Spring greening in Koganei

| Apr 26, 2014

Spring greening in Koganei

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It’s time to bask in sunshine, birdsong, and blossom-filled breezes. Koganei Park, situated at the center of the Tokyo metropolis, looks like the ideal spot for such a “spring-gasm.” The JR Chuo express train whisks me from Yotsuya to Musashi-Koganei in less than 30 ...

Solitude is where you find it

| Sep 28, 2013

Solitude is where you find it

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Under cartoon-blue skies washed by early-autumn typhoons, I stand at Sendaizaka-ue (summit of Sendaizaka Slope) in Tokyo’s Minato Ward. Sendaizaka was named for daimyo lords from Edo Period (1603-1867) Sendai, now in Miyagi Prefecture, who maintained a yashiki (suburban home) on the slope that ...

Log-jamming in Shin Kiba

| Jul 27, 2013

Log-jamming in Shin Kiba

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Last month, readers of this column found me frolicking in the sawdust and lumberyards of Shin Kiba — meaning “New Wood Place” — which arose on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay in the 1970s when the city’s timber businesses were moved there from their ...

Wisteria wanderings in Kameido

| May 26, 2013

Wisteria wanderings in Kameido

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Each year, I tell myself I have to make time to enjoy the famed trellises of wisteria blossoms at Kameido Tenjin in Tokyo’s eastern Koto Ward. Then, I blow it. This year, I enlist my mother-in-law, who’s savvy about such things, to get the ...

Spring training in Mukojima

| Feb 24, 2013

Spring training in Mukojima

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It’s hard to think of February as springlike, what with snowfalls, freezing winds and a dusting of dead leaves everywhere. But I know from experience that the intrepid Prunus mume, or plum tree, blooms this month, and a trek to see some blossoms seems ...