Showing posts from March, 2014

Sunset stroll

There's nothing like a great sunset and, unfortunately, this was nothing like a great sunset. It was a little hazy and a few interesting clouds might have been nice, but you work with what you've got. I did pretty much have the view to myself, which was nice. I might not have been a great sunset, but it was my sunset. Thought I'd share it with you.

Pi Xiu

Pi Xiu

I am Pi Xiu; they call me the white bear.
I am the hidden king of this bamboo forest.
With my white and my black fur I’m invisible
In this snow, these dark rocks, these misty shadows.

I am the hidden king of these mountain heights.
I’m not a clown, nor a toy. I do not care
To be seen. I walk, for all my heavy weight, 
Like a ghost on the velvet pads of my black feet.

Unseen with my black and my white fur
I haunt the streams, I flip out the little fish.
Scoop them out of the water with my black paw.
(I have a thumb; like you, I have a hand.)

Among this sparkling snow, these rocks, these shadows,
I roam. Time is my own. My teeth are strong.
My jaw is their powerful engine. I feed
On chewy bamboo, on small creatures too.

You call me panda. But I am King Pi Xiu.
Monarch of this misty mountain forest,
Ruler of snowy peak and hidden gorge,
Invisible spirit of this sovereign land.

I wrote this poem a few weeks ago, but wasn't happy with the final line. It was about about the giant panda being endanger…

Iyogadake walk

Temperatures soared at the weekend, and it didn't take any more than that to have me heading down to open up the beach house...

I'm sorry, I'm going to have to stop myself there... that sounds well pretentious. What I mean is, the temperature went up 4 degrees, I got restless and drove to a house not far from a beach and stayed there for the first time since I last stayed there, which was before it got too cold to stay there. You know, the autumn...

Anyway, I wasn't down there long, but long enough to flex my legs up a couple of peaks and still have time left over to take in a glorious sunset.

Iyogadake walk:

Snowed in

Oi! Where're my snow pictures? Oh yeah, I completely forgot to post them. I guess I was busy clearing the worst snow we've had in Tokyo since 1946. Well, that's probably why I didn't post them on the day of the snow. Laziness is why I haven't posted them in the 3 weeks since then. To be fair, though, I have been busy writing that paper on procrastination. Well, I would have been, but something came up and I had to put it off. Anyway... these are some snaps of the garden from the other week...

Tojogaoka Museum of History - plum blossoms

With the weather being extremely mild yesterday - there was something like an April feel to things - I went out to catch some plum blossoms. I headed to my local museum of history, Tojogaoka, the grounds of which I knew to have a few nice trees. I was hoping to have the place to myself, which didn't quite happen, but no matter; the sun turned up (where ya bin, man?) which was worth the entrance fee alone. Actually, it was only 150 yen, to be honest.

It's an easy 20 minute stroll south of the station, alongside the Tokyo-bound tracks. On route I called in briefly to the tiny Taishoji temple, paid my respects and took a couple of shots:

It's less than 5 minutes further on to get to the Tojo Tei. It was originally one of homes belonging to Tokugawa Akitake, part of the famous Mito clan. The house itself is largely in it's original state with some beautiful airy rooms, including a great little fire-proof storage room, and excellent views from the verandas down across the Edo…