Yesterday or yesteryear?

Quite what this old lady will do with all those leaves I don’t know. And she’s certainly got plenty to pick from. But although it was a scene that was played out only yesterday, it’s presumably one that could also have been pictured anytime yesteryear.

Tokyo leaf collection

When it’s spring again, I’ll bring again…

Old women’s favourite, Max Bygraves, once warbled that, ‘When it’s spring again, I’ll bring again, tulips from Amsterdam’. A thoroughly commendable sentiment and no mistake, and one that without a doubt has a much better ring to it than, ‘When it’s March again, I’ll try to manoeuvre again, tulips to Tokyo’s Marunouchi district’.

However, as un-lyrical a line as the latter may be, it has actually been managed, with beautifully coloured blooms briefly brightening up at least a bit of the capital’s business quarters — an event that proved very popular with men in masks.

Marunouchi tulip fair 2010

Mothers with mobiles.

Marunouchi tulip fair 2010

And more amazingly, massive mutts.

Marunouchi tulip fair 2010

Famous foreign faces

Tokyo has a delightful habit of throwing up surprises here, there and almost everywhere, although these lovely little presents aren’t just places, but also people.

Princess Diana in Japan

Plus it’s not always simply the person, but also who they are paired,

Princess Diana in Japan

and indeed compared, with.

Princess Diana in Japan

Largely not allowed to have a leak?

Despite Tokyo’s tremendous number of convenience stores that by and large now tend to have a toilet, many Japanese men of a certain age still have a puzzling predilection for peeing in public, with their desperate discharges often done with a total disregard to people passing by.

A propensity that quite possibly prompted the owner of this ideal-for-a-quick-wee wall to try and persuade them to at least piddle on somebody else’s property.

Japanese no peeing

Although there again, as it somewhat surprisingly suggests that only spending a penny when standing is deemed undesirable, females and even fellas with a penchant for the previously posted Angel Lap Pillow are presumably still ok to pee.

Japanese peeing pillow


Tokyo Times treat

Giveaways aren’t something usually tackled on Tokyo Times, but for any reader after a fun and free night out with Oliver — albeit the show not the chef — then a quick email may well turn up a couple of free tickets (worth ¥9,000) for the talented Tokyo International Players upcoming production of the Dickens adaptation.

Japanese Oliver

To have a chance of winning the tickets, which are for this coming Thursday’s (14th) performance at Shinjuku’s Sun Mall Theatre, following these three simple steps is all that needs to be done:

1. Send an email complete with your name and telephone number to

2. Write ‘Tokyo Times’ in the subject line.

3. Keep your fingers crossed.

And that’s it. The lucky winner, randomly drawn at 6 p.m. on Monday, will be notified by telephone and email, and the tickets will be available for pick-up at the box office 30 minutes before the performance starts.

Good Luck!

Update: The lucky winner was Yeoh Ming Han. And for those who weren’t so lucky, there are (as of writing) still a few tickets available for performances on Thursday and Sunday Evening.