Second Living Room

●Sunshade

Japanese people have put a long canopy on the south side of our residences for hundreds of years because there is a strong sunshine from the south during the summer season.
Since last week, the sun has become stronger gradually.
During the summer I put up the sunshades to offer protection from the sun.
There are some kinds of sunshades made of bamboo, cotton and polyethylene.
I chose the polyethylene type because of the design and abilty to block wind and rain.
This sunshede cools the room inside and reduces the energy used by AC a little.

●Playing on the deck

We can use this deck for playing, a pool for children, making something and eating lunch or dinner.
That is to say this is a second living room.
My daughters enjoy playing on this deck more than their parents.
We can relax in a shaded area easily because this deck connects with our living room inside.

By the way I made this bench by myself. I think it turned out well considering that I’m a beginner.

●The meaning of this deck

This small space may be a luxury for people living around Tokyo.
The reason is that the cost of the land is very expensive.
However, I think that every house has to have a space like this.
This space forms a gentle barrier between the inside (private zone) and outside (public zone).
We feel it as an extension of the living room.
This space protects us from outside eyes and invaders.

However, the foremost function is that these green spaces together will make a beautiful city scape.

Turning point about energy


This light is just put into the ground. No battery and no cord.
This light has solar-electric power generation.
Because of the energy shortage, such lights are popular right now.

As for our family, my wife bought this light soon after the earthquake.
This costs about 980 Japanese yen.
This light is faint, but is enough to shine.

As far people hadn’t used clean energy because of the high cost of the equipment.

For that reason, Tepco had promoted all-electric houses till the earthquake happened.
New houses around my neighborhood are almost completely all-electric.
I use propane gas because I don’t like IH stoves.

Now we can’t see the word “all-electric house”.
We need to increase energy options and think about using clean energy seriously.

Of course, it is important for us to save energy as much as possible.
For example, as you may know, Sony will finally begin a 2-week summer holiday and summer time.

In addition, I think that electricity prices will rise dramatically soon

Both companies and families are beginning to think about saving energy not only for others but also for themselves.

My favorite natural life magazine

When I decided to build our house, I searched for some books or magazines about houses.

Most books featured only on plans, equipment, diy methods and materials.

But the “Chilchinbito ちるちんびと(Japanese)” magazine that I came across wrote on various topics related to natural wooden houses.
The publisher suggested natural life through living in wooden houses.

For example some special feature articles were as bellow.

・vegetable garden
・ecology house
・”kotatsu こたつ” (small table with an electric heater underneath and covered with a quilt)
・for children house
・ “engawa 縁側”  (veranda-like porch)

・ the “bonsai 盆栽” (miniature potted plant) This article taught us how to grow “bonsai”

 

・small houses
Many Japanese need to build in the average land in the 100 square meters
So the architect needs to consider various things in the process of planning.

I stopped to think about the image of my house after I read this magazine.

Recently this kind of books are increasing in publication.

Japanese seem to search for more ways of stress relief in high-stress society.

 

Stylish Restaurants


In Japan, unfortunately most of the restaurants you can see are fast-food or
chain stores.For example there are McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Denny’s.
So you can ‘t tell one cityscape from another.This restaurant which I go to once in a while in the picture is one of the few stylish restaurants.Inside the restaurant, I can feel natural atmosphere.Because there are many climbing plants. The interior design is stylish and the exterior is nicely cladded with a lot of timber wall panels and floor panels.
This restaurant serves delicious curry, sandwich and the other cuisine.
I am afraid to say that I have never eaten any dessert in this restaurant because I don’t have much time on my lunch break.

Running

I sometimes run near my office on my lunch break for my health. Because I have started to running one month ago,I have been running very slow for three kilometer. This photo is taken by a walkway along a river. Here in spring I can watch very beautiful cherry trees.Some my colleague also have been running longer distances than I have. I want to participate in citizen’s marathon someday.