Biking

Who is this mystery woman?

sun_visor_bike_koenji

Summer in Tokyo triggers most women to rigorously protect themselves from the sun while biking. Huge visor. Black gloves past the elbow. No matter the heat or humidity. In other countries, this look might frighten horses. In Japan, this look could not be more common. A small price to pay for beauty.

Here’s the police officer giving me a ticket for crossing the stop sign at 5 km/hour

police_ticket_stopsign_wiggle_bike

Thanks for keeping San Francisco safe, mister officer!

(He wanted tell me at the time, but I learned that the ticket costs US $197. Just $40 less than the same “violation” with a moving vehicle. I requested a court hearing).

 

 

Is bicycle mother drag the most moe moe?

Sorry dear readers, I cannot find an illustration. Thanks to the hubb for providing these excellent images!

Last week I re-met the lovely director and producer Charles Herman-Wurmfeld at the Tokyo Lesbian and Gay Film Festival talking about his latest film “Hollywood, J’Adore,” directed by his spouse Jason Bushman. As first time visitors to Japan, Charles and  Jason were astonished to see gardens, Shinto temples, and fashion. Charles pointed out the incredible construction worker drag (my favorite, in addition to the balloon pants, are the white rubber boots).

But truly his moe-est moe is his fascination with the summer anti-sun strategy of the Japanese bicycle mothers. Full gloves past the elbow for bike riding, sometimes attached directly to the handlebar for 100% compliance. And the enormous plastic UV shield that covers the face. It’s a mama-cheri look that rivals the burqa for full coverage.

Charles, being in his 40s, immediately realized how practical that would be for biking in Silver Lake and Los Angeles. I am very disappointed not to find a proper image of this everyday outfit that receives far less attention than construction worker, ramen chef, Tokyo Metro worker, and, of course, school girls.

Can anyone please send in a photo of this moe get-up?! Actually, now I am only missing the image of the front visor. You know, the one that goes from crown of the head to below the chin!

Sakura already falling

Sakura in full bloom, Zenpujiki River

Wednesday I was biking to my gym yoga class and admiring the sakura in full bloom along the Kanda River between Nakano Sakaue and Higashi Nakano. After class, I noticed that the warm weather and wind was starting a “snowfall” of petals along the path and in the river. How quickly sakura ends.

The photo above is from Zenpujiki River, near the in-laws’ ceramic studio. Rivers are perfect settings for sakura. Hanami at the narrow park along this river in Suginami is more neighborly and less crazed than more celebrated parks. Below is a night image from central Nakano, where many old cherry trees line Nakano Dori. The lighting is supplied by local institution, Don Ki (the nickname for low-priced emporium Don Quijote). And you can see the moon in the upper right corner.

Sakura at night in front of Don Ki, Nakano

After a few more days, cherry blossom season will be over.

きたおうじきんや at Rikugien Garden

Walter, Luis’ Peruvian friend living in Tokyo, took me to an amazing 300 year old garden in Tokyo called Rikugien Garden (六義園). We stumbled upon a large film production, and a friendly visitor confided that the actor was an incredibly famous samurai actor named きたおうじきんや. Shu later told me he became much loved by gays in decades past for the frequency with which he showed off his body on film. The park is small and fantastically designed and maintained.

In addition to its dozens of literary allusions and historic preservation, I like how there’s even an elegant spot to park your bike by the entrance.

It was fun to meet Walter, go on a long walk and speak Spanish for hours. I wish my Japanese were half as good.

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