Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Day 177/365: Lost, and then...

...still not found

There remains a comparatively high level of trust and respect for other people's property in Japan. You can leave your laptop on a table in a coffee shop to go and order another coffee, and it will still be there when you return. There are many stories of people losing wallets and having them returned intact...

When you find something small on the roadside, be it a glove or a teddy bear or something small and personal that might have fallen out of a bag, custom has it you pick it up and leave it in a prominent place nearby. With luck, the owner will pass by again and see it and pick it up. 

Or so goes neighbourhood legend. 

Let's see. 

This morning at the bus stop, I found someone's dog charm on the ground and I put it up a bit higher on a post...

Lost pup

It was still there this evening...

Lost pup still lost

I wonder if it will be there tomorrow morning. 


[Camera : iPhone8, 9.47am, 9.32pm (almost 12 hours later); 26 June 2018] 

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Day 176/365: There should be a law against it...

...running in the sun

The rainy season has just abut come to pass. Good on the one hand, no wet commuting. On the other hand (because I always like to be balanced) it signals the beginning of the hot, humid season. Today. Some 32 degrees outside accompanied by about 95% humidity. Not a great combination. 

Not the sort of weather to have a couple of hundred kids lined up down on the promenade running full pelt for some reason. Probably another tv commercial or drama scene. 

Good luck to them. 


Spotted the moon

A little later

As the sun went down

Meanwhile, most of my day was spent in meeting rooms with the aircon turned up to icy...deadset, if it is not one thing, it's another, and a fan of air-conditioning I am not, but a fan of the fan I am. I know what I prefer. 

There more of the same tomorrow--meetings and heat. let's see how we go.

[Camera : iPhone8, 10.58am, 5.44pm, 6.34pm, 6.36pm; 25 June 2018] 

Day 175/365: It is that time of the year...

...when I am three weeks early, again

It is not that I do it on purpose, really. I had reason to go to Ueno today, to a surf shop to look for a case for my replica board. Even though I knew from experience (see last year) that I would be a smidge early, I went to the park to check out the lotus garden. 

Of course, I was too early, even earlier than last year...

In the distance



Sitting quietly

Already fallen

Holding pattern


All the green

Life on a hydrangea

Last year's remnants

Lots of these

And these

Variation on a theme

The sign said 'don't feed the fish' but of course someone did


More hydrangeas

It's a jungle in parts


Submerged, darkly

Sun protection

Early shift

Too early

Trying its best

Still, there was plenty to see and this time I did wander into corners of the garden I hadn't been before, so that's a good thing. 

I will have to try harder and get there again in the next few weeks to see them in their full glory, Even if only to visit the Yebisu Bar for a beer and pizza, good end to a weekend. 

[Camera: Canon EOS M5, 4.04pm-4.43pm; 24 June 2018] 

Day 174/365: Surf is (not) up...

...and the work/life balance line blurs again

Regular readers will know that golf is not one of my sports. You will know that because I don't think I've ever mentioned it on these pages. Ever, But that might soon change. 

A friend of the family has a daughter on the Japanese tour so there are visitors here this week in support. Today I was supposed to be on a golf course (a first) watching...but alas, she just missed the cut this weekend. 'What can we do?' they asked, I mentioned my surf history research and that they weren't far from the 2020 Olympic venue, if they were interested. 

Waiting by the station

Surf's out there, somewhere


There were flowers

...of the picturesque kind

Before I made the trek back to Tokyo

So yep, there we were, in the rain, watching a waveless surf for a few hours. Probably on a par with whacking a little white ball around undulating fields when you think about it. 

But another Saturday spent going to the beach for research purposes. Not a bad day job really. 

[Camera : iPhone8, 1.20pm, 1.48pm, 4.09pm-4.10pm; 23 June 2018] 

Day 173/365: Sit down... is Friday

And indeed, for the first Friday in quite a few weeks, I didn't have to be up and out the door early (i.e. 6.15am) for a class or a meeting. The end of term one a couple of weeks ago was punctured by a meeting at the other campus last Friday, so it has taken until today to revert to normal...

Actually, when your life is timetabled there is no normal. It just is. And it is funny how you get conditioned to turning up on time each time. The shorter eight week term as opposed to the sixteen week semester (especially since we operate on both systems here) takes a little getting used to, or rather, just as you are getting used to times, it is over. 

Never mind, there's another eight-week term to replace the last one. 

I've also been keeping a keener than usual eye on the port...reports of a whale frolicking around in the Bay at the moment are a little distracting.

Way to start the day

A whale is out there, somewhere

Hazy ending

Quite dystopian

There are classes still to be had however, and students to encourage on the way. At the end of the day it was over to the student residences to check out accommodation and meet some of the international students. It might have been a later start but the late finishes remain. 

[Camera : iPhone8, 10.07am, 6.01pm, 6.22pm; 22 June 2018] 

Monday, 25 June 2018

Day 172/365: Up on the roof...

...the things you see

Over the last year or so, a colleague and his students have been creating a rooftop garden on the building below my office. It is part of a project in our happiness research centre, where eventually the vegetables being grown here will be used in the cafe downstairs and the scraps will be returned for compost; eventually there will be seats and shade and it will be open to us all to go there to eat lunch or just sit and ponder. 

It is an exciting project and it has been great to watch it grow, literally, before my eyes.

Morning glory shines through

Every morning

Also waiting for the bus

Goos strawberries

Good tomato

Today was the first 'open day' for staff and students to come along and look at the progress up close. Even spotted a caterpillar among the strawberries and scored a little tomato. And it is true, it tasted different, not at all like its shop-bought cousin. 

I'm looking forward to more visits to the roof. 

[Camera : iPhone8, 8.48am-8.50am, 10.56am, 11.02am; 21 June 2018] 

Day 171/365: Just wet through... is the rainy season though

One thing about it being peak hydrangea season is it means it is also peak rainy season, they kind of go together. When the rain goes, we hit the high temp, high humidity summers Tokyo is famous for...

But until then, we have rain, rain and more rain. That would be rain in the morning as I get public transport all the way to work...

Raindrops on the road

Into the rain

...then rain, still, on the way home, walking back from said bus stop. In between, there were a few more meetings (of course) including one of the ones I get to chair in my new role...still a bit on edge to chair a meeting in Japanese in front of my peers but someone has to do it. And that would be me. 

[Camera : iPhone8, 9.08am, 10.22pm; 20 June 2018]