July 3, 2010

Japan has four seasons – spring, summer, fall, and winter.  Oh, and there’s a rainy season.  Time and time again, Japanese people have boasted to me of the uniqueness of Japan and it’s four seasons, and following the four seasons they always tack on the rainy season.  Why this interim season does not count as a fifth season, I am not sure, nor am I sure why there seems to be a general belief that Japan is the only place in the world to have four seasons.  But anyway, for the last month, it has been raining almost incessantly every day.  This makes it very difficult to do things like dry your laundry, and it often makes me wonder why Japanese people don’t have dryers to go with their washing machines.  Sure, I could go to a laundromat, but I’m not about to spend $5 just to dry a single load of laundry.  Anyway, it’s been raining like crazy, and last night we had a crazy thunderstorm that is still dumping rain twelve hours later.  The lightning kept flashing all night long, and the thunder around here is crazy, some of it lasting up to one minute for a single bolt of lightning.  I don’t know why it reverberates so intensely around here, but it could have something to do with the fact that we are in a basin.  Below are two pictures of Seki-no-o falls, our local waterfall.  The first picture was taken in March of this year.  The second picture was taken last week.

March, 2010

June, 2010

And here are some more pictures that show the current state of the waterfall.

The path that takes you above the falls.

And the path that no longer exists because it is engulfed by floodwaters.

Wow.  On a side note, I also went fishing recently with one of my friends from work.  That was the one day we had just perfect weather around here, and we spent a lovely day at the ocean under the blazing sun.  We caught some weird little fish (scorpionfish) and Miyuki and I fried them up the next day.  It was actually pretty good!

Me with my catch.

My friend Akaike-san (Mr. Red Pond, as he likes me to call him).

I also went to the Kagoshima Aquarium a few weeks ago.  Here is a picture I took of a puffer fish there.

I’ve got a bunch of pictures I’ve been taking on my iPhone as well, so maybe I’ll get those up here one of these days.  I’ve been busy with all sorts of stuff these days, but mainly I’m focusing on remembering how to write the kanji.  I started over from scratch with the Remembering the Kanji series of books, and I’ve got over four hundred down within the first month.  I set a goal at the beginning of June to make it through the first book by the end of August, so I’m a little behind schedule, but maybe I can boost my productivity and catch up (currently at 410 out of over 2000, so I’ve got a ways to go).  Work is going well, and the school visits and senior center visits are starting to pick up again.  I’ve got a busy week ahead of me, including a health examination on Monday.  I bought a charcoal grill and I’m looking forward to hitting a park when the rains stop and cooking up some delicious goodness in the open air.  Things are calming down a bit after the outbreak of foot-and-mouth, and I’ve been busy with meetings for the town development corporation.  I’ll try to keep you better posted about what’s going on here and maybe get out and take some more pictures once the rain quits.


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