3 in 30 - 2001.01.15 Monday
Before moving to Japan, we lived in the desert conditions of the front range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. The average amount of moisture we got each year was about 38 centimeters (15"). Japan can get that much in one day.
We have noticed that when the temperature drops below freezing after dark, we sometimes get these little ice mushrooms popping up overnight.
This pocket of ice crystals grew where there is usually a bucket to catch rain water. It was windy earlier and the bucket blew under a bush.
Along Edo Kaido, there used to be a number of factory buildings that had been abandoned. A year or so ago, they were torn down and now this building is nearing completion in their stead. We had heard that it was going to be a big supermarket, but it looks like there will be spaces for more tenants. The sign on the street suggests that a cleaning establishment will be there as well as a photo processing shop.
The name of the main store translates to Ekos, but most probably they would spell in Romaji as Ecos, making the connection with ecology, however far fetched that might be. We have commented in the past about the Japanese propensity to over wrap item. On the other hand, the connection may be with "economic" meaning less expensive.
Just to the west of the new Ecos store there is a used car lot with a variety of nice looking cars. The Japanese economy has been slowing down over the past eight years or so and people are less inclined to select the most expensive items they can afford. Many people are learning that higher cost doesn't always equate with higher quality.
We have recently seen the expansion of a chain of stores called "Hard-Off" which takes in unneeded or second hand items and resells them at deep discounts. We have already picked up a few things there ourselves.
The used car place just acquired this T-up bird as part of a promotion to encourage buyers to Trade-up to a newer (albeit used) car.