Privacy hedges are nothing new and can be found anywhere. I love how they aren't always green, or even really hedges. The bamboo fence training the plants serves not only the functional purpose but looks quite nice.
The idea of Halloween in Japan is skewed towards the cute and spooky is usually left behind. Once in a while there's something that resembles Halloween as Americans know it. For some reason it usually happens in shopping centers. Lots of kids were playing with the buttons in the tree's mouth so it took a while to get this photo.
This tree is so close to a street, it's amazing it's still there. Back home it would've been dug up as a hazard to the structural integrity of the road. In Japan the history is more important than modern engineering.
It seems that there is always a crop locally in season. There's always something being planted or otherwise filling the fields. Coming from a place that gets plenty of snow, this is something I will never get used to seeing.
After taking the group Trick-or-Treating, a student gave me the largest chestnut I've ever seen. I hope it tastes as good as it looks.
EDIT: It was indeed excellent. Apparently they go bad quickly though, so if you have some eat them quickly!
7 Eleven is part of the same company as Ito Yokado, and apparently they aren't allowed to just list the convenience store on the window...? Anyway, it looks weird to see the extra bits on the logo.
Since I got pretty sick I thought it would be good to make hot soup. The ingredients: water, white dashi, sliced pork, chopped veggies, white miso paste and a raw egg whipped into the hot soup just before serving.
Food in Japan often has multiple small courses that are shared between people. Despite not having Moo Cow to share with I decided my lunch today would include a few courses. Here is a tofu sampler I whipped up. Sure, it's not just tofu, but every part has some tofu mixed into it, including the meat patty.
Happy Binary Day (10-10-10). Did you know the value of today's date in binary is 42? It's a special day.
And to celebrate, I went to the Aldgate in Shibuya. It has very dim lighting and dark wood, apparently just like England. They serve classic pub fare such as Toad-in-the-Hole as well as some slightly less traditional fusions like Jacket Potatoes with Tuna & Mayonnaise. They have a board next to the bar where you can see the listing of imported specials. This time I tried Budvar, the Czech beer that inspired Budweiser. I can tell you it is far better than the messed up American approximation.
In any case, the Aldgate is a nice hideaway from Tokyo, particularly if you're British.
While international holidays are often "observed" in Japan, the details usually get a bit mixed up. This guord looks perfectly happy to be a makeshift "jack-o-lantern" if you ask me. It's the effort that counts, right?
At the Pink Cow in Shibuya there are some good homemade dishes you can get. They aren't cheap but the portions are typically pretty large, making it an ideal place to share food with friends. This is the amusingly named guac and cow chips.
I've never heard of these flower pineapple plants, but apparently they are native to Okinawa and can be used to grow full-sized pineapples. Seems dubious if you ask me, but Moo Cow swears it's true.