One thing I love about Japan are oshibori, the little, wet towels often presented before a meal or on other occasions when a refreshing wash-up might be welcome. The other day I was at the golf driving range practicing my newly acquired chip-n-run shot. Located in the heart of Tokyo, our driving range of choice at Meiji Jingu Gaien is a happening place. I always take note of our fellow patrons. Most appear to be retirees but there is always a smattering of younger folk. The other day I saw a woman teeing up in stilettos. Now that was interesting.
Imagine my surprise and delight when I spotted this oshibori dispenser. As you can see, it offers both hot and cold towels, each one individually wrapped in a vinyl pouch. Golfers are free to take the towel of his or her choice to their assigned driving range berth. I have yet to take advantage of my complimentary oshibori but who knows? When I hit the driving range in the heat of the Japanese summer, I will probably be sweating more than just the small stuff.
Recently, I accompanied Abby to her final voice lesson with her teacher here in Tokyo. This entailed traveling by train to Higashi-Kurume Station which is located in a kind of suburban netherland between Tokyo and Saitama. Abby’s singing was absolutely exquisite. In fact, her breathtakingly beautiful rendition of Mozart’s operatic aria ‘Un Marito, Donne Care’ made me cry. But her translation of the libretto made me laugh! Mozart and his cronies definitely had a sense of humor.
On our way back to the station, we snapped these photos of a bike parking lot. In Tokyo, where many people commute to stations on two wheels, bike lots of various types are common. What caught my eye this time is the cute, little gate — the same type used for car parking lots in miniature! It almost looked like a toy.
Located near the gate, the above sign indicates that there are empty spaces for both bikes (above) and motorbikes (below).
As you can see in the photo at the end of this post, there are separate sections for the two types of cycles. But both areas are remarkably neat and orderly.
I meant to post about these apples in January but, alas, I did not. Better late than never, right? Intended as gifts, each apple is tenderly cradled in its own styrofoam net and adorned with “2013” and a kind of cartoony serpentine creature, this being the Year of the Snake. I am not exactly sure how these apples are grown but my guess is that a stencil is applied and as the apple ripens the motif appears. Alternately, the skin is sprayed red (yuck!), leaving the seasonal motif in its wake. At Y6000 for the six-pack (approximately seventy bucks at the then exchange rate), they should have been flying out of the store.