Family Journal: Arrival of Fall in Japan

Red Spider Lilies Protect the Rice Paddy Field

Despite temperatures being in the mid-80s F during the day, the calendar and other signs say autumn has arrived. Above are red spider lilies which bloom in September after heavy rains, often brought by typhoon systems. We had some heavy rain last weekend and on my bike ride Saturday, they were out everywhere. The bulbs are very poisonous and farmers plant them to keep pests away from their crops. In Japan, they are called 彼岸花 Higan bana, and are a common funeral flower and symbolize the afterlife.

One of the nicest things about Japan is their celebration and detailing of the seasons.  Not only fall, winter, spring and summer, but they further delineate the seasons by natural phenomena such as flowers, colors of leaves and arrival of certain types of fish to the market. September means Samna or Mackerel Pike or Pacific Saury are served often in restaurants and can be found in grocery stores. The name in Japanese refers to their appearance of like a knife. I think I will try to prepare it home.


Delicious Samna sushi!

I am loving my “new” road cycle. I inherited a bike from a departing teacher and took it to the local bike shop to put on new tires and tighten the brakes, gears, etc. The road cycle allows me to go much faster and get a better workout. The nearby Minoh forest national park is perfect for riding. Owen was riding the bike yesterday and loved it, so we may have to get into more road cycling.


Near the Minoh Waterfall

I am a single dad this weekend because Nadia is at a PYP workshop in Hong Kong this weekend. It is much easier than before because the kids are growing up and are much more independent. We had a blast playing with the frisbee yesterday and going to the local sushi restaurant with two other families.



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