June 17, 2010

hello monsoon

yes it's that time of the year again; the month-long monsoon has officially arrived. well, so they say - every year they (the national meteorological agency? not sure really...) "declare" the start of the rainy season, and they did so a few days ago for tokyo and most other areas of the country. then we've had this wonderfully sunny and dry weather (with occasional showers, admittedly, but briefly), with the temperatures hitting over 80F/30C. well hello, monsoon?

having left kyoto at the end of may (and spent a few days in tokyo), i've been retreating in nagano, in a quaint japanese countryside in the mountains. as far as the weather goes, it's been fabulous; mostly sunny and warm, not as humid as it often gets down in tokyo, and still pleasantly cool in the evening. i've also been spoiled with the abundance of good food, especially fresh vegetables and fruits, which are mostly locally-grown.

despite being surrounded by the great nature and food, i haven't been taking too many picture of any of it (except for a few home-made desserts, which i should write about soon-ish). it's partly because the fact that i stayed here a few summers ago and took a load of photos then (you can see them here) - so i felt like i shouldn't have to go over everything again. or maybe the fact that i have waaaaaaay too many photos from kyoto that i want to take care of first (working on that!). but it's mostly down to this: i haven't been out and about much, being plain busy (and lazy). yeah it's a shame, i know.

so here are some of the few snaps that i've managed to shoot over these past few weeks. some landscapes, some food, mostly outdoors. i hope these can give you a glimpse of what i have up here - just a every day stuff and nothing special, but all the same it's very special to me, if that makes any sense.

- rice paddies

- fresh milk and berry-yogurt gelato

- a view of mountains through thick trees

- a quiet hilltop road

- a simple lunch of onigiri (rice balls) to feed a hungry bunch

- crumble with season's fruits for breakfast

- at dawn

- ice cream in the sun

- after the rain

- an afternoon drink followed by a nap...

well i've said there hasn't been much rain, but apparently it's coming; the 7-day forecasts say we are having rain for the next seven days and possibly longer. which makes me wish i had gone out more and taken more pictures while the sun was out and shining. oh well, i'll now just try and make it through the month of rain while wishing for the sun to come out every now and then. well hello, monsoon!