These days I work through the night several times a week. I don’t like TV says “tele-working” is new normal and “Online education” is wonderful, this and that. I would say it is too hard for me to spend day to day because I have to make three hundred PowerPoint slides a week. I can’t go outside. Even I cannot find a time to go shopping in the nearby supermarket located in the place of 10 minutes walk from the house. Actually I could not take a bath for several days because I worry I may fall or get a heart attack in the bath. My fun these days is just to look at the garden and take a photo.
Because I have to work very hard for online teaching kind of things, I do not have time to manage the garden. So I asked a neighbor to plant something on the garden. He and his friend planted some vegetables already. The photo is a tomato. The card on the ground says that this is Tomato that is easy to grow.
Yellow flowers of tomato.
He planted egg plants.
The fruits of peach are too many. I have to reduce the number of fruits for better harvest. And comes below are Azalea flowers in the garden.
Azalea flowers last short. When they are gone, the garden will have little flowers. If I had a time, I would like to plant many flowers to make the garden colorful and beautiful. But it is sure that the online education kind of things prevents me from doing so.
It was 4:10 in the afternoon when I finished the online Japanese teaching. I had two online classes yesterday. Since I prepared for them almost through the night, I just wanted to go outside. The sky was clear yesterday, although it had become not so clear when I started walking in late afternoon.
Wisteria flowers were in full bloom in the play ground of nearby junior high school. I think the tree is very old because I think it has been there since I was a kid.
A view from the bank that is just behind the junior high school. There is a small ship building factory there. Community paper said that some American people came to the ship builder there to make an old style wooden boat, if my memory was correct.
I think there were many boats that went up and down the rivers in Niigata Plain (Echigo Plain) in the past like 19th century. Of course those navigation are now very rare. But what I thought was that if I devoted to a research about the history of water transportation in Niigata Plain, what would it be like? For example, writing a dissertation about it. Uh.., it would be just a micro history in a small rural community. No one would be interested in such a tiny issue. I think I will not do a such research, probably.
Snow is melting on the Iide Mountains that is located among Niigata, Fukushima and Yamagata Prefectures.
I should have paid attention to the utility pole when I took this photo.
I was walking on a bridge that was almost the same age as me. The peak of the mountain in the photo is 1,293 meter if my memory is correct.
I don’t know this mountain’s altitude exactly. Probably it may be 1500 meter. Its cliff looks like an inside of split bowl. It was said that the cliff was the mouth of the volcano in the very old time, but I am not sure.
So the paddy fields are now filled with water. It seems that the rice seedlings have already been planted there.
This was the last photo I took yesterday.
And again, this is not my garden but my parents’.
White flowers of strawberry. Until 3 years ago I had been growing many vegetables in this garden. A neighbor gave me seedlings of strawberry at that time. Now I don’t cultivate anything, but these strawberries are still alive on the ground. Do I need to sing Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever” so that they can last long?
Growing fruits of gooseberry. So the gooseberry’s fruits look more beautiful than the flowers. Can you imagine what color these fruits will become? Answer will be shown if I can take the photos when they get color.
I found flowers of purple vege-flower (Murasaki-Nabana) on the edge of vegetable field. They are kinds of oilseed and radish. Seeds are sometimes sold as an ornamental plant. I had never planted their seeds. So seeds came from somewhere.
Camellia flower. They are almost ended for this spring. I am not sure how to call it, but this single layer petal camellia looks simple. Camellia usually has multi-layer petals. I like this one.
Purple-pink azalea. Azalea lasts very short. I don’t know why, but the gardening people planted many white azalea on my parents’ garden, with a little purple pink one. Usually purple pink is preferred, though.
So white azalea. They last very short. When they were buds, I wrote that it made me think of vanilla ice cream. How do I call it now?
Although today is a day of spring holiday so-called “Golden Week”, people are asked to stay home because of Corona virus pandemic. I went shopping by walk in this afternoon. On the way I just dropped by a small park.
Might have sung Chicago’s “Saturday in the Park”? Nope. This is a small park in small town in northern part of Japan. There is no man selling ice cream. Even kids are not there because of Japan’s aging society.
It was a little early for wisteria flowers to be full bloom.
But actually the pink flowers of dogwood have gone already. I think the white one is also almost ended.
I am not sure if this tap water is hygienically okay to drink or not. Anyway, I left the park and went to a supermarket to get food for my supper.
I wanted to make the title “Spring Flowers in my Garden”, but actually it is not my garden. I have just stayed at my parents’ home for these several months. I cannot get back to the country where my university is because of corona virus pandemic. Anyway, spring season never stops and the peach flowers have already gone.
Coming next would be flowers of azalea. Its white bud makes me think of vanilla ice cream.
This is also a white azalea, Doudan-Azalea flowering downward. It seems to contrast to the red leaves in autumn, although we cannot see white flowers in spring and red leaves in autumn at the same time.
This is also “Downward flowers” of silverberry. I planted only one tree of silver-berry (or goumi) in the garden. This means that I will not be able to get any fruit in the near future because there should be another silver-berry but a slightly different kind. In order to get fruits, most of fruit trees needs another tree nearby for pollination.
Buds of an apple tree. For the pollination as I mentioned for silver-berry, I planted two apple trees in one place. They were Kougyoku and Tsugaru. This photo was probably of Kougyoku’s.
Here is another apple’s flower that has already opened. This is Alpus-Otome.
This is flowers of gooseberry. Maybe it is safe to say that the fruits look more beautiful than the flowers. If I can take a photo of gooseberry fruit, I would like to put it on this blog.
Actually this photo and the below were taken two weeks ago.
Yes, this is peach flowers two weeks ago. I am not sure if I will be able to eat sweet peaches from this tree in summer because I am just an amateur about fruit tree growing.
I had uploaded some pictures for these several weeks. They were the photographs that I used as background picture on PPT slides of my online teaching. But now I am reluctant to upload some of my best pictures here. Maybe I am a stingy guy, but let me say, this blog is so unpopular that no one comes. I don’t have time to waste here. I am busy now because of online teaching. I have to prepare for 70 slides for 90 minutes class. And I have to teach such classes six times a week that need five preparations (two classes are almost identical). I have to work through the night three times a week. I am exhausted.
It seems that I will not be able to get back to a country where my university is, in near future. So I applied to citizenship in Niigata-city. I went to Niitsu where city ward office is.
Only a railway geek would be interested in this kind of photographs. Niitsu is a town of railway. Think it as letter of “K”. The vertical line is Shin’etsu line of railway. Stroke of upper right is Uestu line and the lower right is Ban’etsu line. Niitsu is the town these railway lines are connected. The town had been developed with railway in the past. But a huge motorization changed everything. The central part of Niitsu has been just going down over time. Still this is a town of railway, so you can see many railway geeks hanging a big and long camera lens in JR Niitsu station.
On the platform bench, they are occupying two of three seats.
Forty some years ago, my family went to Niitsu station. That was the last day of steam locomotives. As a young boy, anything moving was fun to me. But my dad once said that that day, my older sister got angry very much. She didn’t have any interest in such a black thing spewing dark smoke running and stopping. It was a thing almost a half century ago.
Time never stops. Spring has come after the winter as usual. This photo was taken not in Niitsu but in Niigata that is the prefecture capital. I had to go to a bank in Niigata for some cumbersome processes of national pension payment. Anyway, people are now having a different spring time all over this planet.
It was a day for me to get on a local train.
I had to go to four city halls to collect documents of family record for a person who passed away recently. It is the time that anything can be done online, but many systems in Japan are such out of date that require people wasting much time.
The top of Mountain Suganadake is hidden by the dark cloud.
The train went east toward Fukushima along Agano River.
I got of the train. Fukushima was still very much far. There were a few passengers getting of the train with me.
The office was at 10 minutes walk distance from railway station.
Just after 1 p.m. I went back the station. There were not many things even in front of the railway station because this was a rural area.
Actually I had to wait in the station for two hours. No one was there.
View from the train window. A highway running along Agano River was protected by concrete roof.
It was dark but not in the night. The train was running through a tunnel.
I had to still visit one more city hall at the time when I took this photo. This train trip was not an excursion for leisure. I was just moving under the dark winter sky in Niigata, JAPAN.
I have got things to do in Kanto Plain. So I decided to travel to Kanto region for several days. I got on a local train first to head Niigata.
When the local train crossed a river, I saw Gozu Mountains that had got some new snow. It was dark. Yes winter days in Niigata are always under the dark clouds.
I took a Shinkansen, or Bullet train in Niigata.
Less than two hours, you can get under the clear blue sky in the Kanto Plain. There are lots of unequal things in this world, you know. People in Kanto can enjoy this fine weather in winter, while people in Niigata have to live under the dark clouds with wet, chilly, and snowy weather.
I got on a local train in the morning.
I could see a little bit of snow on the rice fields. The coldest weather hit Japan yesterday.
There was an objet at the west entrance of JR Niitsu station.
A person gave me a pack of Sushi as a souvenir. The sushi was “Engawa” that was muscle at the base of fin of flatfishes.
Dipping into soy sauce, I ate the first piece of Engawa Sushi.
A close-up photo. Of course this is raw fish. Do you want to eat it? I like it.
Behind the town runs a river.
There is a small ship building yard. The factory can be seen behind the three vessels on the river. But I am not sure the company is still doing shipbuilding.
I went to Niigata in the evening. I had a dinner with one of my students who learned Japanese from me. The Izakaya restaurant was just near the JR Niigata station. Sashimi or slices of raw fish were fresh and tasty.
Niigata is famous for Sake that is rice wine. I ordered three brands assortment. One was Kirinzan, the other was Hokusetsu, but I forgot the third one. In front of three bottles, that was oyster fries. Anyway I enjoyed food and talk.