Mizutaka Mountain (Mizutakasan – 水高山)

We do not like big crowd of people, so after experiencing the nice short mountain, but dense experience of mt. Takao, we directed our interest in finding a more pilgrin kind of mountain to climb in solitaire.

We found the Mizutaka mountain or Hill depending on where you come from since it is only few metres after 700m tall.

IMGP2286We felt to be in the wood, and when We saw the sign of a bear who was last seen last Spring, a bit in the wild…even if it was not really a place to called wild.

IMGP2298Despite that we did not meet any wild animal and few hikers.

During the journey through the wood some nice moment I can recall, like the path here below

Mizutaka trackWas it nice ?

I shoot a picture from the top but it was not the brighest of the days.

IMGP2326The momiji – the japanese term to autumn leaves color changing – was already in his past moment but still nice to look at.

What was surprising Us, it was our son endurance. He did not complain at all. Around 3.00 pm we encountered a sign with two ways, one shortcut for the station and one for the third top hill, we took the shortcut. Despite that we arrived late. The last 200 metres downhill it was almost full dark, and my wife had a little sliding incident.

The cane broke and she fell on her bottom to the ground.

mizutaka sanBack at home I discovered that she had a swollen ankle and I was worried, but after some ice andspecial bandages she recoverd in 2 days.

The trip took six hours and half at the pace of a 4 years kid. Not bad!

Here below some more shots.


Good Design Award 2014 – @ Tokyo Midtown – Design Hub 2nd of 2 posts.

20141101_121142Above an object that tokyo residents use to avoid thre spreading of infections, such as the common cold. It was among thousand others objects in this overwhelming exhibition. Below the waiting space, concierge of the Design Hub20141101_131524 Here below the Deisgn HUb entrance, at the 4th floor. It could be a Design School or association or both. 20141101_131054   here Below some video I shot inside the exhibition, The first of a nice lamp with a ncielady.   The second is just a walk throughout the corriror with the hanged pictures on the sides.

Phenomenal Sushi in Tokyo’s Umegaoka Sushi-no Midori 梅丘寿司の美登利

I definitely do not have that kind of knowledge about sushi, thus I share this to enlarge my horizons about TOkyo.


If you’re in Tokyo, queuing at 4am for Tsukiji Fish Market’s iconic Sushi Daiwa should definitely be on your bucket list. That being said, if you want to sneak a couple more hours of sleep in, Umegaoka Sushi-no Midori is the delicious alternative you should head to instead. It definitely was one of the freshest and best price-quality sushi I’ve had in Tokyo–and yes, I’ve queued for Sushi Daiwa at wee hours of the morning! With multiple branches in Tokyo, Umegaoka Sushi-no Midori’s Shibuya branch is on the 4th floor of Shibuya Mark City. During peak hours and weekends, queues can go up to 90 minutes so come early on a weekday to grab a bar seat–this way, you’ll see up-close some sushi magic being made!

I ordered the Ultimate Sushi Assortment and my friend the Maguro Assortment (different cuts of tuna)–both of which I highly recommend. But if you don’t like some of the more adventurous ingredients…

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Good Design Award 2014- @ Tokyo Midtown – Design Hub 1st of 2 posts.

20141101_124506This was my first time in this well-known design fair. From a robot, to a car, a kitchen tool, a whole house system, a Sony new projector..name it and you`ll find it. We did not think about it as big as it was.

My camera had problem on its lcd screen thus I could not focus the subjects. Like the introduction picture, the others  would not be perfect shots either.

20141101_124517the one above was a room plenty of objects lined on long tables. Maybe it was the room  at the third floor, or any others, they were very similar but the one at the first floor. There was the Exhibition`s entrance, below another space.



Outside of the exhibition, at the Tokyo Midtown pathway to the underground, there was another exhibition, “Design Touch” from students of Tokyo Universities I recall. Here below one of the most memorable piece.

Good Design Award 2014…more comes in teh next post.

I am planning to post something inusual for Christmas. By now, since I have been poste about Tokyo Midtown already twice , I am suggesting to take a look of the recent history of this District, reading a very intersting article here.

Kawagoe (川越)Matsuri…a bit outside of Tokyo, but highly advisable 祭り 1st post of three

the official name is Kawagoe Hikawa Festival Float Event.

This was the second time we went there. (18 October). It needs taking the Tobu Tojo Line from Ikebukuro, and getting off at Kawagoe-station, that is already part of Saitama prefecture. (just the next prefecture north from Tokyo). If you are lucky and catch the express, that would take less than 40 minutes.
Kawagoe means crossing the river. It is a famous little town, famous thanks to its Festival (matsuri 祭り).

Kawagoe Matsuri 2014

Kawagoe Matsuri 2014

It was far better than the first time since we knew what to expect from this day. Weather was fabolous, for a mid October, a T shirt would have fit well.

Colours, music, people happy, lot of food streets. Yaki tori, yaki soba, yaki…anything else. Even pizza and kebab, only burritos were missing.

We started from the late morning at the Hikawa shinto temple

kawagoe hikawa

Kawagoe was called little Tokyo, in that time exactly sounded co-edo (小江戸)、that name now is something like a brand….A beer carry that name and I liked a lot.

Then we followed briefly the parade of the first float and before 2`o clock we grab something to eat at a close combini.

IMGP2138Then we went back to the gathering point, the first picture was taken there. until 3 o` clock.

IMGP2158According to the official time , the first event was ended so we moved toward the main crossroad and soon got lost into the crowd.

I took a turn into something I remembered as a sign of clever architecture design – from two years before –

IMGP2174and after few stops at interesting things we found a place for let play our son.


It was refreshing listen some birds other than the Tokyos`crow.


After some time we went to this cafe to have some relaxing time, during the afternoon.


The schedule was 13.00 to 14.00 the opening of the Festival, than from 18.00 the official parade with the musical competitions were happening on the streets. Thus after having played with the kid in a playground near the river, we had some not booked time to relax inside , that was our waiting time before six o`clock.  This was perfect.

As you can see the 2nd floor was under the roof. A traditional one, one I guess would fall without uncertainty under a serious earthquake. The beams were not horizontal.

They serve us two different cheesecake, and a coedo Beer.

IMGP2207everything was fresh and handmade. The kitchen from the window looked more like a surgery room than a pastisserie! Everybody was white dressed wearing masks. A bit unusual.

The famous feature of the Kawagoe Festival is their floats (Dashi) some of whom were fabricated more than 100 years ago. Unlike the common festivals in Tokyo,  where the mikoshi (a reproduction of the temple that the partecipants are carrying on their shoulders along the streets) is the main part, this Festival has those floats on wheels, made by wood.

kawagoe float, chariot There are around 30 of them, everyone has a different age. They represents several districts of Kawagoe or the city itself, or even some sponsors. The oldies are back in 1860ies, the youngers are from our time, some how until 2012, donated by a chain department store.

A picture from Tokyo International University, Saitama branch in Kawaagoe, from a flyer, explain the differents parts of the float.

There is an upper stage, at the top of which the doll is displayed. In the lower stage the masks, and musicians are living the float (by the way float is the translation I found in the flyers. I would have use  chariot, since this is the word in Italy for calling such things.) They have their drums, and they are playing their japane traditional flutes (shaku 尺). When the upper stage is down, people are sitting on the top of the float , and the roof is the middle stage. The lower stage is double because it is revolving, turning 360 degrees on its center.

In this link the complete pictures of all the floats.

Kawagoe is a place where the history is highly respected thus the main architecture you will admire is an ancient one, something like an heritage. However when you see something contemporary close to the ancient one, is always well thinked, well forged and not banal. That is why I inserted some details in the Gallery. A railing knot and a transparent roof as well as the traditioanl roof with soil between the tiles which is the most evident traditional element in the city of Kawagoe.

Here are more shots of the little Saturday Holiday.

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Tokyo Designers Week 2014 , 3rd of three posts. The project proposal Exhibition.

20141026_170246I am happy to to finish the Modelling exposition started in the previous post and totally reported in this crafted blog . Here are some more. The one above is from Tanijiri Makoto (谷尻誠) and Ai Yoshida (吉田愛). Here their official web site (Suppose Design Office) from which they show their admiration for the work of the american architect Ghery, which is a rare thing. It is a proposal costruction located in the city of Hamamtsu ( 浜松市) that contains public and private spaces.

The main concept is a forest. The ideators claim it seems complex but it is not since many units can be repeated largely.

Here below the model by Akihisa Hirata, here his official web site.

20141026_170235They are presenting more than one project I guess.

Akihisa Hirata modelthen we pass to Sou Fujimoto, same generation of Hirata and his Serpentine Gallery Pavillion



last we look at the Maki Onishi (大西麻貴) + Yuki Hyakuda (百田有希) houses. An extraordinary close look at the contemporary Tokyo style for Houses.20141026_165900

Actually I was forgetting the entrance model. A huge complex by Riken Yamamoto in Zurich, who seemed the wealthier of all of the exhibitors. His career started long time ago in 1973…