Monday, April 30, 2007

A blogger visited us to drive his train

A blogger linked from / to our Japanese blog seibu_mania visited us to run his seibu train in our layoug. They have LED lights inside, looks cool.

He says he had made the train cars by purchasing them as kits. He did everything - to make holes for handrails to get fixed at the bodies and made the handrails themselves by a very thin wire!!!!!!!! Felt as if it were a far-reaching story to me.

The LED color is a good contrast to orange lights in the layout. It's anyway a 3 seibu train car set which we don't have at all. Also, they are 17 meters class train cars. They run with a particular joint sound of 17 meters class. I felt it passed real quick that we talked this and that too much about model train. Probably that is what people say geeks never sleep when they talk about what they like :-)

Hayaokidori website

Dogteeth violet

We call this flower "Katakuri" in Japanese. Hakuba village symbolic flower. It looks at a bit down to get in bloom.

Dogteeth violet flowers close when the sun is not enough strong.

Judging from my observation, dogteeth violets are found somewhere at the bottom of the forest with rocky or stoney places more than at the ground full of sunshine. It might not be enough flexible to the circumstance, sometimes disappear when the circumstance changes.

Hayaokidori website

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Baby bambooes

Baby bambooes arrived here from Kyoto

We don't see any bambooes here in Hakuba, guess perhaps they are not good at surviving in the snow. Will boil them with some salt, chilli pepper and rice bran.

Hayaokidori website

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Today's onsen

Went to Mimizukunoyu again. You can see Happo one and Japan north alps at the back of it from there. It was cloudy today, unfortunately I was not able to see the moutains good.

View of the outdoor bath tub from the mountain side. There's an inner bath tub at the opposite side of the glass at the upper right of this picture above.
The hot water of Mimizukunoyu does not contain any strong mineral, your skin gets really smooth when you get in.

Hayaokidori website


Tried the "Macro" function of my digital camera today.

Not sure what is the best way to take this kind of picture close to the object.
Maybe I should lay on my stomach on the ground or should take one at a little bit higher eye point? Will find the best way for it.

Hayaokidori website

Double decker bus

...showed up. It was not in London, it was in Takayama in Gifu prefecture.
A lot often Takayama is called Hida-Takayama with the old region name for the area at the top. It was a surprise to see that there.

Hayaokidori website

Friday, April 20, 2007


There are many rice fields and farms close to our place. Many streams continuously bring fresh water from mountains which have snow through the year at the top. Very cold water even in midsummer.

Hayaokidori website

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A skylark singing in the sky.

Found one in the sky. It's time for them to breed. I wonder how they can keep singint that much in the sky hovering there. It's tough only just to fly but if you need to sing that much while you raise your kids....... OMG

Hayaokidori website

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Azusa running along Lake Aoki

E257 series "Azusa". E257 series is not a pendrium train while E351 series is one.

Hayaokidori website

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Getting sunshine

I put herb pots outside to get sunshine when it's fine.

What do you think it is? A little bit ugly though... :(

I put more than a hundred tulip bulbs last autumn. Need to put enough fertilizer when you put them, additional fertilizer doesn't work good for tulips.

Hayaokidori website

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Super Azusa running along Lake Aoki

It's a pendrium train of 8 cars, but as the track there is so curvable, trains can not go fast.

Hayaokidori website

Friday, April 13, 2007

Enoden vol.4

Koshigoe --> Kamakura koukoumae. Tried YouTube for the first time and successed! Yay!
You'll see the Shonan beach on your right after a while!

Hayaokidori website

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Cherry blossoms at night in Matsumoto castle

Went to Matsumoto castle at night to see cherry blossoms. Cherry blossoms in Matsumoto castle are showed in public even at night to 21:00 for a week after 3 days latter than when they declair the cherry blossoms in bloom.

When we look at Matsumoto castle, it looks black in color, so it's also called "Ujo" ( Raven castle ).

Click this pic above to find a flute concert.

I wondered if there were some drunk people around the bottom of the cherry blossom trees there as is often the case with Japanese people at this time of the year around cherry blossom trees but didn't find any. Probably it's a taboo for them to do that because Matsumoto castle is a national treasure.

Carp in the cannel. Castles in Japan are often surrounded by cannels. It's very cold there in Matsumoto in winter though they have less snow than in Hakuba. Carp must have stayed deep at the bottom for long. Time for them to show up.

Hayaokidori website

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Enoden vol.3

Took a movie clip from Enoshima to Koshigoe which is the same place but opposite direction from the clip in "Enoden vol.1" Click this pic below to see the clip.

This time sunshine didn't bother me to take this movie. Anyway, there's nothing to give warnings to people about trains even around where the Enoden train gets in the road!! Trains give warning though.

((((((((((( Faaaaaaaaaannnnnnnn ))))))))))

Maybe people could know something is coming close as they can find a track there?

Hayaokidori website

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Origin of Himekawa River

As it's high time to see some adonis flowers at this time of the year, I went to the origin of Himekawa River close to our place.

Found adonis flower. Their roots are something poisonous, they are not for meals.

Going deeper ahead. Some comfortable feelings to walk on a sand path reached my feet.

Getting closer to origin.

Some footpathes equipped, you can walk around.

Origin. Water comes out from nowhere and start running.

Water comes from another direction as well.

Finally all get together to start their trip to Japan sea.

Hayaokidori website

Monday, April 9, 2007

Enoden vol.2 Spring point

Pay attention on the point when you watch the clip by clicking the picture below.

It seems that most points in Enoden tracks are spring points. They guide trains where the train should go on. In the case of this picture above, the point guided a train which came from the opposite side to the other track from the train I was on. When the train I got on went on, you were probably affraid of the point shouting loud "ewwwww" because it still opened to the other track if you didn't know how a spring point worked. If I dare say, probably it's like a train can go on by setting the point by its weight to go on.
Enoden trains are in service every 12 minutes. And it's a singler track. Which means they need to have a place to escape every 6 minutes on the way, and actually they set them pretty good. Hase, Inamuragasaki, Enoshima and Kugenuma station have escape tracks and Minegahara traffic light center also has one. Enoden trains meet another one for opposite direction at all the places above.

To be continued.

Hayaokidori website

Making a layout #31 China pottery houses

Someone I met through internet sent me some china pottery houses.

Tried to put them to see how it looks. As I plan to make a tram track around there, have to decide what kind of rails I choose.

Hayaokidori website

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Still active - an cylindrical post

Rustic but very interesting old post. Found it along a narrow path just 1 street deeper from the main road in Kamakura. Wonder how many are still in use in Japan.

Hayaokidori website

Enoden vol.1

Went to Tokyo area to promote my business for a couple of days. Found some time to spare inbetween appointments so that I tried to get on an Enoden train.

Tsuruoka Hachimangu at Kamakura. A big buddah sits deep inside of the place. A train geek does not get in, just walk forward to Kamakura station to catch an Enoden train.

Trains are in service every 12 minutes all day long from early morning roughly 5:30. Convenient as a local transportation. The train I got on had 4 passenger cars, 2 were painted in flower like design and other 2 were painted in dual color of green and cream yellow.

The train was running for Fujisawa. Click the pic above to see a clip. Fences, houses really get close to the train track!!

Click the pic above to see a clip. Most interesting part - the track in a road. Everything is for Enoden first, people, motorbikes, cars all escape to the sideways when Enoden trains go. (Koshigoe -- Enoshima ). Unfortunately this clip is bothered by sunshine but pay attention roughly about 38-42 second, someone walks across the track in a hurry. He looks like a fish shop master who brings a tub full of water and fish. It shows local people's daily life there which is very interesting.

Got to Fujisawa station. Just a trip of 34 minutes. I walked to JR Fujisawa station to go back to Kamakura by Yokosuka line. I looked for the train schedule for Yokosuka line before purchasing a train ticket.


I noticed it was not Fujisawa but Oofuna where Yokosuka line gets apart from Tokaido line. Probably I mixed Fujisawa and Oofuna. I thought probably it was quicker for me to get back to Kamakura by Enoden if the train connection at Oofuna station was bad.

A 46 years old man of 173cms 75kgs kept running on and on and on...... to Enoden Fujisawa station :-)

To be continued.

Hayaokidori website

Peach trees in bloom

Japanese people pay a lot attention at cherry blossoms at this time of the year but peach trees are also be in bloom.

Picture took at Shakado Parking Area at Chuo Exp.way. The background mountains with some snow at the top are probably Japan North Alps near our place.

Hayaokidori website

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Donguri (acorns) bank

Went to the Escal plaze the base building of Hakuba Goryu ski slope the other day and found a shop of Donguri Kyowakoku (Republic of *** ).
You can deposit acorns and get a bank note for it. In the bank note, it is described like you have 100 ( acorns instead of currencies ) in the account. You'll get an acorn tree pot per 100 account in the note once a year. You can transplant it in a mountain by getting a permission for it from the mountain owner or you can choose another option to ask them to grow it somewhere in Kochi prefecture instead of growing the acorn pots by yourself.
Anyway we had many accident with bears last autumn in Japan. Acorn trees seemed to have much less acorns than usual, so bears were not able to get enough foods before their winter sleep so that they showed up a lot often around us to get somthing to eat. Unfortunately a lot were shooted.
I think this Donguri bank could find a new way how human beings and bears survive each other not having unnecessary accidents.
At the same time, I thought some more possibilities to grow another plant that fills like

#1. Plants that have nuts which bears eat
#2. Plants that have an opposite cycle from acorn trees about good harvests and bad harvests
#3. Plants that can grow where bears live.

Especially about #2, probably some specialists could answer it correct. I thought of something important today.

Hayaokidori website

Monday, April 2, 2007

Butterbur flower stalks

Time for them to show up from the ground.

Took some when I walked around, we call them "Fukino tou " in Japanese. Local people here call them "Chanmero".

Fried them - Tempura. As butterbur flower stalks taste a bit bitter, I think some people like them but some don't. In my opinion, it's good to have some, but if it's too much, it's too much lol.....

While butterbur flower stalks were fried, some apple pies were cooked in the oven. Those apple pies are the last ones for this season. We won't have any until the apple harvest time in this coming autumn - half year ahead.
It's a bit hard work to keep the glass of the oven clean all the time. You have to clean it while it stays hot. Once it gets cold, hard to clean it out.

Hayaokidori website

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Bonnet which ran through the Jo-etsu border.

Picture taken in 1976 at Ueno station.

Two intakes at the sideway of the bonnet, whistles with shutter at the skirt remind me of it being Kuha181-109.

Hayaokidori website


Gochisosama is a word when Japanese say they finish eating meals. Hard to translate it into English, perhaps "Thanks for the meal" if I dare do.

Thrown out walnuts shell. Holes found at the surfaces, so I think they are not for stock, animals ( probably squirrels ) just threw them out here. But wonder why they need to throw them at a same place? Maybe they are not completely eaten, some walnuts might be left inside for later meals?? Sometimes it's interesting to think about their behavior.

Hayaokidori website

E257 series "Azusa" running thorugh Sanosaka pass

The other day when I drove my car, a E257 series limited express train "Azusa" got close to my car. My car and the train went ahead together for a while, sometimes my car went ahead, sometimes the train did. Finally I got a chance to take a pic of the train at Sanosaka. Looks as if the slope were very steep, but probably this one is 2.5 %. In old days, steam locomotives had hard time to go through here pulling freight cars and passenger cars together. Later some other train cars e.g. old style JNR passenger cars in skyblue color, DC 28/58/52 series etc to reach Oomachi and Matsumoto which are located in southern part of this area. Oomachi, Matsumoto are located at the left direction of this pic, Hakuba, Itoigawa are done at the right direction.

Hayaokidori website