2014年4月20日日曜日

Lured by the fragrance of Japanese apricots with my mother.....







While I was staying in Tokyo, my mother and I visited the Japanese apricot garden in Suburban Tokyo. It was a warm and beautiful day in the middle of March, so we did not need coats any more. I remember this short trip is for the first time in 20 years for us!







Japanese people have fascinated by a sweet scent and innocent beauty of Japanese apricots, which has motivated them to choose the plant as the subject for poems and Noh performances since the old days.






Thankfully,my mother is very healthy for her age 92. She used to say that she would live by herself as long as she was mobile, but her surroundings had gradually been changing. Her husband, her son and his wife who lived with her passed away. Her close friends in her neighborhood also passed away or went to live in nursing homes. She was left alone, and began to afraid of darkness at night.Her younger daughter decided to live with her mother. Last autumn, mother left her house in Tokyo which she had lived for more than 50 years to live with her daughter's family one hour away from her house. She now goes to a daycare center for relatively healthy aged people every day except Sundays. My sister and I are happy to see she enjoys her life again with new friends there.






                                                                    the apricot garden on the hill side 

                                            We slowly walked and walked, of course, without canes! 
                                    
   


                                                            edit... photo mania

one shot! 
She does not like to be taken photos so much though. 

our coffee time




my mother 90, at her granddaughter's wedding in 2012


She attended her grandson's wedding ceremony in March. She liked to wear Japanese traditional garment, kimono in weddings as many old women do.However she gave up wearing kimono for the first time as it was getting hard to wear heavy kimono for her.


        She likes this photo of her wearing kimono not formal gorgeous dress!




Dear friends, thank you for your visits.

Hope you have a beautiful new week!

Until Next Time!

Tomoko


2014年4月7日月曜日

Ginza Story

                                                                       Dear friends!
                                                  

                                              Well, this is Ginza 4 chome in the center of Tokyo.



                                                                                                              edited by photo mania

Speaking of Ginza, it is well known as one of the most high class shopping areas in Japan. "Ginza" is kind of a brand name. Both sides of the street are lined with both old and new fashion stores. However, that's not the only reason why Ginza has attracted people.
Do you notice that there are no cars on the street in this picture? No, they are not. It's a holiday today, so the street is turned into a pedestrian precinct from 9 am to 9 pm! I remember that strolling around Ginza was called "Gin bura" in my young age.I do not know if this word is still used though. Let’s do ”Gin bura” with me, my friends!




Four hundred years ago, the first shogun of the Edo period in Japan, Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616), developed this area vertically and horizontally on a grid as a merchant's business area, where few people had lived. This area has flourished since then and still many old stores keep their business here.






                                                       I snapped a TV interview on the street. 





Although many skyscrapers stand in the midst of Tokyo, Ginza has kept the strict rule which does not allow buildings over 56 meters height.






                                              This is another feature of Ginza: Kabuki hall.






                                            program board and people waiting for the entrance.
                  
           



                                         It will be 5 pm soon! This street will be busy with cars again. 

                                                  Thank you for your visits, Dear Friends!

                                                  This is my first time to edit my photos!
          Thank you Barb. Your edit photos have excited me. Our friend Susan did too. Next is my turn...finally! 
           It was fun.

                                                 
                                                                              Tomoko
                                                                
                                                                     shared with Our world

2014年3月30日日曜日

Sunlit Sunday!

                                                     How are you spending your spring or autumn? 
 I had a spring vacation for a month. I went back to my home town ‘Tokyo’ during my vacation. I hope you will enjoy my home town, here.




This is the place named Hamarikyu Park which is located in the center of business district(Shinbashi) of Tokyo.

                                        For a start, I snap one shot with my wide lens.
This landscape is well known as the best place for taking a picture of Hamarikyu. However, since the landscape is more than famous, some also say this is kind of a boring picture. But I really like that combination of those buildings and the yellow field.This is the only large canola flower field surrounded by buildings in Japan. They brilliantly tell the arrival of spring and this is my favorite spot I can’t ignore.





I saw a wedding couple walking around the park.This place is also popular for young couples as a location for Japanese-style wedding memorial photographs. In fact, there is not a ceremony house there.






They take a little break for fixing makeup. They allowed me to snap them! I click a shutter again carefully not to interrupt the camera man.






                           Of many kinds of ume blossoms, this one seems to be the last one flowering.





                                      Tokyo has many green areas and air is clean despite its scale.

                                                   This was the last day during my stay in Tokyo.
                                       I will run back my trip and show you other places next time!


                            
       This is the last Sunlit Sunday for this year. Karen, Thank you for your host. 
                    
                                                     My dear Friends, Thank you for your visits.


                                              Tomoko 




2014年3月7日金曜日

Spring Break, 春休みに入ります。


Hello, dear friends!

The air is still cold, but spring signs are seen here and there. My mother-in-law spends almost all day in her room, seeing the garden changing to spring, in which ume blossom flowers are in full bloom now. But the recent unstable weather change seems to be weakening her.

I am traveling to Tokyo to attend the wedding of my nephew. It is also going to be my break with other events.
 I will see my relatives, and then enjoy exploring my home town.

My mother- in- law will stay in her daughter's house while I am traveling. I appreciate her lots of help for my family.



Today, I will show you some photos of the very beautiful country "Myanmar", where my husband and I traveled in 2007 and 2009. All photos were taken by my husband, and I trimmed some parts for this post! I hope you enjoy them!


                                                 
                   
                                                  
                                 Inle Lake ...link                











                                                       an ancient city" Bagan "of Myanmar( Buruma)...link









ミャンマーの位置

                                                                          


                                                                                Thank you for your visit.

                                              
                                                        I am hoping you all have happy days. 
  
                                                                    Until next time!
                                                      
                                                                       Tomoko
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2014年3月2日日曜日

A joyful day for Little girls, Sunlit Sunday!




             Anpanman snacks for girls festival (hina festival)

   March 3rd:This is the day that families with little daughters cerebrate to pray for their daughters' happiness  and healthy growth.Traditionally, girls aged 3 are given Hina dolls from their parents or maternal grandparents.
The dolls are displayed in their homes during February and March. This festival has a long history of about 1000 years in our country.





                                                               small hina dolls in my living room

 I do not have daughters, but enjoy displaying these hina dolls my younger sister made. My husband and I have a small cerebration at home for our grand daughter who lives in Tokyo. 

            




 Various sweets especially made for Hina festival are on show in many shops this time of the year.  Many sweets and some gifts for the festival I bought will be arriving soon our little girl!






                                                 
An old set of coffee cups, which my mother-in-law gave me many years ago, also join our celebration. 
Actually, the set of coffee cups had being left with dust at the corner of her kitchen. She was happy that I found them, and then she gave the whole set to me. Each of them has a logo "Nippon Toki Kaisha Ltd." in Japanese, which shows that they were made by the predecessor of "Noritake" around 1933-1943.






                     They were everyday cups for her family. The old type of square handles feel new to me.


                                           


                                                               It is interesting to see old logos.
                            I like to imagine of people's everyday life  with their chinawares at that time.           

             




The pair of Hina dolls, which are over 80 years old, have been passed down from my grandmother to my mother and to me. 

I love these graceful hina dolls.




 Wishing your all little girls happiness.


Thank you, Karen, for hosting Sunlit Sunday.


Thank you for your visits.

Until next time!

Tomoko

2014年2月16日日曜日

Spring will begin with these pink cushions.






             A heavy snow fell in my town the other day and it was for the first time in 18 years. I wanted to go out with my camera earlier but decided to stay at home until the snow stops. So I replaced the winter cushions with the spring ones I made. 




     When I saw a piece of pink cloth, which was originally for curtains, at a Laura Ashley store few years ago, 
    I decided to make cushions with it. Do you think it is a good idea?

   

The following day, it is time to go out for walk in the snow. I will show you something pretty in my town. As you know snow beautifully simplifies everything. My friends, come along with me!





the old wooden fence of  Wakamiya Shrine in Nara Park







the old style roofing tiles of Wakamiya Shrine 





          This design is called Mitsudomoe in Japanese. 





      a stone washbowl and stone lanterns 




a small shrine



at  the nearby play ground  

   

                                                     



                                                                       my neighborhood

                                                                  
                                                               Thank you, Karen, for hosting! 
                                                                       Sunlit Sunday 
                                                

                                                                    Until next time!                                       
                                                                       Tomoko




2014年2月2日日曜日

Spring is just around the corner.


                    


It has been chilly for the past few days in my town.  






                                                You  see the large land across the line? 

It is the site of the Imperial Palace when Nara was the capital of Japan: 710-784. The Kintetsu line connecting Osaka and Nara goes through the large sight of the Palace. Anyone who takes this line for the first time is surprised to see the scenery outside the train window changing from the busy town with buildings and cars suddenly to this large flat land stretched to all sides. Security guards are stationed in rotation at this crossing to keep the safety of pedestrians from 8 am to 5 pm. They are very friendly and can even give us brief explanations of the sight. 
                        




       
            Crisp wind is blowing through the wide, open field. I am strolling around there bundled up in warm coat and              scarf trying to forget the cold air for a moment. 






                                                              All the wildflowers there are now hibernating.
 






             The lavish culture called Tenpyo culture flourished there, and this ancient capital, was modeled on the 
         capital of China during the T'ang Dynasty.




                     
                                                       a restored ship for Japanese envoy to Tang Dynasty China




                                                                                  on the deck
                                                     thinking of what lies across the sea 



Dear my friends in both Northern and Southern Hemispheres, a new season is coming around soon.
                                                                     Take care! 

                                                             Thank you, Karen, for hosting.
                                                                   Sunlit Sunday 

                                                                                  
                                                                      Tomoko