Compact city

Tsukishima

At last I could buy gasoline the last weekend after waiting in line only for thirty minutes.
I didn’t think that it was so difficult to buy gasoline.
It’s been only two weeks, but it feels a lot longer.

It is easy to say that you shouldn’t use your cars or you had better use less energy.
In particularly our lifestyle hasn’t changed much yet.
For example, when it rains, we feel it is so tough to take our two young daughters to school or the nearby store by bicycle or foot.

Our destinations are so far to walk to.
If we will be able to buy gasoline as easily as before, we will never change our way of living.

To change the way of living needs a big change in city planning.
“Compact city” is an old fashioned word among the city planners because motorization and the information society have progressed extremely.
However, we should rethink the new “Compact city”.

Living gathered around the center of the city is good for not only saving energy but also developing the local community.

At one time, we lived close together downtown (shitamachi).
For example, Tsukishima and Asakusa city in Tokyo have their own characters and human touches even now.

☆All links are google image search.

What do you believe?

Our worries never seem to end.
The government and the news are giving us daily worries about the aftershocks, the radiation, the radiation-polluted vegetables and the electricity outage.
We are becoming confused by the various information.
We can’t know the most dangerous issue.
Some people who live far from the devasted area became sleepless or felt quaking despite of no earthquake is occuring.

Yesterday there was the news as below.
“Tokyo metropolitan government officials advised residents in most part of the capital to refrain from using tap water to feed infants.”

However hard the government explained the safety of water for adult, most people rushed the shop and bought up lots of mineral water soon after the announcement.

One reason behind this is that most people don’t really believe the government.
Under this circumstance, people tend to take a negative attitude about even good news.

So what the government should do first is to rebuild trust between the government and citizens.

For now I cannot help believing the public announcement while comparing it to other source.
I think it is useless to be excessively worried, moreover we should not believe a rumor or a biased opinion.

What will be, will be.Life is limited.

By the way I always use water cleaner “BRITA” made in Germany although it is useless for eradicating the radiation.
It reduces the smell and the impure substance from the water.
Everyone wants to drink good quality water wherever they live.

Let’s step back in time

 

An electric outage hadn’t happened for three days.
The effort of saving on electricity seemed to make a difference because electric production was actually decreased.
A campaign to save electricity had been exercised even before the earthquake.
We noticed that the campaign was useless.

We rely on nuclear power for about thirty percent of the electricity consumption in Japan.
I think that we will be able to save the same amount of electricity if we are prepared make all kinds of efforts.
So far we were living in the lap of luxury about not only electricity but also food, goods and the other things.

According to this article “The Japanese Could Teach Us a Thing or Two” / New York Times ( My blog’s good reader “Fer” shared me this article.)
Japanese are respected as “perseverance (gaman)” , “polite” and the other.

In addition, I think we had better change our way of living with “pleasure”.

For example we changed our way of living a little. We enjoy the change.

・My wife divided a box of tissues into two halves for saving. It’s cute.
・We go to bed early and get up early. It is good for our health.
・We bike to our daughter’s school instead of driving our car. It is good for our health.
・We are listening to radio instead of watching TV as much as possible. TV programs are often harmful.
・We bathe in the bathtub around the same time.
・We shere cars as much as possible.This is like a picnic.

I noticed that these ways of living looked like an old way of living.
So “let’s step back in time”. 🙂

My mother’s thought

My mother's dog " Mee "

My mother lives in Tokyo where it takes two hours from my house.
She, sixty two years old, lives by herself with a dog.

When the massive earthquake occured, she went out to renew her driver license although she didn’t drive at all.
She couldn’t ride on a train. So she had to walk home for an hour.

I was worried about her as a massive earthquake might occur again.

So I called her

I ” Would you live with us for a week. ”
She ” No. I wouldn’t ”
I ” Why? ”
She ” My friends live in my neighborhood. I like my job.I don’t want to leave my good ol’ apartment.”
I “However, if the earthquake occurrs again , can you do anything by yourself ? ”
She ” What must be, must be. ”
I ” …..”

I heard that not only my mother but also the parents of others didn’t want to live with their children’s families more than before.
Many grandparents used to live with their grandchildren.

Recently, grandparents seem to value their own living the best.
Most of them are healthy and have energy.

On the other hand I heard that my mother bought many food and batteries not for herself but also for my sister, my brother and I.
She is treating us like children no matter how old we get.
We are sure that we are able to care for ourselves with a few exceptions.
For example sometimes I have to ask her to take care of our children while we feel regretful for her.
Of course we will help her as she grows older.

We have mutual dependence on each other although we live far apart.

What I found not good or good last week

1 About electric outage

Not good

・Seventy five thousand people complained about the electric outage to TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Co.).Some people complained about ” Why the booked electric outage didn’t happen ”
・There was some traffic accidents because of the not working traffic light.

Good

・Night operation at convenience stores, drinking spots (izakaya) and the other shops decreased dramatically.I think that night operations aren’t need so much.
・Stopping escalators is good for everyone’s health

2 About traffic

Not good

・It has been backed up since the earthquake happened.I think that some people don’t need to drive.The government and companies should promote working at home now.

Good

・Most people don’t complain on a crowded train.
They are very patient.My friend took four hours to get to his office by using his bicycle and alternate trains although he didn’t get important things to do.
I can’t believe it. I will give up going to work soon if I find it too difficult to go.

3. About migration of people

Not good

・Some people including executives moved to the western part of Japan because they felt fear about radioactivity excessively.

Good

・My boss, who is sixty years old and planning for retirement in two weeks, is thinking about going to the Tohoku area to help the afflicted people.It moved me.

It’s up to you to find your way there through.

Chance for parents

After the earthquake, some activities carried by the children in my neighborhood has changed.

・Children wear masks and can’t play outdoor because of the radiation. 
( I wonder if this ristriction is really needed. )
・Schools haven’t been providing lunch since the other day.
・Children’s snack has decreased. 
・Children have to come back home in a group. 
・Class trip got cancelled.
 ・Most zoos and amusement parks are out of service.
 ・Children can’t warch any animated TV programs because of the news broadcast.

Poor children! 😥

I think this is a very good eye opener to rethink about how parents should face their children. 
So far some parents let their children watch TV, play games and play in the amusement park.
 I wonder if they observe their children.

In our house my eldest daughter and my youngest daughter often fight each other. 
We, as parents, tend to scold our eldest daughter because she is four years older than her sister.
On the other hand we sometimes notice our youngest daughter breaking her sister’s toy. 
We can’t notice it if we are not closely connected with each other. 
Therefore we parents should look into our children’s heart instead of watching the news.

Last week (before the earthquake) my family’s interest was “Yomogi” (Mugwort). 
“Yomogi” is a herbaceous perennial of chrysanthemum.

My eldest daughter’s homework was to gather “Yomogi”.
I thought they were just a weed by the roadside and was worried about eating them.
However,  my children were searching for it like finding for treasures.
We know that when my daughters are gathering “Yomogi”, they would never fight each other.
After gathering it, my wife boiled it for storage. 
My daughter cooked it to make dumplings in her school. 
She told us about cooking the dumplings delightedly. 🙂

My youngest daughter and I

I haven’t worked for three days because some trains are still out of service.

I have to stay home with my youngest daughter.
We can’t go out anywhere because of the lack of gasoline, pollen allergy and radioactive risk.

Hmmm..

Yesterday’s lists what we did.

・I did laundry and cleaned the house.
・I made bread with a bakery equipment (homebakery) because most bread were sold out at the store.
・We read aloud many picture books
・We ate from lunch boxes (bento) which my wife cooked because the school had not provided lunch for my eldest daughter since yesterday.
・We had a nap by a window facing the south. 😉

Anyway I want to work although I often think I dislike my office.
My youngest daughter also seems to want to go to her nursry school.

What we used to take for granted


We used to take for granted we would always have access to power.
Yesterday what we took for granted disappeared completely.
Only three hours of electric outage confused us.
We understood the living with no lights for the first time although we knew about the countries which often have electric outage.
We were worried about our way of living before the electric outage.
However, I think we will be accustomed to new way of living soon.
In addition we had better enjoy this way of living.

In our house our daughters were singing the songs and telling their stories in the dark although they were scared that our house was haunted by ghosts
We were talking to each other more than before.
We had nothing to do after the talking.
We got into bed at 20:00!
So I got out of bed at 3:00.
I felt able to get the most out of the day.

Something Strange

 

 

I think that Japanese seem a little bit strange now.

I saw people buy many rolls of toilet paper and many boxes of instant noodles.
How can a roll of toilet paper be important ?
When the power goes down they can’t eat noodles at all.

Gasoline was sold out at all the gas stations.
Where does everyone want to go?
( Of course I also bought some food and a battery but I didn’t buy more than necessary. )

I felt like looking into the heart of humans.

Everyone, stay calm and think about the situation.

Everyone is watching TV on the earthquake for too many hours.
I understand that everyone feels fear and is worried about various affairs.

However it seems to be in a better situation because the aftershocks are decreasing than before and many are supporting people working in a devasted area.
The nuclear plants are about 250 kilometers away from Tokyo.

If we don’t buy more food and gasoline than necessary, we will be able to send much more to the people in the Tohoku region.

Tulips in my garden are sprouting regardless of human nature.
I hope everyone will live a life of peace when the tulips bloom.

 

A little pleasure

 

Yesterday I couldn’t go to my office because some trains were out of service.
I was lucky enough to be given time to just take care of my daughters.
My work isn’t busy at all.

The beleaguered Tokyo Electric Power Co. will move to a rotating system of electricity
supply from yesterday to deal with an expected deficiency in power.
This company changed the announcement many times because of the disruption
We can’t be sure whether there will be an electric outage, or not.

I have never experienced an electric outage.
My wife and I ordered some food in a refrigerated chamber.

In the morning I was going to go to a store to buy some food and a battery.
However I didn’t give up going to the store because of bad traffic.
I couldn’t believe it because my neighborhood was in a back district..
I didn’t know that so many cars ran near my house.

By the way, March 14th is “White Day” in Japan.
The event is a twin celebration of Valentine’s Day.
Men give women presents on the day.
So I gave my wife a accessory of glass which I bought in Kusatsu the other day.
I tucked it away at the back of a wardrobe until today.

I know that it may sound imprudent.
But we need a little pleasure