Veggies in the Sky

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA There’s a 26 story building right over my station, a very convenient landmark. No matter where I wander in the ‘hood, if I look up long enough I’ll eventually spot it and be able to find my way home.

Remember that this is Setagaya-ku and its narrow streets were once rabbit paths and deer runs. They often go off in odd directions that would only make sense to a rabbit or a deer; people have a harder time getting oriented.

The building is called Carrot Tower, which is also odd. It isn’t shaped like a carrot. It isn’t orange. I would never attempt to grate it and put it in my jello salad. And you’d have to make an awfully big snowman to use it as his nose.

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERAThe name is hard to deal with, too. If I’m talking to an English speaker, fine, but if I’m talking to a Japanese person, I have to pronounce it Japanese style, which is kind of like kyarotto tawa, and that is decidedly harder to say.

So I have taken to calling it Ninjin Toh, which means the same thing, but for some reason, nobody seems to get the connection.

Why would anybody name a building after a vegetable anyway?

This could easily get out of hand. I mean, who wants to stay at the Yokohama Burdock Root Hotel or go watch a ballgame at Bamboo Shoot Stadium? Want to catch a flick at the new Shiitake Cinema Complex in Shibuya? Care to join me for a performance of Aida at the Eggplant Opera House?

Really, now. That’s just silly.

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