Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How hanged flower pots are destroyed!

Now everything was clear why our hanged flower pots are broken so easily.
The sand in the pots were covered by some hemp palm fibers which go bad easily.

I never imagined this, but...

White eyes pick the hemp palm fibers one after another!!!

I guess probably now it's time for them to breed, so they need some materials to make nests for it. Hemp palm finbers are probably good for them though, I almost laughed out loud. Never, never imagined they were the criminals :)

Even small living things work that hard to live on, why don't we?

Hayaokidori website

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


puddings01.jpgI made these puddings in some small souffles. I do cook, it changes that the way how to cook something depends on the time. For example something must be sweeter before than now but nowadays less sweet things might be preferred because of the diet boom. It seems that there are many ways to cook puddings, I have my way to do as well as others. So i always try to find the best way for it by repeating some failures and success.

puddings02.jpgThis one is in a bigger vessel originally for baking some cakes. 30 minutes needed in an oven. 20 minutes for souffles but this is bigger, so needed more time.

puddings03.jpgBiggest of the three!Very big but shorter then the previous vessel, so it just needed 40 minutes being in an oven.
I guess you know you can enjoy puddings soon after you take some from an oven if you have ever made any. Usually we enjoy puddings taking them out from refridgeators but hot ones are also great!. This is only those who make puddings by themselves can enjoy because puddings sold in shops are usually cold.

Hayaokidori website

Monday, July 6, 2009

A grove ground

09070202.jpgA grove nearby which looks a little bit dark even in midsummer. Seldom found in big cities. If there were some bamboo grasses at the ground, maybe nitingales come to nest?

Hayaokidori website

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A hornet?

delfinium21.jpgI think this is a hornet which often visits delfinium flowers that are in bloom now to get their nectar. Some people say it's not a hornet, so I am really not sure it is or not. They work very hard to get nectar. When I observe them hard, I find they prefer deep flowers which they need to get in to get the nectar. For example, delfiniums and Nasturtiums etc.
I guess those flowers hold very yummy nectar :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Hana shobu in a misty day

Went to the Hakuba Goryu ski slope alps daira gerande where some of botanical flowers have been transplanted by us. We need to volunteer to delete some weeds every year. Clowds surrounded the mountains so I thought it might be cold and no visibility. It said it was only 15C! Cold enough rather than cool at this time of the year. The flower in this pic are "Hana shobu" which is one of iris flower family. Hope it brings you some cool feelings in a hot and humid summer day.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

20th anniversary today!

20 years have passed since I started this inkeeping business here in Hakuba. As an old verb says, time flies like an arrow. Sometimes I feel it very quick but sometimes very slow and long. Maybe depends on what's in your mind.
We will keep our mission to provide cozy atomosphere!

Hayaokidori website

Friday, June 19, 2009

Seibu & JR trains running the layout

A cuple of customers enjoyed the layout running their Seibu and JR trains soon after the Golden Week.
NEC_0042.JPGJR 183-1000 series limited express train.

NEC_0044.JPGNot easy to take a nice pic of running trains.

NEC_0047.JPGA F-class electric locomotive used to work for Seibu freight trains. Only Seibu owned some F-class electric locomotives as a private railway company at that time in Japan. But freight transportation demand has been decreasing little by little, I have not heard any newer F-class locomotives have been made after this series.

Hayaokidori website

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Georgetown Loop railway

An old railway construted for freight trains was transferred a sight seeing one in Colorado U.S.A I love the fantastic whitsle and the slow speed even walking human beings can chase!

When I check the train carefully, I find some freight cars without roofs and ones for transport animals! Wonder if I were told I should get on the one for animals judged my weight lol....

Perhaps thisis their website?

Hayaokidori website

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tulips are in bloom at GW

Tulips in our flowerpots are in bloom this Golden Week. It has been warmer than usual and we did not have so much snow as usual this previous winter. I guess they are why.

Hayaokidori website

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

ETC - Electric Toll Collection system in Japan

They say a special deal is now available for those "usual" cars which hold an ETC system. Huge cars like tracks, buses are exception.

You only need to pay 1,000 yen when you drive rural/country toll roads on Sats, Suns and national holidays. But this does not seem so simple, while I try to check the fee through this site ( Sorry, only in Japanese! ), it says

Hachioji (Tokyo) --> Toyoshina : 1,000 yen
Nagoya --> Toyoshina : 1,950 yen
Suita (Osaka) --> Toyoshina : 2,250 yen

It does not seem that 1,000 yen applied to every case. Anyway perhaps this could be a good news that now cheper fee is available. But on the other hand, ferries seem to have hard time due to this price competition. Some ferries might be out of service in the near future because some ferry companies won't find there's any business profits any more. JR (Japan Rail ) won't care the old lines along the new Shinkansen (bullet train ) line when it will get in service.
Probably I guess if we get some convenient services, we might lose something else. There won't be wide choices available any more, then.

Hayaokidori website

Monday, April 13, 2009

Rail cleaning cars

rail_cleaning_car03.jpgI bought some rail cleaning cars at a web shop in the United States.

rail_cleaning_car02.jpgI subscribed myself at the newsletter of the web shop. They notify that they would provide some discount web coup'ons to their newsletter subscribers in a limited time. This limited offer got my attention and I had an access to their website to purchase some rail cleaning cars. Lucky it was just when Yen started stronger and stronger against the U.S. dollars, so my credit card was not charged so much even including its delivery cost :-)
Many American guests in my place have told me that post office delivery in the states sometimes does not work good. It might be late on time too much, sometimes the luggage might be broken! I was a little bit nervous because of that informations my guests gave me. But it was alright this time. :-)
Cleaning cars in this pic were sent from a delivery center in Illinois where Chicago is located.

rail_cleaning_car01.jpgThe ones in this pic were sent from a delivery center in Nevada where Las Vegas is located.
 I have purchased some rail cleaning cars through some auctions but it was not timely, sometimes I missed to purchase ones. So I decided to get some from the manufacturer directly. Now I don't need to worry about rail cleaning cars for a while, I got a couple of them this time.

Hayaokidori website

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Self-service train !?!?!?

self_service_train.jpg Found this English description at the closest train station. It explains how to get on and off trains driven without a conductor. Local trains here are a lot often in service without a conductor. We call this kind of trains "One-man" trains because the driver has to do the work all by him/herself. 
This sign says "Self-service train" for it. I am not sure if this were a correct expression or not. English is not my mother tongue, so I am not really qualified to mention anything but sounds as if I need to drive the train! lol....

I had better ask it to someone whose mother tongue is English.
Hayaokidori website

Saturday, April 11, 2009

PC in the garden

09040919.JPG When you get older and older, you are to have a pair of far sighted eyes :(. This may cause it harder to work on computer. Maybe there's no way of it because usually there are many documents and books around when you work on computer in the house. Additionally you would like to save your time, then you try to type as quick as possible, which also might cause some stress on you.
Since we got a wireless LAN connection back in last December and I have already had a laptop PC, so why don't I work on computer in the garden? 

This is a lot easier and less stress! 

 It's so much easier to work on computer outdoor rather than in the house which feels too tight. I don't get so much sore shoulder like as when I work on computer in the house. I can take fresh air as much as I want, sunshine filtering through foliage helps to look at the monitor when I type something.
The only bothering thing is I need to move the table follwoing the shade when the sun goes on! But I guess this could be a good exercise to me lol....

Perhaps it will be my daily matter to type in the garden for a while.

Hayaokidori website

Friday, April 10, 2009

Symbolic Hakuba 3 mountains in early Spring 2009

09040701.jpg Took this pic a couple of days back. It was so fine day, too brilliant for take some pictures for skillless man like me lol.... I even didn't adjust the exposure to take it. Spring will have come when some snow marks show up at the moutain surfaces.

Hayaokidori website

Repairing a DD54 -- worm gears wanted!

motor_replacing01.jpg As I succcessed repairing my ED70 loco, this time I've started doing a DD54. It's a powerful diesel loco with 2 pairs of inside gears plus vertical motors. But it does not seem to go ahead even then I slightly hear some electric noise when I turn the power pack on. I am planning to replace the motors into canned motors. I guess I have already gotten most parts for it but probably I need to get a pair of worm gears.

motor_replacing04.jpgTha parts in this pic is a pipe which has an iside diameter of 2.0 mms, an outside diameter of 2.4 mms. The shaft from a vertical motor seems to be an outside diameter of 2.4mms, so if I could use the worm gear at the shaft, the shaft from a canned motor is a slightly thin because it is an outside diameter of 2.0mms. That's why I need to put this pipe inbetween the worm gear and the shaft to fix it.

motor_replacing02.jpgBut the worm gear at the shaft is glued good at the shaft from the vertical motor, unable to take it out of it. So I need to get some pairs of worm gears but hey, then I really don't need to get ones which are 2.4mms outside diameter, right? I can get ones which are 2.0 mms outside diameter to set them to the 2.0 mms shaft from canned motors....? Echo model staffs say they don't have worm gears at all, so I guess probably I should ask the manufacturer of this DD54 Model Endo. I guess they would recommend MP gear system which makes a lot of $$$$$ to them lol.... :p

motor_replacing03.jpg Echo model staff also say the worm gears need to be good fit with herical gears which are located next to the worm gears in the gear box, so usually they are sold in a pair. I made a phone call at Katsumi model at Meguro but they said someone in charge for it were just out of the shop, would call me back when he is back. Now I am waiting and waiting and waiting, crossing my fingers :)

Hayaokidori website

Zenkouji Gokaicho

You can see the buddah in Zenkouji temple only until May 31th 2009. This is what we call 'Gokaicho' which is held every 6 year.
Check it out in one of our web page

The year 2015 is the next chance for Gokaicho.

Hayaokidori website

Thursday, April 9, 2009

To pass winter for plants with full of joy and sorrow

09040904.jpg I am a little bit confused why some plants were not able to survive winter and others were able to do better than usual. Maybe because of this warmer winter we had this season or maybe because of other reasons. This picture is a size 6 pot chervil. Not that bad condition to have another new Spring.

A lot bigger pots full of chervils. Looks a little bit tired :(

09040907.jpgTulips. Grows better than usual. Maybe because the warm weather in this winter.

09040909.jpgRosemaries. Also better condition maybe because of the warmer weather. But just wondering if the temperture affects even plants inside of the house in winter?

09040908.jpgDelifinium in a flower bed. It showed up a little bit earlier than usual. An important kind of plants which survives for some plural years. Wonder how long it has survived.

09040916.jpgOreganos also seem to success surviving this winter. They survive outside of the house, so it does not bother me at all.

On the other hand, some plants were not able to survive this winter.
09040901.jpgNarcissusesto which get in bloom in midwinter. For me, it's just natural to have this pops up in my mind when people say "Suisen" in Japanese. Daffodils pop up for someone, but narcissuses for me because I was raised up and lived in Kansai area where narcissuses were just natural and popular. Narcissuses get in bloom in midwinter when no other flowers get in bloom. They smells very elegant and have very tiny cute flowers.
I left them in some pots outside of the house. Not sure what was wrong. Maybe because snow got on top of the pots or maybe because of the warmer weather this winter. They even didnt have leaves at the time of blooming and finally went bad :(
In Kansai region where I lived before, we just put them in a flowerbed and waited for the bloom. They got in bloom in midwinter. Probably I guess they need very "dry" and "cold" situation. When snow covers the pots, it could provide some moist which bothers them to grow? I am not really sure but would like to know the exact reasons why.
I would like to have them in bloom next year to welcome our guests.

09040915.jpgThymes were almost annihilated. I thought it was one of the easiest herbs to survive winter, so it was a kind of shock to see them dead. What was wrong? :(

09040906.jpgPangies I transplanted into a flowerbed the other day. You can see some lavenders behind them.

09040911.jpgA combination of yellow and orange pangies in a pot with a stand. A combination just to express joy to have another new Spring.

09040912.jpgA combination of white and red pangies. I guess probably it's better to have ones without marks at the center.

09040917.jpgMost rosemaries had some roots out of the bottom of the pots. I needed to transplant them into bigger pots. So I did it from 6 size pots to 8 size pots.

09040918.jpgWhen I need to transplant 7 rosemaries, I need to more sand than expected. Need to place them somewhere sunlight does not reach for a while.

Hayaokidori website

Italy accepts help

Big earthquakes keeps hitting central Italy.

Italy, with Berlsconi as a prime minister, finally accepts helps offered by other countries after has been refusing any since April 6th 2009 when the big earthquakes occured at the center of the country just about 100kms apart from Rome.
Japan sometimes has earthquakes everywhere in the country. If I remember right, Japan also did the same when we had a big one around Kobe in 1995. Some countries offered this and others did that but Japan refused the most of them. I have no idea why some countries do that when nations in the country need a lot help.
In my opinion, in these case politicians should not refuse any proposals for help if it's to rescue the nation. But probably a lot often the decision would be made in different point of view which I can never imagine.
Actually I had been worried until when Italy would refuse proposals because we had hard time at the time of Kobe earthquakes in 1995.

Probably I guess it needs much time to reconstruct the life there, every time when earthquakes hit somewhere in this earth I relly pray it will go alright as soon as possible as a human who lives in a country of earthquakes.

Hayaokidori website

Finished repairing my ED70!

ed70_05.jpgFinally I made it to repair my ED70 electric locomotive. It seemed that the motor itself was out of order.

I did stuff like followings.
#1 Took the loco into pieces.
#2 Checked the wires.
#3 Replaced the broken wires.
#4 Took off the motor and replaced it into a new one which one of our Japanese blog regular reader "Yamashina no Tecchan" presented me last year :-)

v_motors01.jpg This is the original motor which my ED70 held. It wears a smaller gear box because it needed to supply the original gear box for ED70.

Hayaokidori website

All former JNR(Japan National Railways) colors!

 A customer who stayed in our place a couple days ago brought many train cars, locomotives which were all painted in JNR color. Of course they ran the layout. The EMU train running in the clip is the former JNR 153 series train provided for the limited fast service around Kansai area - Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. Both end cars were with lower windows at the control rooms.

CIMG3276.JPG A streamlined train car 52 series which were built for Kansai area fast service train soon after the WW2 was over. They moved around here and there and at their last years, they were active in Iida line ( Toyohashi in Aichi prefecture - Tatsuno in Nagano prefecture ). In 1977 when I was a senior high student, I talked about getting on this train with my friends but we were not able to make it. We can not do anything after something disappears so we should do make it while they are avaiable!

CIMG3294.JPGOld passenger cars local train pulled by a DF50 series diesel locomotive. It reminds me of the old Fukuchiyama line, San'in main line local trains. DF50 was a type of diesel locomotive which holds motors as well as a diesel engine. The diesel engine worked as a motor generator to provide electricity to the motors. Then the motors worked to run the locomotive to pull passneger cars, freight cars etc. In short, the engine on this DF50 did not work directly to drive the wheels, just worked to provide electricity. This type of diesel locomotives seemed to be a major system for the former JNR but it anyway had more complicated mechanics and heavier weight compared to the other type of diesel locomotives like DD51 which drive wheels directly by their engines. So, the latter type of diesel locomotives got major.

CIMG3298.JPGDD51 diesel locomotive pulling an old passenger cars train. This kind of scene were available in the good old days anywhere in JNR lines which were not electrified.

CIMG3299.JPGA DD51 with a DE10 as a leading helper running uphills beside a cross country sking trail.

CIMG3303.JPGAn Ozashiki(Tatami matt) train pulled by an EF65(500). I think this coloring is a best fit for EF65(500).

CIMG3293.JPGAn old passenger cars train pulled by a steam loco C55. The white line at its waists looks cool.

CIMG3305.JPGDF50, C53?, DE10? (left to right ).
Just an usual scene in good old '60s.

I enjoyed the former JNR trains which I don't have after a long interval. Also enjoy our customers bring their own trains to drive in our layout. The customer this time seem to build everything by himself. I envy him, wish I could have that skill! :(

Hayaokidori website

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Repairing ED70

ed70_04.jpgUnscrewed some to check the inside to see how lines are connected. Wrote it down to find what and where is wrong. Since I am not good at this kind of stuff and don't get used to it, accidentally I cut a line :( Also wrote it down. I need to check everything to find the problem.

Hayaokidori website

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Train (model train) magazines

magazines01.jpgDrove my car to Oomachi city today to find some magazines for references to repair my ED70 loco. But I did not find anything for it at all and bought 4 magazines that are not related to it at all. :(
I would read them from now on at my craft desk, hope I can find anything which helps to repair my ED70. It's rare for me to buy this many train magazines at a time.

Hayaokidori website

Friday, March 20, 2009

Repairing ED70

ed70_03.jpg A little bit before I mentioned about my ED70 electric locomotive was bad condition. I am not good at electronics and as is often the case with that situation I just left it as it was. Now I got curious about it again and unscrewed it to check things.
I know I need to connect the motor to plus and minus even if I were so bad at electronics. But if there's something inbetween the motor and the rails, I really don't have idea what to check. I have a tester but not sure what I should check. I don't want to destroy anything when I go ahead not knowing anything right. 
Oh, I should have listend to what teachers told in the class in school!!
(^^;; I was so allergic when I heard "electronics".

Something just popped up in my mind now. The floor board of this ED70 does not reach to the end of the body, which may enable me to put another motor easily. If it's possible, I can make it way stronger to pull extra passenger cars.

Hayaokidori website

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hakuba model train - former JNR 457 series express train running the layout

Now I have totally 10 passenger cars of former JNR 457 series, ran them in my layout.

2 green cars (1st class passenger cars) and 2 buffet cars, which looks alike the good old days for old express trains. I ran it a bit slower than usual and found it was better than doing it faster as it looked as it was. I hope I can find 1 more basic set of 3 passenger cars with engines of this series to make 12 cars.

Hayaokidori website

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Went to a model train shop

Went to a model train shop T&T in Matsumoto city. It's located in southern Matsumoto city almost at the border with Shiojiri city. I went there to get some stuff for DCC(Digital Comand Control). But in proportion to talking about it, the shop master wondered if there's any profit to make it for my plan.
He said it would be interesting if the truck was an endless one with some side tracks for escaping but if it's something I am planning like a tennis racket form with a singler track and a reverse line!
He and I looked at each other for a while without saying anything when both of us started thinking the difficulty.
I stopped thinking about it for a while and started looking around.

457_basic3.jpg I found a basic set of JNR/JR 457 series express train in the original coloring. I have already had one but want at least 2 more because I have already gotten 2 x 1st class train car and 2 x buffet train car of this series. Someday I would like to run a train of this series which is probably 10-12 cars. Because when I was a small kid, this series connected Osaka and Kyusyu region, Osaka and Hokuriku region.
I decided to buy it. Should get anything you like when you find it because model trains are not like "available anytime". They always produce some certain amount and if all of them are sold out, we never know when they produce it again.

As a HO gauge collecter, it's a bit sad that I can not find as many stuff as N gauge ones. Now in Japan N gauge trains are popular and HO is not that popular. Probably because houses in Japan are not enough big to make a layout for HO.

daihatsu_track01.jpgFound an old track which I saw often when I was a kid. We called it something like "Auto-3 wheels". They express even stains on it.

cherryblossoms01.jpgCherry blossoms. It's nice to have some of it to express Spring in a layout. But cherry blossom trees are not easy to find, so I was really lucky to find it.
It takes 1 and half an hour for me to drive from my place to this model train shop, but it was worth doing that yesterday. I found a lot.

Hayaokidori website

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New snow after an interval

09021701.jpg It seems that it has been the warmest winter ever since I moved into Hakuba 20 years ago. We had some snowfalls last night, it made the scenery look like real winter as trees got some snow. Maybe because of some clouds around the top, lower slopes were crowded this morning.

09021702.jpg It's always fun to find footprints of animals when we get new snow. I guess they are probably ones of a fox. If it's a rabbit's one, it looks pretty different.

Hayaokidori website