Tag Archives: Toki River

Quick Response


This event took place on the banks of the Toki River in Tamiji Friday morning. From what I could see, it seemed to be a demonstration of the fire department’s typhoon/flood rescue capabilities, with people entering a mobile rain(bow?) simulator with umbrellas, rides in inflatable rafts, a cookout and Unagappa encounters.


No sooner had they done this than Mother Nature obliged with a thunder-boomer deluge of her own. We do seem to have had more storms this summer.

Blossoms Bring Out Birds, Bees and Anyone Not Too Busy


Young and old were out and about with strollers, bicycles, dogs and cameras yesterday, enjoying the blossoming sights and smells around Tousai No Michi and the Toki River in Tajimi.

At work, we had a light picnic under these trees late Saturday afternoon, and though it got pretty chilly with the wind as time went on, the blossoms were already full enough.


Some petals are already falling, notably including many from one or two trees by the river that are falling whole (five petals all attached).


This was the best shot I could get to show someone’s carp windsocks amid shidarezakura and (?) azalea. A relatively large grey bird sang prominently about something as I maneuvered for the angle. We seemed to respect each other’s business.

Below, Shidarezakura reflected in a marble slab monument gives an abstract look when singled out. Slightly enhanced.


The Thin Red Line

Yes in My Front Yard


This fire brigade is impossible to miss, being right near work on the second Sunday of every year (yeah, I’m at work when most people are off, or really because they’re off), so no matter how much each year looks like the last, it’s hard to resist taking a picture. The tall cranes on the Toki River bank on the left were at the center of this morning’s firefighting ceremony. For a few hours, the frigid riverside that’s normally relatively desolate in the middle of winter comes to life, a welcome punctuation to the quiescent ellipsis that is winter on the Toki river.

As always seems to coincide with the fire line, young adults turning twenty this year were out to mark Coming-of-Age Day. I did see one young lady in a kimono.

Walk Comes Naturally


Evolved, Involved Insects

As these crickets, recently numerous along the macadam and curbs by the Toki River, showed, it was fine weather yesterday for, uh, walking…


With more pressing matters to attend to, this pair preferred to be left alone, crawling away as I shamelessly snapped (in fairness, I first, acting on instinct, whipped out my iPhone camera when I thought it was just one big bug). PDAs (no, not the iPad Mini – public displays of affection) aside, they are law-abiding pedestrians, generally sticking to the shoulders whenever possible.

Hugs All Around, Or Keep Off the Grasshopper

Update: A friend who last week saw and photographed an identical scene in the same area decided to check up on it. It turns out this embrace is not mating as such, but a ritual of males laying exclusive claim to their chosen mate – they ride piggyback on the female all day. Possessive types, I guess. Anyway, I (and the crickets) stand corrected.

Stay-At-Home Days


For those who chose to stay in town, the three-day weekend brought a full slate of events in Tajimi. Amid beautiful weather all weekend long, stores on Oribe Street had some sort of (stamp?) rally for passing patrons…


…Ceramics were on display in Tajimi Station (one of those times we can see why the walkway over the tracks is so spacious), and events were held at the Tajimi Industry and Culture Center. There was a Japan Railways-sponsored “Sawayaka Walking Course” on, among others, route 385 along the Toki River, and between the station and north of the interchange, where more ceramics makers had their wares.


It was a good time to get around on foot as, aside from the weekend culminating in Sports Day, return rush traffic was predictably horrendous, particularly between toward Kozoji and between Toki Premium Outlets and Tajimi.

Below, late afternoon shadows fall on spectators and participants preparing for the “Art Night” performances by the river on Sunday.


Red Roof


Yesterday evening gave us a nice sunset.


The top one is a little more exposed for the textures in the billowing dark cloud. These are with the iPhone 5, though reduced in size and quality by two apps: PhotoShop Express, and as usual WordPress. No editing other than rotating slightly and cropping. I did decide to change the (uploading) resize setting in the WordPress app to “large,” to take advantage of the new camera, and because I think we’re getting to a point where anyone (in Japan, anyway) who browses the web on mobile (yes, this is a mobile-oriented site) has a reasonably fast connection and an unlimited data plan. Desktop readers should get a better view, too. Thank you, SoftBank, for getting on board with 4G LTE.


I Cloud

Fittingly, these photos were the first ones I shared across my devices using iCloud. They do take some time to move through the cloud, mainly on the upload side. That may have been because it was the first time and an atypical amount of other things, like apps, was also going up in a ground to cloud surge.

I forgot to try out the panorama camera feature – it would’ve been a good chance as the red extended about 180 degrees across downtown Tajimi’s skyline. Below is the opposite side of the sky, with the library on the left and our good old Himalayan Cedar at work on the right.


A Twinkling, Screaming, Popping, Sparkling, Booming High Point of Summer

No, if you read the title expecting more, this unfortunately wasn’t last night’s date; It was Toki’s fireworks festival, also marking the end of the bon dances in front of Toki Station.


Above, a mother-and-child (I think) dance performance entertains early-arriving onlookers.

The sign below seems to say it’s omelette yakisoba. Anyway, it was one big, pernicious, plopping pile of noodle that oozed and begged for a shutter-clicking. Other usual-suspect temptations offered on Yatai Way ranged from frozen cucumbers on a skewer to takoyaki, yakitori, and candied apples, crêpes, and chocolate-covered bananas.


I’d think these vendors mostly manage to keep a slim physique by not eating their own confections hustling for your yen under heat-trapping awnings, setting up scaffolding from one town to the next with the greatest of efficiency.

People started grabbing viewing spots along the Toki River before sunset. In the background below is Ceratopia.


It struck me, though I may be forcing the issue like a college sophomore eager to please a professor and his/her grand, sweeping assertions (or like a professor carried away with a fanciful sense of elegance), that fireworks (especially when you try to capture them in a photo) are another example of the especially Japanese-appreciated evanescence of life, embodied in a group-beheld spectacle, like the fluttering landward paratrooping of sakura petals, or, more privately experienced, but still by all, the brief burst of a locust’s life and its inevitable ignominious but unapologetic darting death.

Flowery language, I admit. But this is flower-fire, by way of translation. And I am a certified, frustrated, never-was (but never-fired!) professor of sociolinguistic anthropologicalistic expialidocious poppycock. Class (which was never really an issue anyway) dismissed.


As a bonus, I even sniffed the faint scent of smoke drifting my way as I snapped pictures of the crackle and pop. Another quintessential fleeting floating world sensation…