Category: Unknown Nichigo

A Seed Of An Idea

As I touched on over the weekend, I’ve started trying to grow plants from seed and I completed the first round of the process this morning before heading off on my bike.

Blend of potting mix, peat moss and pearlite

Dwarf wattle seeds that I soaked in boiling water last night were the final group of seeds that can be planted in the winter.

I managed to spread the seeds over a tray and put them in the humidity pod.

Most of the work was finished yesterday after the ride.

Potting mix

The process so far started in September and October of last year (2022) when I collected Australian native plant seeds, mostly from Bunnings.

Native Australian plant seeds purchased from Oz

Managing to get the seeds through Customs in Oz and Japan, the next toughest step was stopping myself from getting over eager and trying to plant them before they were ready.

Plant starter kits

I did start preparing, mostly by buying plant starter kits, which are lit and heated humidifier pods. They came equipped with diggers, cards and a scoop, all of which I’ve put to use.


Just before Christmas, I put some waratah seeds in the fridge and kept them there for the subsequent six weeks, as advised by the growing instructions.

Some study revealed that I was on the back foot.

Australian native plants often need to be smoked or exposed to boiled water to replicate natural conditions before they germinate.

I didn’t study that until now, so I missed the opportunity to get starter granules or smoke water, either of which aids in the process, and I couldn’t find them for sale in Japan.

But I did learn about pearlite and vermiculite, so I purchased a bag of both and got to work.

First, I sorted the seeds, setting aside those that could be planted in the winter.

Humidity pod covers with openings to let out the humid air

In addition to the waratah, the seeds were the dwarf wattle, Australian Christmas tree, red cap gum, honeysuckle banksia, orange banksia, everlastings and one of the two sets of kangaroo paw seeds that I have. I had kangaroo paw growing in Kangaeroo Corner from the outset, but I killed them through overwatering, so I am particularly keen to make a better fist of growing them this time around. Another set will go on a tray of their own in another month or so.

Labeled seeds

I took turns sowing each of the seeds in a blend of potting mix, pearlite and peat moss, then covered them with vermiculite.

Each time the seed was sown it got a card with the planting date added so I will be able to tell how long it takes to germinate: if they do, indeed, begin to sprout.

Humidity pods for growing seeds

They were then laid out in the humidity pods in the spare room.

The humidity pods are exposed to daylight (albeit north-facing), but get pumped up with artificial light overnight.

Lighting the humidity pods at night

I’ve never grown anything like this, but am having fun.

In the meantime, I’ll keep checking and updating.

The Fountain of Strewth!

The Fountain of Strewth

Has Kangaeroo mentioned that he’s got a garden?

And he loves it!

Just in case he hasn’t, let me remind you again that Kangaeroo Corner is a little Aussie plants garden in comfy outer suburb of Tokyo.

And playing a prominent role in that Aussie garden is the Fountain of Strewth.

At first glance, there seems to be nothing untoward about the fountain (which is actually a bird bath with a solar-power water sprayer, but still….).

Except, of course, that few Tokyo homes have a fountain.

But this is a little special, and that’s where the strewth factor comes into play.

Despite looking like a classical antique work, the bird bath is made of plastic and was as cheap as chips.

But it’s the actual fountain (well, water sprayer), where the real wonder is.

Kangaeroo has tried several of these solar-powered sprayers over the year or so since the garden first sprouted.

They were bought from, purveyor of puerile plastics, and most of them performed with the lack of reliability that could be expected.

Except for the current fountain, which went into operation in August last year and has not stopped pumping whenever sunlight has hit it since, even after being frozen over in the sub-zero temperatures last month.

And the birds love it! We get pretty much daily visits from the birdies, though the neighbors aren’t too keen on that development.

Without doubt, the Fountain of Strewth is one of the Seven Wonders of Kangaeroo Corner.

The Day of the Chicken

Today, February 8, is The Day of the Chicken in Japan, according to the Japan Anniversary Association.

The anniversary was chosen because of one phonetic reading for the date.

In Japanese, phrasing today’s date would be 2月8日, which is literally the “second month and eighth day” if rendered in English.

One way to phrase the two days making up today’s date in Japanese is “ni,” symbolizing two, and “wa,” for eight.

Chicken in Japanese is niwatori, so the bird (tori) of the ni (2nd) and wa (eighth) is clearly the chook, thus The Day of the Chicken.

The Association says the anniversary was proposed by Torizen Foods Co., Ltd., a company based in Fukuoka that is famous for its hanamidori brand of chickens. The company proposed the date to commemorate and thank the chicken that we eat on a daily basis without great thought for the lives the birds have dedicated to us.

Incidentally, the Japan Anniversary Association designates a commemorative event for each day of the year.

Other occasions being commemorated today are the Day of the Camelia, the Day of the Wooden Coathanger, Toothbrush Exchange Day and Japanese Chocolate Day. Fascinating stuff!

Koala-ified for Anything

Tokyo is a city full of surprises.

And that is the least surprising aspect of the world’s largest city.

Kangaeroo got a pleasant surprise yesterday while pottering through the backstreets of Shinjuku, one of the Japanese capital’s many sub-capitals.

For some reason, Lord alone knows why, there was a statue of a koala and her joey in a pocket-stamp sized park in Shinjuku.

Japan had something of a mini-love affair with koalas in the mid-1980s when Australia successfully sold itself as a tourist destination to more gullible markets and then got greedy with price gouging to compliment the traditionally abysmal service.

Remnants of that adoration for koalas survive to this day, most notably with the popular kids’ snack, Koala’s March.

Still, it was too good an opportunity to pass up the chance of seeing a touch of Oz in Tokyo, so warranted a quick shot with the Brommie.

Hello Cello, Watch Out Aussies! 2CELLOS Are Headed Your Way

Japan has given a final farewell to the 2CELLOS, the amazing duo of cellists on a world tour they have promised will be their last.

Stjepan Hauser and Luka Šulić are already on their way Down Under, where they will play a series of shows before a final performance together in Auckland, New Zealand, on December 4.

As a jam-packed Nippon Budokan attested, this pair are Big in Japan in a totally unironic sense.

They’ve brought great delight to music fans of many genre all around the world for over a decade and the tour will bring an end to their collaboration (though it’s hard to see this being permanent…)

2CELLOS played a setlist of just over 20 songs with tunes ranging from classics to hard rock with a heavy emphasis on popular tunes, most of them from decades long past.

And many Aussies will be pleased by the Acca Dacca-heavy setlist, most notably a dazzling instrumental performance of Thunderstruck, which has become something of a symbol of the duo’s shows.

Other artists covered included the Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, U2, Nirvana and the White Stripes.

Cellos probably aren’t an instrument that comes to mind when thinking of a rollicking good time on stage, but Hauser and Luka put on an energetic show, with the former in particular unleashing a dynamic performance.

After a flawless, 2-hour performance, 2CELLOS gave a moving, poignant rendition of Hallelujah (accompanied by the crowd waving mobile phone lights to create a magical light show). This ended up being a final goodbye to a country that has long supported the pair’s career and both artists individually.

This was in spite of the audience clapping and demanding one last encore for more than 10 minutes after the pair had left the Budokan stage, using their mobile phones to film the audience and waving as they departed.

All in all, a fantastic show where the performers clearly enjoyed being with the audience and a wonderful way for them to say sayonara.

Spring Has Finally Sprung

Almost as though on cue, probably the most delightful time of the year in Japan–May, when it’s warm, dry, sunny and with the longest hours of daylight–has been generally bleak and glim by its usual standards in 2022.

This year has been subjected a bit to the rule of law: Murphy’s Law, unfortunately.

Still, amid a global pandemic when the vast majority of people around the world are feeling the pinch in some way or another, there have also been plenty of blessings.

When the sun finally started showing its face with a bit of consistency as May drew to a close, it also enabled Japan’s glorious spring to put on yet another one of the fine faces it displays in this season.

And Kangaeroo’s 2022 spring was a little bit special because it was the first chance the Aussie garden got to bloom.

And boy was it special!

Can’t thank the magical Alex enough. His work is bringing absolute delight on a daily basis!

Amazing Alex’s Aussie Oasis in Tokyo’s Tama

Alex’s Garden Party

Fantastic Flowers!


Blessed with great company, brilliant sunshine and time, Kangaeroo got to enjoy the unexpected pleasure of HANA BIYORI.

HANA BIYORI is a new type of botanical garden that forms part of the sprawling entertainment complex centered around Yomiuriland in the Tokyo suburb of Inagi.

HANA BIYORI was a delight simply to see all the vibrant spring flowers in bloom in a pretty park with lots of greenery, water and the occasional spectacular view.

The site also has a magnificent projection mapping show on the half-hour every hour during operation.

Also on site are stores with some interesting house plants on sale (mostly beautiful but overpriced), a Starbucks coffee shop that has adopted a unique, greenhouse-like appearance with some wonderful aquariums (but retained its exorbitantly priced and tasteless menu it offers ubiquitously) and a petting zoo for the littlies.

Absolutely loved the visit, though that was highly influenced by companions and the weather.