One year has passed since I started writing this blog. 🎉 This is the first time I’ve been able to continue posting on a social network for a long period of time. So far, although I’ve had several social network accounts, I couldn’t continue them. Because it always became a pain in the butt after a few posts.
I visited a big wasabi farm in Azumino of Nagano prefecture. Irrigation is provided by natural spring water, and its temperature is around 13 degrees Celsius in all seasons. It needs to grow for about 2 years before it can be harvested and eaten.
Here is Shirakawa-go. This settlement is one of the world heritage sites in Japan. These houses have roofs made of thatch. Some of the buildings have been made into visitor accommodations. The town is located in a heavy snow area, and I visited during winter. So I brought my rubber boots and thick gloves in the car. But I didn’t need to put them on, because it wasn’t cold and the roads of the village were cleared of snow. I was walking with my camera for a few hours.
On Valentine’s day in Japan, usually, women give chocolates to men or somebody else special in their lives. They could be a boyfriend, a husband, a romantic interest, friends, etc. In the case of giving to friends, we call it tomo-choco and giri-choco. Depending on the relationship, these mean love, friendship, courtesy and obligation. Lately, some women buy a little bit fancier than usual chocolates for themselves for Valentine’s day, too.
Why should only women give presents to men in Japan? 😤
In 2017, February 4th was Setsubun, which is what we name the day before the first day of spring. It usually occurs around February 3rd. On this day, in a custom called Mame-maki, we throw and scatter roasted soy beans, inside and outside our houses while saying, “Get goblins out of the house! Invite happiness into the home!”
After that, we eat a bean for each year of our age and pray for happiness throughout the year. Some older people find eating them difficult because the beans are usually unseasoned and just taste like beans. During this time, we sometimes ask otherpeople their ages and make small age related jokes.
There are many Setsubun events held in temples and shrines. The beans at these events are usually in small packs. If you are lucky, you can catch pack of beans for free. Although I didn’t go to any events and I didn’t do it in my house, I got a bunch of beans for sale this year. And then, I got an idea.
I will eat those roasted soy beans if I want to stop from becoming hungry. It’s my new diet. I wonder if it will work for me? Anyway, I should go on a diet and exercise. I can’t wear my pair of jeans now. 😱 😭