Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Rainy Season?

Meanwhile at Misawa, it's mild, warn, and breezy. I hung up furin (windchimes) all over the yard. I love how they sound. The glass ones go tinktinktink, the iron one goes dingdingding and my bamboo ones go tonktonktonk, and they all set each other off very nicely.

I wonder if we're heading a hot, dry summer here. Usually Rainy season (Tsuyu) has not only started but would have been continuing unabated by now. We've had a few spots of rain here and there, but nothing like the 17-day streak of non-stop rain we had last year It rained other days, too, but intermittently. It was grey , it was damp, it was dreary, everything got moldy and musty and I was ready to shoot someone, myself, anyone. Seriously.

Weather reports say a pressure system is keeping the the rain away and that it is raining properly in the Kanto plains, but I still wonder. As much as I dislike the mold and the grey, the rain's necessary for good crops, on which Misawa depends, since this area is mostly farms.

Speaking of farms, summer produce is here. Asparagus is all over the place, as are eggplants, peaches and watermelons. I could live on asparagus and watermelon, except that I would be living in the bathroom. I rarely shop at the commissary for vegetables anymore, preferring to use the farmer's market (why didn't I work up the courage to go in there two years ago?) or local stands or the supermarket down the road from me.

I think I also mentioned way back that the area I live in is famous throughout Japan for its apples. You can't get a bad apple here. You can get 10 dollar ones, though. And yes, they are worth the price. I will let you know that a 10 dollar apple is about as big as my head and takes me two days to eat, unless I'm really hungry, then it only takes about 9 hours. Hugest apples I have ever seen, and so perfect and tasty.

Aomori's apple industry started back in 1875, with just three trees! Aomori apples are hugely popular throughout Japan, accounting for 50% of the nation's supply. They do well in Thailand, Hong Kong, and Taiwan (as exports). They're a popular gift item, too. I think apples are often used in conjunction with funeral/memorial services, but as an offering rather than a snack.

There are three main types of apples: Sekaiichi (the meaning is number 1 in all over the world), Mutsu (an old name for Aomori and the area surrounding it , Fuji (the name is from Mt.Fuji) and Yellow apples (such as Orin and Kinsei ) . Fuji are the favorite among my friends, big, sweet and reminscent of the fragrance of roses and honey. Who woulda thunk an apple could smell so good and taste even better. They look really nice, too. Mmmm. I guess I'll pick some up today.

1 comment:

Susann said...

The rain you're talking about is here. I'd happily send it your way. I'm about to grow webs between toes and hands. ;-)