Joy at Kyoto: 4

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二条城 has vast space in the center of this ancient capital. This garden accommodates a spacious pond where a heron takes a rest, a lovely little fall twinkles. You can enjoy feeding big carps as well. 本丸=hon-maru, main building of Japanese castle, was lost by fire only with a firm foundation left. Going up stairs, you would have a nice view on mountain silhouette and lightning rods on roofs.

Seasonal Gift

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御中元=ochugen, summer gifts are ready. Mei-Shun ordered special packages to 風流堂 as usual, asking a minor change in products. She had wondered why they never post English version for online shopping, emailed on this matter this time. Their reply was in a letter attached to the box for Master Mei-Shu: it seems they keep the job for their smart granddaughter who lived in the U.S. till recently, a WASEDA Univ. student.

Joy at 神楽坂

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One of Mei-Shun’s favorite shops there is 陶柿園. They sell a lot of tableware including these chopsticks rests. Could you see cute fishes swimming in clear glass water? Real sight of them is available in a garden of 5-floor building where various restaurants serve you. Actually, it is not so easy to find such places along narrow, winding lanes. Why don’t you therefore enjoy no-map promenade?

Japanese Culture@wkday

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Today we see 芒種=boshu, the 3rd of summer 二十四節気. “芒” sounds rare for Mei-Shun who searched this Chinese character read nogi. It expresses spikes in chaffs of rice, wheat, etc., which wait for 芒種 to be sown in fields. Not only to prepare for hot and humid season, she asked Shin to have lunch at a restaurant where tasty grilled eels are served.

Summer Delicacy

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Mei-Shun met Shin at one of their favorite restaurants in Shinagawa for lunch after hair treatment. Served dishes did not feature seasonal ingredients like 初鰹=hatsu-gatsuo, year’s first bonito while desserts were changed from normal 善哉=zenzai, sweetened red bean soup with rice cake to 餡蜜=anmitsu, agar jelly with fruits, syrup and red bean paste.

Rice Baby

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It is so nice to see them grow day by day. Mei-Shun is so happy to see many birds including this wild duck couple. Or a mother and a child, bigger one was waiting for the other slimmer flying across the lane between rice paddy to slide onto water. You finally meet, congratulations. And Ms. (or Mr.) White, nice to see you here. We cannot recognize you crouching among grown-up greens.

Petits Cactus

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Ohhhh, you are so cute. This breed survives freezing winter in our garden, grows these little babies on each “leaf” around 八十八夜=hachiju-hachi-ya, 88th day after 立春 when the last frost might cover the ground, every year. You might not feel better than a few days before — it remains raining all day today, with continued cold air from yesterday. Expected 十五夜 full moon cannot see you tonight.