Tsuyu – a time of neglect


Tsuyu (梅雨literally plum rain) is what the Japanese term their rainy season.  It is my least favourite time of year over here.  If seasons were siblings, tsuyu would be the black sheep of the family; the one no one likes nor even wants to have hanging around.

So far this tsuyu has been on its best behaviour.  Generally the season starts in late May/early June and can last right until August.  Yet here we are in the final days of June and there’s been nary but a few days of typical tsuyu weather.  For the uninitiated, tsuyu days involve constant bouts of umbrella defying rain (read rain in which umbrellas keep naught but your head dry), frequently including heavier periods right when I ride to and from work.  I’m not complaining about this unusually good behaviour per se, but there is this great dread within me that the worst is yet to come and that dear tsuyu is going to be with us until August.

So what does this mean for my biking adventures?  If I was made of tougher stuff, nothing.  Alas, though I love running in the rain I draw the line at riding in it.  Right now, my bike doesn’t have mud guards so when I am unfortunate enough to be caught in a sudden downpour, a wet rear end duly follows.  No surprise my time out on the open road this month amounts to zip.

But tsuyu is not all doom and gloom.  Tsuyu’s one saving grace is that with its arrival, the ajisai (hydrangeas) bloom.  As you may have noticed from my earlier posts, I am a flower fiend.  Doesn’t matter what they are nor how non-exotic, if it has petals I’m bound to like it.  Ajisai’s prevalence in gardens everywhere makes them second only to sakura in terms of the extent of their flowering display.  But it’s the diversity in colour that really gets me in.  All over Tsu ajisai are blooming in every shade imaginable from the softest pink to the most vivid blue.  The diversity doesn’t stop there, with double petal hybrids being quite popular among Tsu’s gardeners.  But of course all my photos are of pretty much the same colour and form.  Journalistic fail.

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