My neighborhood

I will introduce my neighborhood to you.

At first, my house. Solar panels are on the roofs. 2013-03-06 16.12.52 2013-03-02 17.28.27

Views on the street and from my terrace. It’s a residential district. DSC_00442013-03-04 14.49.302013-03-04 14.47.462013-03-04 14.50.232013-03-04 14.49.392013-03-04 14.49.55

Here is my garden. Sakura is half blooming.
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And here is my car, “SUBARU Legacy”. It has 280 horse power, the most powerful car in the factory production cars in Japan. I bought it 14 years ago, but it has never broken at all. An exellent car indeed. But it took 4 million yen at that time. I can’t afford a new car at this moment.
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Vernal Equinox Day

It has been about 2 weeks afeter the Vernal Equinox Day. In the day, we visit our family tomb. Acctually, we visit there at least 4 times a year. New years day, spring and autumn equinox day, and “Obon(8/15)”. And also we visit there on the anniversary of somebody’s death.

This is my family tomb with 4 gravestones. One on the right in the back is for my ancestor. One in the middle in the back is for my grandparents. One on the left in the back is for my parents. And one on this side is for  miscarried children. 2013-03-21 11.56.15 2013-03-21 11.55.532013-03-21 11.58.08 2013-03-21 11.56.57

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Major view spots for Sakura

There are some famous places noted for sakura blossoms. I will introduce some of them. First, Yoshino mountain in Nara (An old capital of Japan, next to Osaka). Somei-yoshino, a kind of sakura tree, is derived from Yoshino. クリックすると新しいウィンドウで開きますクリックすると新しいウィンドウで開きます クリックすると新しいウィンドウで開きます クリックすると新しいウィンドウで開きます

Second, Takatou in Nagano, middle area of Japan. クリックすると新しいウィンドウで開きます クリックすると新しいウィンドウで開きますクリックすると新しいウィンドウで開きますクリックすると新しいウィンドウで開きます

And the last, Hirosaki in Aomori, northern area of Japan. クリックすると新しいウィンドウで開きます クリックすると新しいウィンドウで開きます クリックすると新しいウィンドウで開きますクリックすると新しいウィンドウで開きます

As you know, Japan consists of 6,852 islands  from south to north. There are much distance from one end to another, so climate is different. The cherry‐blossom front goes up north taking more than one month. This year, sakura blooms about 2 weeks ealier than usual year.

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Hanami = Hana + mi. Hana means flower and mi mians viewing. We often go out to a park with basket of lunch(dinner) and drink(alcohol) to see sakura blossoms. Like this. クリックすると新しいウィンドウで開きます

Sakura represents the feeling of vanity, fragility or short life because sakura blossoms don’t last for only a week. They soon fall especially when it rains. And April is the season of parting, graduation, and mixture feeling of anxiety and hope for starting a new life. (In our country, school and comapany term starts from April.) We overlap sakura on such feelings. Therefore, although there are hundreds of songs of which title includes sakura, most of them are songs of parting.

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Sakura, Sakura, Sakura

Sakura(cherry tree) is fully blooming in Osaka. It’s the national flower of Japan and we Japnese love this flower very much. I will show you some pictures.

First, Sakura in my garden. There are many kinds of sakura. More than 40 types. Somei-yoshino, Yae-zakura, Shidare-zakura are famous. These(in my garden) are Shidare-zakura. It’s branchs grow toword the ground and color of blossoms is pink, and it blooms later than any other types. (but it bloomed very ealy in this year.) 2013-03-31 17.14.34 2013-03-31 17.15.32 2013-03-31 17.15.19 2013-03-31 17.14.54

Next, sakura in a park near my house. Maybe they are Someiyohino. Most common sakura trees. It’s color of blossoms is white and branches grow toword the sky. DSC_0124 DSC_0126 DSC_0122 DSC_0123 DSC_0120 DSC_0121

Next, sakura blooming in the way I usually do walking. You can see sakura all over Japan.
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And in another park. Many parks light up in this season. We call it “YOZAKURA”. Yo + Zakura(Sakura). Yo or Yoru means night in Japnanese. 2013-03-30 21.03.07 2013-03-30 21.00.03 2013-03-30 20.54.35  2013-03-30 20.51.362013-03-30 20.46.40  2013-03-28 19.56.55 2013-03-28 19.30.05 2013-03-28 19.29.55 IMG_1527

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Ofuro (Bath)

We Japanese like to take a bath very much. Most people stay in a bathroom more than 30 minites. Some of them take it for more than 1 hour. They like to read a book, listening to music, or watching TV with relax. (Waterproof electoric gadgets are sold.)

Yes, time for taking it is the most relaxing time for us. We can recover from our physical and mental fatigue with a bath. (But as for me, I usually take it quickly, around 10 to 15 minutes.)
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The controler of the bath. We can set quantity of hot water and temperature of both bath and shower individually. After pushing the start button, hot water is automaticaly supplied, and stop supplying at the set level. 2013-03-05 23.33.18

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The “Washlet”

We Japanese extremely like to be neat and tidy. Most buildings are equipped with a toilet with bidet functions.

Here is a toilet on the 1st floor of my house. A remote controler is on the wall. We can make an adjustment of water pressure, water temperature, temperature of warm air, position, motion of the nozzle and so on.
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And here is a toilet on the 2nd floor of my house. The controler is combined to the toilet. This is a cheeper type. This type is offten equipped in public spaces. 2013-03-04 13.25.11 2013-03-04 13.25.02

There are some manufacturers which produce bidet-toilets. “TOTO” has the NO.1 market shares. Then “INAX”, “Panasonic” follows. “TOTO” is the company’s name and “Washlet” is the products’ name. It came from the combination of words wash + toilet.

Do you know a famous American rock band “TOTO” which took an active part in 1980′s has come form the bland name of toilet? When the members visited Japan, they saw the name “TOTO” printed on the toilet and named thier band-name as “TOTO” without much thought.

TOTO’s toilet is here.

They are developing the sprashing way every year.

Owing to this product, my hemorrhoids has completely been cured. It brings immense effectiveness.

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I took some pictures of another flower in my garden.  It is “Tsubaki”.

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Its oil is used for high-glade cooking oil,  a hairdressing, and cosmetics.

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Ume (Japanese Plum)

Certainly, cherry blossoms are very famous and beautiful, but there are many beautiful flowers in Japan.

Sceneries change according to seasons.
And it’s already spring in Japan. It’s getting warmer day by day.
About 1 month before cherry blooms, Japanese plum blooms.
Here is a plum tree blooming in my garden.

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And I introduce 2 famous plum-groves near my place (Kansai area).

< Minabe plum-grove >

<Tsukigase plum-grove >…0.0…1c.1j4.5.img.EotWA1ls2a8

Ume is used for pickled ume. We Japanese like to eat them. We put them into Bento (lunch box), Onigiri (rice ball) or we put them on a dining table so that anyone can eat with rice at any time.


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