We are very much in the middle of the rainy season now in Japan. In most parts of the country except Hokkaido more rain falls in June than any other month.
Two plants are particularly visible at this time of year: colorful hydrangeas (ajisai) in blue, purple and white and rice seedlings by the sides of paddy fields ready to be planted - no longer by hand but by small rice-planting tractors.
Hydrangea leaves by the way are toxic and a number of people fell ill when the leaves were served as a trimming to a main course in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture.
By the middle of July the monsoon will be over along with the flowering of the hydrangeas and the unremitting heat of summer will be here again.
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008