on the label below to see other posts about deliveries.

June 20, 2007

Covered Building

This building is being painted. It is covered so that paint doesn't get on cars and other buildings around it.

Water Hose in the Field

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This is a water hose out in the field behind our house. June is the rainy season, but we're not getting much rain. This hose is too short to water the fields. I have never seen a sprinkler in Japan. The farmer can fill a sprayer with water here.

The Fields Behind Our House June 2007

That's the neighbor's roof in the lower left hand corner. The dark reddish purple plant near the net fence is purple shiso. Click to enlarge. Can you tell from which direction the sunlight is coming?

Corn and potatoes.

June 19, 2007

School Pool

This is the swimming pool at Little Brother's elementary school. There is no shade. Students are not allowed to wear sunscreen in the pool.

It looks rather murky, doesn't it? Little Brother told me once that dragonflies sometimes zoom around them as they swim.

School Pool Time

Little Brother had pool today at school. He carries his swimsuit, cap, sandals and towel robe in this bag. Boys change clothes in one classroom. Girls change in another classroom. They change their clothes under a towel that buttons down the front. They put it on up around their shoulders.

This is a chart of the things they will practice.

They have to take their temperature after they get up in the morning of pool day. They record it on this chart. A parent must sign it. The teacher signs next to the parent's signature.