Tag Archives: rainy season

Woman is Fickle as…

“Autumn weather” instead of “April weather” in Japanese. (“Onna gokoro wa aki no sora.“)

Interestingly, it is said that the subject of this proverb was “man” instead of “woman” in old times…

Autumn, especially from the end of August to the beginning of October is the one of the biggest rainy season here, and some areas have much more rainfalls than “tsuyu (rainy season in Japan)”.

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Today it’s raining very heavily because of the typhoon…please be careful if you reside or travel in Japan now.

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This year’s ‘umeshigoto’ at my home – Making mini umeshu

It’s June – the rainy season in Japan.

Umeshigoto‘ (processing ‘ume‘ plums at home) is one of the pleasures of this season.

My husband gave me a little ‘ume‘ tree on my birthday this year, which size is almost that of ‘bonsai‘. It bore 3 fruits on the balcony! So I made a mini bottle of umeshu, popular Japanese liqueur.

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Picked the fruits. Just three…but so adorable!

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Soak them in water for a while. Looks cool and refreshing.

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Put them in a reused jam jar with brown sugar (crystal sugar is more generally used, but I prefer brown sugar).

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Pour spirits and capped a bottle.

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… and store it in a cool dark place at least for 3 months until the flavor and aroma of ume fruits will be fully extracted.

Can’t wait to taste it!

 

Hide Your Belly Button When You Hear Thunder

Today it rained so hard with thunder here in eastern Japan. I saw a small boy running so fast on his way home. For the small kids, thunder must be one of the most terrifying things.

On a day like today, I remember my childhood: The adults around us said, “Hide your belly button, or the god of thunder will take it away.”

Who is the god of thunder? Although there are several myths describing this god, but in general, he’s called ‘Kaminari-sama’, or more formally ‘Raijin’, living above the clouds with the drums on his shoulders to create the sound of thunder. If you visit Japan, you can meet him at the most famous touristy site, Kaminarimon of Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo.

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Raizin“. Licensed under Public domain via ウィキメディア・コモンズ.

Then why kids have to hide the belly button? This actually means “Wear your clothes properly to cover your belly.” It’s normally hot and humid in this season, but the temperature goes down quickly when thunderstorming. So the parents tell kids not to expose their bodies to cold temperature; otherwise, they would easily catch a cold.

It seems to hold true… Now I’m feeling cool breeze from outside.

Joy of Rainy Season in Japan

The rainy season has come here in eastern Japan.  It’s called tsuyu (梅雨, literally means ‘plum rain’) and lasts about one month from June to July.

It’s physically uncomfortable… but it’s also true that tsuyu is one of the best times to enjoy the beauty and tradition of Japan.

The best thing about this season is ajisai (hydrangea). The beautiful blooms decorate everywhere – streets, parks and mountain paths, which changes the daily scenery like a kaleidoscope. It’s also nice to visit any ajisai-dera (hydrangea temple) where lots of hydrangea trees are planted.

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It’s also the best season to encounter lots of small creatures like snails, pond skaters, Japanese tree frogs… Especially, it’s just whimsical to see hotaru (firefly) flickering in pitch darkness at night in the countryside…

At home, ume-shigoto (plum processing) is a traditional seasonal event. This rainy season coincidents with the harvest time of plums and people make various products using plums such as umeboshi (salted pickled plums), plum wine, plum juice and plum jam. It is ancient wisdom to prevent plums go bad in this hot and humid weather. And these plum products have various healthy and medicinal benefits like preventing summer fatigue and antibacterial effect.

When you feel sluggish, koh (Japanese incense) helps freshen the stagnated air. According to a traditional koh house, tsuyu is the best season to enjoy koh as it smells better in the humid air. The aroma, together with the beautiful sound of rain, changes the atmosphere best for chill-out and meditation…