Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Kinmokusei...Osmanthus fragrans

There's a lovely Tang in the air.  I love the smell of this tree in the fall...

That's literally Tang -- the orange powdered breakfast drink, originally formulated for the Apollo astronauts, for those old enough to know about that;-)

Wiki has just tried to tell me that it is cultivated in Asia, Europe, and North America  "for its deliciously fragrant flowers which carry the scent of ripe peaches or apricots".  Rubbish-- those flowers smell nothing like peaches *or* apricots.  They smell exactly like Tang in powder form.  I know, because I noticed the smell before I knew where on earth it was coming from.  Walking down the road, suddenly assailed by childhood memories of yellow kitchen cabinets and brownish carpet and the little wooden table and the kitchen window and the bread drawer and the pantry, where the canister of Tang was kept...

"What smells like Tang?  There's no Tang in Japan, that I know of....??"  Oooh-- this tree smells like Tang!  Who knew!

Movers bow, and put protective covers on all the walls...
We are finally moved in.... wireless troubles and all that.  But I hope to be able to post rather more regularly from now (if I can get my computer to connect reliably.  Ahem.)

the Child who Falls Asleep Anywhere

No sooner do we buy a sofa, than somebody conks out on it... ;-)

The floors are nice and clean, though, because movers in Japan put drop cloths down everywhere and (of course) take off their shoes before they come inside.  Even if they are carrying your refrigerator...

I've traded four flights of stairs for steep hills in all directions...

Going anywhere is "whee!"

Coming home is "wuh..."

Nice view though...

See it?

The view out the dining room window...

Can you see it?


Mostly we can see the Mountain at sunset, when it's backlit...

This one came out nice-- ukiyoe sky and dark, feathery clouds behind Fuji...

On clear mornings we can see it-- after the rain last week, it emerged with a snow-covered cap.  The clouds came up from below that day...

Snow-capped Fuji under a soft duvet of clouds

*"Tadaima!" means "I'm home!" :-)

Next time I'll tell you all about the spider I caught in the garage.


Mata asobou, ne!


  1. Is Tang's smell like Kinmokusei?
    I like Kinmokusei's fravor.
    Fujisan, how beautiul!!
    Hikkosi otsukaresama desita!

  2. Entchen-san..youkoso! Tang smells exactly like Kinmokusei! Watashi mo Kinmokusei no kaori ga *daisuki* :-) Maitoshi Kinmokusei ga saitekita jiki wa totemo ureshi--ii! Chikaku ni hikkoshimashita no ni.... honto ni Kodomo mo iru, mama no shigoto ga ooiii, ne o.O Yokohama no nani-ku ni sundeimasuka?

  3. Okaerinasai! Congratulations on a successful move! And wow, what an amazingly spectacular view!! Are you really still in Yokohama, or have you moved further West?

    As someone who lived in the inaka far away from Tokyo, it's always stunning to not only see beautiful images of Fuji-san like this, but to also know that people live so close to the mountain! Sugoi ne!

  4. Hi, Chris! Still in Yokohama--same shogakko, even (we had to look around pretty hard to find someplace affordable in our school district--but then, everything seems expensive after company housing;-( We're not really all that close to Fuji, actually. There's another mountain range off to the right that you can't really see in the photos above that's much closer, but Fuji is so huge it looks bigger even though it's twice as far away! The only reason we can see it so well from this house is that we're on top of a very high hill (steeeep hills to climb to get home-- I haz to walk the last part of the way with the bicycle)...and there happens not to be a house next to us (just a garden). We're just renting this place for the time being-- I can't imagine what it cost the owners to buy this land, given the proximity to the station plus the view (the owners are with the State Department, apparently)...

    Where did you live again, Chris?

  5. What a lovely view, and even lovelier to have you back again. I hope you can do your regular posts, field notes, and all.

    We missed you!

  6. Hurrah! I just, in a 'wondering where you are' moment, popped over here, & lo! you are back!

    "take off their shoes before they come inside. Even if they are carrying your refrigerator" - health & safety? Broken toes?!

  7. Glad you like the view, Jerry-- hope to get a Field Notes up on (or about) Friday... I caught an *awesome* spider in the garage. For reals!

  8. Hi Dom! Here I am! Two guys picked up the fridge and *ran* down four flights of stairs with it. I kid you not. They all had indoor shoes in the genkan to put on before coming inside. All outdoor shoes were left outside. They honest and for true stopped in the genkan and slipped out of the outside shoes and into the inside shoes (just done with the feet, no sitting down-- inside shoes are slip-ons) before coming in and while holding a refrigerator. I wish I'd gotten that on video, but at the time I thought it would look weird to video them or whether they would be happy to find themselves on YouTube... No broken toes at all. Those five guys were the fastest movers I've ever seen. They had us out of the apartment and into this house (it's close to where we were before) in three hours. They *ran* up and down those stairs. They were all really skinny, too, I noticed. And they lined up and bowed when they were done.

  9. rustiguzzi (formerly known as 'roy')November 18, 2011 at 5:34 AM

    Delighted to find you posting again, and look forward to hearing more when time allows. Brilliant photos, as usual.

  10. I lived in Oda (大田 in Japanese; the official spelling is Ohda, but I've always found that cumbersome), in Shimane Prefecture. We had t-shirts that said 島根:鳥取のとのり, or something to that affect. Tottori Prefecture is technically the least populated (a fact that we Shimaneans are reluctant to accept), with Shimane a close second. Oda is not particularly known for anything, though Japan's 14th World Heritage Site, the Iwami Silver Mines, is just down the road. Oda is also just south of Izumo, which houses Izumo Shrine, Japan's second most famous/important Shinto Shrine! If you're ever traveling on the san-in side of Chugoku, have a look!

  11. Happy Successful Move! I have been so busy, that I haven't even checked with you. We had a successful Veterans Day Convocation and now I am busy with the kindergarten Christmas program. We have a new kindergarten student from Denmark, so I now have some German, Dutch (a few) and Danish (very few) words in my head--too many words that are sometimes, but often NOT similar!

    I am also busy picking out baby toys and books for grandbaby Johanna.

  12. Nice view, Amy. I'm glad that you're settled in and ready for new experiences. You and I have both had a bit of a writing hiatus. I hope your rested.

    PS. The child who falls asleep anywhere is considerably easier to raise than the child who fall asleep no where.