Suginami

Wadabori outdoor pool welcomes most of the public

I visited Wadabori outdoor pool during the last week of the season. It’s super old but beautiful, with two sides facing a large, forested temple. It’s also close to Zenpukuji river. Highly recommend it, except that visible tattoos and piercings are not allowed. Not cool!

I’m also confused by the other typical Tokyo pool rule that prohibits sun tan lotion. Ever heard of skin cancer? Apparently not, since the lifeguards are often the shade of burnt toast.

New Year’s Day

New Year's Day,  shrine

With the in-laws and the hubb, I visited this shrine on New Year’s day. Amidst an ordinary Suginami neighborhood, this small shrine looks like something out of history, or at least an advertisement. Hey, is that Hachiko, the famous dog?

New Year is a quiet and charming time in Tokyo. Everyone who came from the interior has left, most businesses are shut down, and there’s a lot of over-eating with the family. In between delicious lunch and dinner at the in-laws, we visited the shrine, to say a quick prayer and to draw our fortune.

After experiencing the mind-numbingly long prayers of my family’s religion, Japanese prayer is so charming. Throw some coins in the shrine, ring the bell, bow twice, clap your hands twice, press them together, think a happy thought, and let the next people have their turn. It takes about 20 seconds, and involves no audible words.

Happy new year to everyone! Hope your year started well.

Tokyo recycling

I just hung up my flattened carton on the clothes line. It makes me reflect on just how complex our reclycing is here. In the apartment building, we separate burnables from plastic (プラ),  paper from cardboard, plastic containers from plastic bottles, and aluminum cans from glass bottles. I still have trouble remembering that for soda bottles you must take off the label and the cap so that the main container goes with “pet” bottles, and the label and cap with plastics.

To recycle milk and juice cartons, we rinse the container, slice it open and hang it on the clothes-line. The apartment building doesn’t have a separate recycling area for this, so we walk it over to the supermarket about 25 yards from the front door. The only other thing missing from Nakano recycling is compost. (Suginami has that!).

I probably should have cut the juice carton with scissors. This is one neat and frugal city m(_ _)m