Sanjo region has entered the “Tsuyu” season. The rainy season before mid-summer. Also known as the beginning of the typhoon season. And as someone whom has to cycle to work every weekday, cycling through rain isn’t the most pleasant experience. I don’t mind if it’s on a weekend, and you know… you’ve got some great musical movie tune playing in the background and you’re with a beautiful gal… Rolling around a grassy hill in the rain,… kissing, yaddi yaddi yah… But I’m not…

The interesting spectacle during rain fall in Japan is that not many wear wet weather gear while cycling. Though you see plenty of people cycling with an umbrella. As a rule, you’re not suppose to be cycling with one hand on the bike and the other holding an umbrella, but everybody seems to be doing it. Well, to keep outta, trouble you can actually buy umbrella holding contraptions for your bicycle… What a weird country this place is.

In anycase, my Saturday was spent hiking Mt. Shirane down in the Shitada valley, which is part of the City of Sanjo. There was not a soul in sight, except for countless number of cobwebs that were spun across the trail. As it was late June, much of the trail was covered by much greenery which gave it a wild look. Also the recent rain helped out with a slightly muddy trail and for all the moisture in the air. The air was very heavy and eventhough to get to the summit of Mt. Shirane only took 2.5 hours, the constant battle of going up a steep slope and the heat had me empty my 2L bottle of water before I got back down. And I didn’t even have to go to the loo once… Boy did I taste salty by the end. And to make things a bit more interesting, there were plenty of little leeches stuck to my leg by the time I was sitting in my air conditioned car. Well, at least they don’t carry any diseases, don’t hurt (as they also inject a local anesthetic)

Well, in the evening I made my way to the south of the city, to the Shirasagi Forest Park. As the lilies are in full bloom. And I read that flowers will be lit up during the night. To be honest, I was expecting beautiful colourful lights lighting up the flowers from down below. But the lights were simply street lamps… In anycase, it was still quite nice to see. Though, what took place after the lights went down was even better.

First, you would see a little glow, just flying in the shadows of the trees. But once a few minutes have passed since the garden lights have been turned off, your eyes have begun to adjust to the darkness and the shy critters were soon out in full force. Good ‘ol fireflies. Or 蛍、ほたる “Hotaru” as they’re called in Japan. All I can say is that, they’re really difficult to take pictures of.


  1. Angie

    Iuuu… leeches! Dis-gus-ting!
    Weird but nice pics from the fireflies ; )
    Are you doing another big trip now in Japan?

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