Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tokyo lights and handwork

Clear skies and a full moon, plus a lunar eclipse thrown in for good measure!

I was interested to read two posts by my blogging friends. The first was by Linda on Eat,Sleep,Quilt, who shared pictures of a beautiful light show she had visited.
She commented on how difficult it is to take pictures of lights at night.

I could second that! When I went to my Pack meeting at the Tokyo American Club, the moon was just rising behind the Tokyo tower. I hurried up to the top floor to see if I could get a picture of the tower and moon without a thousand electrical wires in between. No wires, and the view was great but the lighting on the tower even without a flash is a bit overdone. Then, as I was leaving after the Pack meeting, the lighting had changed so without going back to the roof, I took another shot.

The Tokyo Tower has been a great landmark for many years. Soon it will be replaced in size, if not importance, by a much taller tower called "Sky Tree".

Both have observation decks where you can get a good 360 degree view of Tokyo and it's surroundings, including Mt. Fuji on a clear day.

On the night of a full moon, we were also blessed with a total eclipse. If you would like to peek at that, you will have to check out Taniwa, the second blog that caught my attention. She and her camera stayed up later than I was able. (Sunday morning comes early, for one thing, and the night was way to cold to be out looking at the moon ... or the earth's shadow). She also commented on taking photographs at night.

With a continuous run of Scouting events in the city, I have added to the growing pile of + and x blocks.

They now total 113, still not enough but getting closer to quilt size.

Here they are piled out on the "ironing board" which lives on top of the dog kennel. I wonder where I would put it if I didn't have a dog kennel.

The train is only crowded in the mornings so I can usually sit on the trip into town. If I sit I can do some piecing. If I stand, I have a book to read.

The trains have "Silver seats" at one end of each car. Those are intended for the elderly, the handicapped, or pregnant women. In truth, they go to those who can shove into the train and grab a seat the fastest. Then, once you are sitting, you a.) sleep b.) read a comic book c.) put on make-up or d,)text on your keitai (cell phone). The cell phone is supposed to be turned off in the area of silver seats and there are signs on every side wall, window, and hand-grip with a picture of a cell phone and a red line across it and the word "OFF", which must not be one of the words taught in English classes. Of course, any of the above activities prevent you from seeing those old people or the guy on crutches or that very pregnant woman clinging to the swaying strap.

Last week I was sitting across from a young father and son about 9 or 10. The boy asked his father if it was really OK to sit in the "Silver seats" because he had been taught at school that those seats were not to be used by kids. The father muttered something like "don't let it bother you" and shut his eyes so he didn't have to look at who might be standing.

Evening trains are all crammed just like rush hour in the mornings. I did find out that there is more chance to get a seat if I go to the front of the train. Thus, I had a very productive week. Now I will have to mark and cut more pieces for next weeks trips. I had set a goal of 140 blocks but I am beginning to think 182 might make a bigger quilt with maybe a five inch border to hold it all together. Marking and cutting all those pieces is not much fun but I enjoy having something to make the train ride and meetings go faster.

I think you can check out those two blogs by going to the side bar. I will try to add a link but I've gotta run out for dog food before the shop closes. Today is "wan wan" (11) day and I get extra points. (Japanese dogs say wan wan instead of bow wow) There are also extra points on "nya nya" day (22) as Japanese cats say nya nya.

Now you know more than you ever wanted to know ... I have been told I am a vast storehouse of useless information!


  1. Love you Julie, and your information. It just wonders me that you remember so much!

  2. Julie what are the extra points for? That kind of reminds me of my childhood when we got green stamps - double on certain days. :) I just have to comment on the manners of those riding the train...well I would comment if I could think of words! The lack of respect for others that I see occasionally, and which are evident there on the train, frighten me more than violence does sometimes. The subtle relaxation of social rules leads to such devastation both personally and in our culture. It makes me sad. blessings, marlene

  3. Good to see your photos of the tower and how the lights change.
    No view of the moon for us - too cloudy, unfortunately.
    It sounds like train travel is the same the world over. Technology has made it very easy for everyone to pretend they are busy and to not see what is around them. But I do like the idea that you have been able to complete a lot of blocks.
    Just an interesting note regarding the use of iphones/cell phones etc. We have recently had a report that the number of pedestrian accidents has increased by 30% this year. The increase has been attributed to people texting or reading messages on their phones and not watching for traffic. Really sad.

  4. well who knew dogs spoke a different language in Japan? Amazing! Lovely photos of the tower. And great to see that your pile of blocks is growing - this is going to be a wonderful quilt!

  5. Greath picture's of the tower and the moon. I hope you have many time a seat so the blocks can grow.
    Have a nice day Tiny

  6. Useless information perhaps, but so interesting. I meant to get up and see the lunar eclipse but I was in a deep sleep until daylight this morning. And tonight I've been awake since 3 a.m.! I have been struggling with taking pictures of lights. My camera takes about ten seconds to actually take the shot once I click the shutter and it is difficult to keep it still for that long. I can see a tripod in my future. :)

  7. You really are a storehouse of info, but it's all interesting! The two shots of the tower are interesting, they look like different structures because of the lighting.

    We have senior/handicapped seating on our subway too, but people move if someone comes who needs it. Even before I reached "senior" status I've had people offer me their seat, and it wasn't even in the senior section! Maybe I looked especially tired those times, LOL.

    Your blocks are looking good... keep going and make those extra blocks, there's no hurry and you'll be glad you did!

  8. Your pictures of the Tokyo tower were wonderful. And here is some "useless" info for you. Those "comic" books are called manga.

  9. The picture of the Tokyo tower with the moon close to the top is awesome. It's sooo beautiful.
    Refer to your "useless" info from you, it's unbelievable that people there become a bit ignorance (about their behavior on the elderly seat) recently. But I believe there are still many people who are attentive and care of others.
    And one "useless" info from me, Indonesian dog 'says' "guk guk" instead of "wan wan" :)

  10. What an interesting post! Love the lights on the tower - looks a bit like the Eiffel Tower, don't you think? Your hand-sewing always amazes me. If I didn't have a sewing machine, nothing would ever get made but you create the most beautiful quilts by hand. Impressive!

  11. Beautiful photos and interesting info about the towers. You're moving right along (in more ways than one) with your quilt blocks. I can hardly wait to see the finished product. I love your trivia. I'm loaded with trivia as well, haha.

  12. Julie
    I love your ironing board. If I was to put mine on the dog kennel I would need a ladder. Our 12 year old labrador was upgraded by my hubby to a new plastic 8foot by 6 foot shed with perspex windows. Talk about luxury. He did have an old wooden shed in which I had put the old vinyl table cloths up on the walls and on the floors to try to keep the wind, rain and cold out. It was starting to fall apart so now he is the warmest happiest dog around.

  13. Love your photos of Tokyo Tower!! I miss it, but not riding the train!!! lol

  14. The blocks look great! I continue to marvel at your hand piecing!