I Wanna Be in an Industrial Garden

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Industrial Garden Line Up

There is something so beautiful and so sad about the industrial gardens I came across on the other side of Urayasu yesterday.  Here I was with the noise of pounding, grinding, and torching which could be beard just above the nearly typhoon strength wind.  Concrete to my left, and steel to my right.

But wait, there was more.  Each factory had a small garden.  Some where quite small and only consisted of a few potted plants.  Others were lavishly landscaped yards.  My own aesthetic tastes sides on the more haphazardly designed gardens.  Those gardens where no thought was really given to the organization to placement of the plants.

All the plants somehow work together in this land of disharmony in order to create a more perfect patch of living greenery.

The Japanese have a desire to beautify their drab surroundings even among the industrial backroads of society.  Sometimes these gardens even have vegetables and fruit being grown.  It always amazes me the connection that many try to make back to their agricultural roots.

So, this is where I want to be.  I want to be in a garden.  I want to be among the green, the fruit, the veggies. Those spaces within the urban environment where I can feel at home.  Where I can gaze out onto green patches even if there are sparse and are smack in the middle of concrete and iron.

Industrial Entrance Garden


Industrial Roped Off Garden


Limited Green in Akihabara, Electric Town

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

I needed to head into Akihabara to pick up a few things at Yodobashi Camera. One thing I have got to say is that any electrical goods store, can’t even be compared with the selection at Yodobashi Camera. And the customer service is outstanding. A big shout out to Uehara, who allowed me to charge my Ricoh battery so that I could keep shooting.

I am not to big on Akihabara. It attracts some of the craziest otaku (geeks) in all of Japan. Some of the backstreets are amazing. They are lined with tiny shops that sell just about anything that requires an electrical current. These little junk shops are amazing.

But, what I spied today was how little greenery there was in this part of town. All of the space had been gobbled up by the energy hungry shops and Donner Kebab fast food joints. There were a few oases of green here and there. Sometimes confined to small rows of potted plants in front of a store. Other’s were bound in on all sides by concrete and iron.

There among all the neon sings and concrete there was my green. There were the otaku are allowed to roam freely the green pops its head. FInd, the green I will. It reminds me of our delicate connection to nature.  I is the beginning of the Limited Green series.

Limited Green in Akihabara with Door anf_

Limited Green in Akihabara with AKB 48 and Tree

Limited Green in Akihabara with Plant

Obsessive Gardening in Chiba

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

I seem to be a bit obsessed myself these days.  I am be drawn into the highly packed world of the Japanese home gardens.  These are not the elegant gardens that can be found in Tokyo like Rikugien Gardens in the center of Tokyo.  No, these are the tightly packed neighborhood gardens that I find on my wanderings.

These gardens sometimes occupy the smallest spaces imaginable.  The might feature a row of potted plants sitting atop a cinderblock wall.  They could also be found in the tiniest of spaces that most foreigners wouldn’t even recognize as a backyard.  However, this is where the Japanese show amazing skill in how they use what ever space they have in order to be able to bring some greenery into their lives and in those that pass by on the street.  I would argue that there is more greenery, and green spaces to be found here in Tokyo that that of New York City’s green spaces.

There is so little space, and at times the concrete, glass, and steel seem oppressive, but all I have to do is to turn a corner and find a small contemplative oasis of green.  It might only be some herbs that occupy a windowsill, but that green is better than no green at all.

Spider Planter Mailbox

No Trash Here Garden

Potted Plant Row and Fire Extinguisher

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