minami kasai

White Stone in my Girl’s Hands

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

White Stone in My Girl's Hands


There she was on a windy Friday afternoon.  She is always in the same spot.  She is there no matter the weather.  Sitting quietly on a small polished podium surrounded by flowers.  She waits patiently at the head of a small creak.

Her skin is youthfully smooth, polished and glistens in the sunshine.  Although she speaks of eternal youth, her skin has a burnished patina.  She is my girl.  She has been ever since I moved into my neighborhood.

It doesn’t matter that she may be made of bronze, I still adore her.  Her hands are outstretched in anticipation of the gifts she will receive from the neighborhood’s children.  Today I spotted her sporting a beautiful crystalized white stone.

I look forward to crossing paths with her soon.


Windy Blown Answer

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

WIndy Blown Answer, Minmai Kasai, Tokyo

There is a saying out in old California that when the Santa Ana winds blow, all bets are off.  It appears to have happened here in Tokyo.  Those unpredictable winds seem have swept their way clear across the Pacific Ocean pulsate over Tokyo.

The skies in the morning were spotless.  It was nothing but an endless skyscape of blue.  By the afternoon the winds had pushed a collection of fast moving clouds as they raced over the land.

I stepped off the bus and just stared out at the sky.  There was one tiny wisp of cloud over my neighborhood.  I knew it was only a moment.  I knew that it would vanish before I finished my walk home.

It was time to be in the moment.  The time to push the shutter, and capture that slice of moment in way that only photography can.

It was my Windy Blown Answer.





Time Light Place and the Moment

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

January Winter Shadow Love


Another day, another moment to be thankful for my improving health.  I was able to venture outdoors again.  The sunshine felt amazing as I moved out from the shadows.

The skies were absolutely cloudless in the crispy January air  There are even dirty mounds of ice that has survived the two weeks since the blizzard hit Tokyo.  In my more than 10 years here in Tokyo, I have never seen snow of any amount survive this long.  The natural world even in this urban landscape never ceases to make my soul fill with wonder.

Just cycling along observing the world around me is what I do, and as far back as I can remember it is what I always have done.  The thrill of observing the world has always been there for me.

Being there, at the right time, in the right place, with that light makes all the difference.  It is the chance to be at one with the moment.  You can’t force that moment, you just have to let it happen, and flow through you.


Its a Snowy Day in the Neighborhood, Minami Kasai Tokyo

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Minami Kasai Tokyo, Playground in Snow

The forecast originally called for only rain, but that quickly turned to sleet, and within 1o minutes of the sleet it was just snow.  This was around 11:30 am.  It still hasn’t stopped yet.

This Miami raised boy had to do something that he had never done before.  I shoveled snow with a short spade.  It is not an experience that I would like to repeat anytime soon.

I needed something from the grocery store, so I put on the snow boots that I get to wear once a season, my waterproof jacket and headed towards my local Seiyu supermarket.  The Snow I had shoveled 2 hours earlier had been replaced with more freshly fallen snow.  The streets were relatively quite except for the occasional rumbling of a car or bus with snow chains on.

Luckily for the children today was a holiday and many of them were out in the streets throwing snowballs, sledding, and making yuki daruma (snowman).

The wind had really begun to pick up and the snowflakes.  The wind was striking my in the eyes and some managed a sneak attack and hit me square in my eyeball.

Tokyo does not get a lot of snow, and the amount we are getting today is going to be enough to shut down trains and services.  I will keep all out there in the streets in my heart that you may travel home safely.

Bundle up Tokyo!  Its only going to get colder.

Today’s post is livicated to my father on his 70th birthday.  I love you dad!
Minami Kasai Tokyo, My Street in Snow

My Minami Kasai Girl with a Handful of Gravel

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

My Lady with a Handful of Gravel

There is a lady in my neighborhood of Minami Kasai that is not of flesh.  She is of sculpted and cast copper.  She is seated with her legs tucked underneath her at the beginning of a small creek. She is surrounded by a bed of well tended flowers.  She waits patiently with outstretched hands.  On some occasions passerby’s, usually the neighborhood’s children, place objects in my lady’s hands.

I have seen her dressed in scarves, and hats places on her head to keep her warm in the winter months.  Today was different.  She had a handful of gravel from the little creek.  Pebbles, stones, laying in between the crevices in her coppered hands.

My sweet Minami Kasai lady, with noting but gravel in her hands.


Sunny Side of the River

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Runner, Bicycles, Apartments Riverside

Sometimes we just feel out it.  It is hard to know why or where it comes from, but there it is.  It is right before us, sometimes seeping way down into our soul.  The important fact is what do what we do?  Do we stay paralyzed and afraid to do anything?

I say, NO!  I know it might be hard, but it is that struggle through the rough patches in our lives that make those vibrant days that much sweeter.    We have to make that conscious decision to seek the light.  To seek out the sunny side of the river if the side that we are traveling on is in darkness.

For me that is the only way to live.  It is easy to say, but to put it into practice take effort.  We need to discipline ourselves to focus on that light that shines into our lives.  If there is no light then it is time for us to go out and find that light.

For me this past Sunday I found that light on the sunny side of the river in a place called Minami Kasai.  It is nothing special.  It is just my daily stomping ground.  The light was there, in a way it was always there, I just had to open my heart to feel it.


The Odd Reality of My Surroundings.

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Man, Bicycle and the Edogawa River

I often have to ponder about my place in Japan.  I sometimes really struggle with the fact that I am not Japanese and that I do not easily fit into society here.  But then again, I went though these same struggles wherever I lived in the states too.  So in the end, I struggle with these thoughts about society wherever I go.

I can look out my window and see the bay wedged in between the buildings, and the bridges.  If the wind is blowing in the right direction I can hear Ho Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum float over from Tokyo Disney World, which is actually in Chiba Prefecture.  The mix of the world that I inhabit here is insanely boring, thrilling and ultimately surreal.

I was feeling sun deprived on this beautiful Sabbath day, so I grabbed my camera, and in shorts and a tee shirt hit my neighborhood.  I wasn’t the only one that was out enjoying the beautiful weather.  The park that sits only two blocks from my home was crammed full of people.

I just kept walking and this phrase kept popping into my head, “The Odd Reality of My Surroundings.”  I am not sure why, but those words seem to sum up my relationship with my own neighborhood.  My neighborhood is nothing special to most people.  It has its 7-11s and supermarkets.  It has homes, and large danchi structures, but it is my hood.  It is where I have called home now for more than 10 years.

Sometimes life just throws some thoughts into my head that the only way I can sort them out is though my camera.  I don’t know why, but it is often the only therapy that works.

So, I welcome you all to the Odd Reality of My Surroundings.

Hilltop and Across Edogawa River


South South Kasai [南南葛西]

Orange Beauty in the Neighborhood

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Branching Citrus Wall

They say that some snow is on the way.  And by they, I mean those that profess the ability to predict the weather.  I don’t put any faith in what they say, but dang it surely is gray and cold now.

I had a few errands to do so I headed out into my neighborhood to hit the bank, and pick up some ingredients for dinner.  I stopped by Kawachiya, which was the first discount liquor store to open, to pick up some imported goods.  I amazingly got a 500 gram  box of cereal for 198 yen ($2.60).  All the way from the country of Lithuania.  I just never know what goodies I am going to find there.

Had a great simple curry lunch, before heading over to the OK Supermarket to get the fresh veggies.

The oranges on the tree were full of life even though the weather was dipping and dipping.  It still amazes me how they survive and thrive in the winter time.  Even in my little corner of Minami Kasai, next to Tokyo Bay.


Red Bloomers and Faux Stained Glass

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

After a long exhausting day, I was glad to get out into the fresh air on my way home.  I came across this little front side garden with these amazing red bloomers, that were perfectly countered by the faux stained glass.  All and all it was a good day in the neighborhood.  I feel lucky not to be going through the heat that the east coast of America is feeling now.

Everyday is a day to give thanks.

Red Bloomers with Faux Stained Glass

Purple and Yellow Under Gray

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

The odd weather just continues.  The skies have slowly grayed over the course of the day. By the time I was making my way home the gray completely covered the Tokyo skies.

I found a little garden that a household owner had set up on the street across from their house.  The brilliant purple and yellow flows were just there and singing under the gray skies.  They without a doubt but a happy end to a long day.  I am so thankful for all the variety of colors, flowers in the Fathers kingdom.

Purple Yellow Kasai Butterfly Stylings

Bokeh in the Afternoon

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

After quite a number of small aftershocks last night, I was ready to have a peaceful day.  The weather was gorgeous at least.  I could rock a short sleeve shirt and be totally comfortable.

There was, as far as I could tell, only one smallish aftershock that happened between 9 and 10 a.m.  I was the only one who noticed that the ground was moving and the lights were swaying.  I guess my internal sense of balance is just ultra sensitive to the movement.  I don’t think I will ever get use to them, but I will, hopefully, learn to live with the aftershocks in some sort of harmony.

The walk back though my neighborhood was exceptionally pleasant today.  The air was cool and dry as the sun was quickly dropping to the horizon.  I could take pleasure in watching the light change its hues as it continued to race towards other worlds.  It was a great day, to look closely and let the bokeh (that beauty of having part of an image out of focus) come out and play.

False Yellow

Into the White Buds

Afternoon Sunshine

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

The sun came on strong today after the cloudy and rainy day on Tuesday.  On my afternoon walk at about 5 p.m. the light was just right.  The harshness of earlier in the day had faded, and that yellow-orange light of the summer to come was coming on strong.

The air was a bit drier, as I rolled up my sleeves on the way.  It is time to fully take advantage of this weather before it turn dreadfully hot and humid.

The flowers continue to speak to me.  They still beckon to me.  And I cannot refuse.  However, over the last couple days, I seem to be getting the Imaginary Earthquake Syndrome again.  I keep feeling shaking that is just not happening.

Double Bow

Pink Fillament Weed

Terraced Gardening in Kasai, Keeping in Touch with Nature

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

The wind is howling with the threat of some heavy rain to come later in the day.  The clouds of dust and sand just are twirling around in the air.  I grabbed my camera to hit the neighborhood  before the rain hits.

I love the way my neighbors squeeze so many plants into tiny spaces.  There is no wasted space in our neighborhood gardens.  The potted plants crowd corners, spread across the entrance ways to little backstreet shops. I guess living in this urban sprawl we all try to stay in touch with our agrarian roots.  We want to be able to get our hands dirty with earth.  To help bring forth some color in beauty in what sometimes can be overwhelming times.

The plants, flowers, and gardens are there to remind us of our delicate relationship with the natural world.  We have been given dominion over the living world, but this does not mean we can exploit it.  We must act as protectors and nurturers of the natural world.

Plant those seeds, and watch them grow.  Give them the love that they need then we all can appreciate.

planting seeds….

Terraced Flower Garden, Minami Kasai

Step Up Garden with Hose, Minami Kasai

Barbershop Garden with Gnomes, Minami Kasai

Another Week, Time to Give Thanks

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Another week has come to a close here in Tokyo.  The week that was filled with dust, dirt, and pollen.  The air was playing hell with my allergies.  I tried to do the Japanese way of wearing a surgical mask, but that helped just a bit.

I am thankful for making it to another shabbat.  The time that has been set aside for reflection and rest.  To look back on the week, and be thankful for what we have.  And I am truly thankful.  I am thankful for my friends and family being safe and in good health.  I am thankful for all the beauty that surrounds my lens.  The flowers are a constant reminder of the change that is brewing here in japan.  The change that needs to happen for this society to overcome all of their difficulties.  I hope that they too will stop to take heed of this beauty, and let the colors inspire them to reach higher than they have ever before.

It is time to put away petty differences.  It is time to see the good in the world and time to put away childish selfish ways.  The glory bubble times are long gone.  It is time to sober up and put forth conversation, and real inclusive unity rather than just for show.

So to all of you, I ask that you in your works, take time to pause, and reflect.  Stop and look up high into the sky and watch the clouds dance across.  Stop, and look at your feet and see the little blooms that are scattered at your feet.

The earth will shake, the rain will fall, and we will be here, being thankful for the life that we are given.

Peace from Tokyo.

Junglefied Front Garden

Wisteria in the Neighborhood

Potted Step Up

Things are Coming Along

Monday, April 25th, 2011

I spent the morning helping some friends rebuild their garden that had been covered in a layer of icing like mud after the liquefaction in Shin Urayasu.  The day was a gorgeous spring day.  The sun was shining brightly yet the air was crisp and just a tad cool.  It felt good to both help out and just to be out in the sun.

Sometimes I really miss having a yard with trees, plants, and a garden like I had growing up in Miami.  Here in Tokyo and it’s suburbs there is little space for gardening.  Homeowners get very creative with their use of space, and create elaborate gardens in the most minuscule of areas.

As I wandered a bit around the Shin Urayasu neighborhood, I did notice that it was a lot less dusty than two weeks ago.  More of the silt has been removed, along with a few days of some heavy downpours have helped to clear the air.

People are out and about taking care of their homes and all in all after six weeks things are coming along nicely.

The spring colors keep pushing me forward.  I am compelled to show all the colors that the world has to offer.  The bright spots that standout on a sunny day like yesterday.  With all the worries of the world, I can loose myself within the simple beauty of color.

One Out of a Town

Orange Ones, Drying Ones

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