The Tokyo Tree, Tokyo, Japan.   (Ella Rutledge, Editor in Chief)

Welcome to the home of the Tokyo Tree, an occasional newsletter featuring stories related to Japan and centered in Tokyo.  From our third-floor office overlooking the Zenpukuji River in one of Tokyo’s 23 wards, we report our observations and experiences of daily life in this complex, ever-changing city that always remains just slightly ahead of anyone’s confident grasp. While we sometimes report on “current events” (as defined by other, more prominent news media), and make forays out to the grander and better-known parts of town, most of our stories describe the humble, the local, the out-of-the-way scenes we pass through while walking and biking the ordinary streets of Tokyo or commuting to paying jobs on ordinary trains and buses.   We also value and welcome comments and feedback from our readers.

The Tree has been in existence as an email newsletter since January, 2008, and is now in its fourth year.  It began its life as a blog in March, 2010.

Editorial Policy: Our motto is “All the News That Fits.”  We publish anything our staff comes up with by publication deadline as long as there’s room for it on our template (which is not large enough to accommodate offensive material or highly opinionated rants).


6 Responses to “About”

  1. deborah Says:

    Great blog, Ellie. I love your ever present sense of humor: “We publish anything our staff comes up with by publication deadline as long as there’s room for it on our template (which is not large enough to accommodate offensive material or highly opinionated rants).” Would love to know how this blog came into being. Did you build it yourself or did you get help? So glad you’ve got an archive going, too.

  2. Pam Says:

    I like the lay-out of your “new” blog, and I enjoy the variety of topics you cover. Always enjoy the hai-pho, and this time I appreciated all the bittersweet photos of the little shops which are struggling to stay in business, or have recently gone out of business–so sad. It reminds me of what has happened to so many charming bookstores in the U.S., now that Barnes and Noble has become an ever-present monopoly.
    The “look ahead” regarding cell phone usage in the U.S. is certainly prescient. Very informative and entertaining read re: cell phone usage in your classroom and the finer points of cell phone typingstyle and cell phone design.
    This month I was at Aurora Ranch in western MA (George’s and Kate’s place), and I noticed a beautiful little bush with clusters of little white blossoms in the shape of cones at the end of the branches of green foliage. When I went closer to inspect, I saw that the petals on some of the blossoms were a subtle pale pink. Most surprising was that George identified it as a “Japanese Hydrangea”, and he told me to smell it. I did, and discovered the loveliest fragrance. All the hydrangeas around here and on the Cape, though visually beautiful, have no odor whatsoever. I was reminded of this because of your hai-pho about the cat and hydrangea.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and neighborhood haunts!

    • tokyotree Says:

      Thanks for the feedback! I was especially interested to learn that Japanese hydrangeas have a fragrance. I didn’t know! The hydrangeas are all gone by now, but next time I see one in bloom I’ll be sure to check out its scent. Regarding bookstore closings: on my recent visit to Falmouth, ME, I was disappointed to find that a small bookstore at the local shopping mall had closed. This had been a community gathering place, with a Coffee Roasters next door, and I used to enjoy not only the books, and the fireplace on cold days, but also the chance to sit next door and do some writing over a cup of coffee. Now both have closed.

  3. ohad Says:

    we love your site
    we are writing an article for AI Magazine
    we would like to use one of your sento photos and credit you
    please stay in contact

    • tokyotree Says:

      Hello. Thanks for reading my blog. And thanks for asking permission to use one of my photos. Can you give me the link to the photo you want to use? I don’t know which one you mean. Also, what is AI Magazine?

      Tokyo Tree

  4. hidekon2013 Says:

    Hi Ella,

    my name is Hide, editor and creative producer in Tokyo.
    heard about you from Chris of Tokyo DIY GARDENING.

    I am now making a book on urban permaculture with Kai Sawer
    to introduce the thoughts, history and action of permaculture.

    On this book, we’d like to introduce the way people do gardening
    in their own way and like to use either of your 2 images
    (pots on the car/ pots on the bike)

    “Killing Two birds With one stone”
    “somewhere in Suginami-ku between
    Ogikubo and Asagaya Stations”

    let me know your e-mail address so that I can explain in details.



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