design

Restaurant architecture draws vision to headless butts

nakano_standing_counter_perverse_butts

Is this the most moe restaurant in Nakano? The stand-up soba and udon restaurant, with its half curtain, stands across from busy Nakano station. The restaurant design, including the one step up, forces the gaze onto a row of headless butts, as if on stage.

Keeping track of the nuclear leakage

Even in Japan, there is less daily news about the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. That’s why it’s lovely to see this Asahi newspaper chart that keeps us up to date. I like the top row visuals which help you remember which reactor is which (this power plants is blessed with six reactors in a row).

If you’ve seen me in the past month, you know I have a serious fetish over the blue and white abstract pattern that once covered these toxic time bombs.

The other rows provide updates on current temperatures, water levels, whether robots have been sent in yet, and, at the bottom, the expected date when the new replacement cooling systems will be installed (May, July and July).

Fall leaves on the ground

Fall leaves on the ground

The solstice is past, and yet fall lingers in Japan. Today it’s about 60 degrees (maybe 18 celcius) and humid. Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, but the photos above and below were taken just a few weeks ago.

The first three photos are from my favorite garden, Sentou Gosho, in Kyoto, designed by the 17th century artist and garden designer Enshuu Kobori. His designs are masterful– wandering paths, reflecting ponds, tea houses, stone and earthen bridges, thousands of flat stones mimicking the ocean shore. For all the glory of the impeccably manicured trees, moss and structures, some of the most astonishing sites are at foot-level.

Fall leaves on the ground with stones

The leaves include (Japanese) maple and ginko. The colors and patterns are brilliant. Given the large gardening staff, even fallen leaves can be considered designed. Their ephemeral nature adds to the beauty.

Perhaps these photos can inspire some ceramic designs.

Fall leaves on the ground with moss

I have to add this bizarre photo below. Despite the glory of kilometers of mature ginko trees turning gold, the city authorities deem it important to mark autumn with these hideous plastic leaves. Why?

Fake fall leaves on Tokyo street post