日曜日に平尾台に行く途中、豆腐屋さんに寄ったと２つ前の記事に書きましたが、その豆腐屋さんで VOWネタ発見! 改装中で4月末オープンのレストランなのですが、その名もお食事処「劣素都乱（レストラン）」。「とうふの食べ放題500円」「ここは夏は暖房冬は冷房です」との事です。劣素都乱の当て字ひどくないですか？「劣」で、「乱」れちゃってます。私だったら「麗鈴都蘭」とか少しキレイめな言葉を選ぶけれど。「とうふ食べ放題」って言われても困りますよね～。お腹壊しそうです。極めつけは、「ここは夏は暖房冬は冷房です」の表示。「冷暖房なし」の婉曲表現でしょうか？ We dropped by a Tofu shop during the way to Hirao-dai, and saw an interesting sign of notification of a restaurant renewal. The sign said "Tofu buffet 500 yen". Usually, a pack of Tofu costs 100 yen or so. Come on, we can't eat Tofu that much. The sign also said that this restaurant uses a heater in summer, and a cooling apparatus in winter. I guess that the restaurant don't have any air conditioner. He-he...the staff must be a very humorous person.
We went to a cavern named Senbutsu cave in Hirao-dai on this Sunday. We had to go down 200 m from the parking lot. When we finally reached an entrance of the cavern, we were asked to change our shoos to sandals. I felt why? at that time. Then, we were able to go by 480 m point easily, but I understood why we were asked to change our shoos to sandals at the point. From the point, we had to walk into deep cold (14 oC) water to go further. Our feet felt ache firatly, but became numb later. About after 10 min since we started walk into the cold water, our feet started to produce heat from inside, and we got desperate :-) Then we reached the 870 m point, where lighting was finished. If we had helmets with light, we might be able to go further, we gave up to go further since we did not have such equipments. That was a real adventure, and I enjoyed a lot. If you want to experience adventure, I recommend you to visit there!!!
Last Sunday, I went to Hirao-dai with my friend. We did not have any plan at that day, so we went to Dazaifu, then Asakura, Akizuki, and went through Ekawa dam, and then Koishihara, where pottery is famous. We went north from Koishihara, and found a shop selling Tofu, konjac, and BBQ chicken. We got these, and then went to further north and reached Hirao-dai. Hirao-dai is famous for Karst topography, which is a landscape shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock, usually carbonate rock such as limestone or dolomite, according to Wikipedia. In the third photo, there were people who were climbing the limestones. Can you see? Humans are so small in the great nature. I felt like I were in a different world. The scenery was just so amazing. I really like Hirao-dai!
Name of this plant is Red Deadnettle. Japanese name of this plant is Hime odoriko sou, which means small dancer plant. The shape of this plant is like dancers with their Japanese traditional umbrellas. According to Wikipedia, this plant is distributed mainly in main island of Japan, but I found this plant in Fukuoka, Kyushu. This plant is also native to Europe and other Asian countries.
When I looked out at office, I saw a blue bird with red belly. Because I only bring my little camera with me to office, I was not able to take a good photo of the bird. But the bird is Blue Rock Thrush, which only live close to shore. Japanese name of this bird is Iso-hiyo-dori.I wondered why the bird is there, and realized that my office and my apartment locates within 1 km from sea shore. The tsunami, which hit the Tohoku area, destroyed cities that are far from more than 10 km. If the tsunami came to my area, my office and my apartment would have destroyed. I'm terrified again by the fact.
こちらも100円ショップで買った植物で、カポックと書いてありました。でもカポックと名の植物は、いくつかあるようで、正式名称はヤドリフカノキとかシェフレラと言うそうです。原産地は台湾や中国南部だそうです。葉っぱが茎の先端に花びらのように付いているのが可愛くて気に入りました。英語の一般名も可愛くて "Dwarf Umbrella Tree (小人の傘の木)"だそうです。ある条件化（早い成長、高い湿度、機能が不十分な根）では気根と呼ばれる根を茎から出すそうで、気根は主に呼吸や吸廃湿(空気中からの水分収集・あるいは余分な水分の排出)を担うそうです。気根は地面につくと、普通の根と同じになってしまうそうです。気根が出ると面白い見かけになるそうなので、気根が出ないかなっと思っています。
I bought this plant at the hundred-yen store also. Name of this plant is Dwarf Umbrella Tree. Its leafs are really cute. It is native to Taiwan, and South part of China. According to Wikipedia, under the right conditions, this plant will produce aerial roots that, when they reach the ground, will convert to fully functional roots. They give the plant an unusual and interesting appearance. Three conditions must be maintained for the plant to produce them: a high growth rate, insufficient trunk roots (the plant is root bound or these roots are pruned) and constant, very high humidity.
I bought a pot of "creeping berries" at a hundred-yen store. Japanese name is Mikazuki necklace. Mikazuki means crescent moon. Its leafs look like a crescent moon, isn't it? It is native to South Africa. The plant is a kind of succulent plants, which store water in their leaves, stems, and also in roots.
Last Saturday, I went to the West park in Fukuoka, where is famous for cherry blossoms. I only found two cherry trees with blossoms. I think that probably it will be in full bloom by next week. Although cherry blossoms are not yet in full bloom, spring is coming! I'm really happy about it, and started to wear spring clothes about 3 weeks ago. My friends laughed and said that I'm like the cherry blossoms that bloom too early by mistake. But, you know, spring is my favorite season! I hope that spring will come to the afflicted area in Tohoku soon.
There was a huge earthquake in Japan yesterday. Kyushu area, where I currently live, is OK. But the main island especially north area was severely destroyed by the earthquake and subsequent Tsunami. I went to Matsushima, where is one of the most beautiful places in Japan 2 years ago. But the town was disappeared by the Tsunami. Many other coastal small towns were also disappeared by the Tsunami, and we still don't know how many people died. Fire occurred from many chemical factories and gas stations. Today, I went to donate my blood for helping people who were suffered by the earthquake. During the donation, I was shocked by TV news showing the power of Tsunami engulfing a whole town and nothing left. Because of the shock, my temperature went down, and my blood pressure was also down. Staff of the blood donation room gave me hot water bags and changed the TV channel to a relaxing kitten video. The video of the Tsunami was just so shocking. I didn't know the real terror of Tsunami until yesterday, although I thought that I knew it.
If you are in Japan, and would like to donate money, there are two web-sites in Japanese. One is Groupon (click here), and another one is Yahoo!Volunteer (click here). Many Japanese have donated for disaster victims (Currently, Groupon collected 21,126,400 yen, and Yahoo!Volunteer collected 59,078,118 yen). This is the only thing that is heartwarming.
I saw a female Daurian Redstart in the East park, Fukuoka, yesterday. This bird have a large white wing patch. I saw this bird in Meguro, Tokyo, and Japanese garden at Ohori koen, Fukuoka. Because this bird is scared easily by small sounds, it is very difficult to take photos of this bird. That was my third time to be succeeded to take photos of this bird. The above photos are my best shots.
Name of this bird is Japanese Pied Wagtail. I saw this bird at the East park, Fukuoka, yesterday. I saw this bird often in Tokyo. So for me, it is a very familiar bird. But I was surprised that this bird only lived in Hokkaido in 1930's according to Wikipedia. Then this bird has been moving to south, and reached Kyushu around last year or so.
I saw may Brown-eared Bulbuls in the East park yesterday. We can see this bird all over Japan. I saw a kid asking some food to his/her mother (second photo). This bird usually perches on branch of trees like the last photo, but yesterday I saw this bird perched on trunk of trees like woodpeckers (third photo).
Yesterday, I went to the East park close to my working place. I saw many small cute birds whose backs are dull olive green. The edges of their wing feathers are brightly colored with yellow, orange, red and black. I took pictures of them, then later I looked in my Japan's birds guide book. However, this bird was not on the guide book. Then I looked in my Hawaii's birds guide book, which I bought at Hawaii last year when I visited, and found it! Name of this bird is Red-billed Leiothrix. The bird is originally from China. Then they escaped in Hawaii and came to Japan. In Hawaii, this bird now threatens native birds. In Japan, this bird is enrolled as a one of worst 100 alien species. The bird itself is not bad. But we, human, have to be very careful not to destroy nature. Anyway, this bird is so cute. I hope that this bird won't destroy nature in Japan, and will go well with native species.