Monthly Archives: June 2015

I LOVE JAPAN ❤ 日本の今を伝えたい! The Case of the Missing Spring.


A little more than two months ago, cherry blossom season came and went in a flash, as it usually does.
It seemed that, within a week of sakura coming out in full bloom, the wind had already carried them away.

Cherry blossoms herald the arrival of spring, the time during which we can begin to walk outside without our heavy winter coats (sometimes, anyway).
This year, however, spring appeared to last all of a week before it gave way to summer. What happened?

I found myself wearing short-sleeved shirts before the end of April.
That usually never happens. Last year, I remember wanting to wear long sleeves outside well into May.
Sometimes I’d even have to throw on my winter coat!

But not this year.
It may have gotten a tad chilly during rainstorms, but otherwise the weather was more or less consistent (in my opinion) with summer conditions.

Is this a new trend?
Given all that’s happening with global warming (or, as some call it, climate change), it could be a permanent change.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see. All I know is that, in all my years in Japan, I’ve never seen spring skipped altogether.
And that’s a shame, as Japanese summers are already too long as they are!

What do you think?
Do you agree that 2015 lacked a spring season in Japan?
If you have any thoughts, please let us know!


I LOVE JAPAN ❤ 日本の今を伝えたい! 天日干し野菜・きのこのすすめ! Sundried Vegetables & Mushrooms!



Why don’t we start eating sun-dried vegetables?


So-called “sun-dried vegetables” with a long shelf life  and high nutritional value are an age-old wisdom. In times when refrigerators and freezers were non-existent, foods that could be preserved were particularly invaluable and were also used for long trips.  Born from the lives of people ages ago, the ingenuity of sun-dried vegetables as preserved foods can also benefit the lives of those living today.



During the drying portion of the process, extra liquid is extracted from the vegetables through evaporation and the natural occurring vitamin D, vitamin B group, calcium, iron, and niacin in the vegetable increases. It has been found that prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultra violet rays change the chemical composition of the plant.  It is also reported that some dried vegetables are effective for dieting and burning fat.



Preserving vegetables after a harvest when seasonal crops are plentiful and using exactly as much as one could spare over the year is another age-old wisdom of the past. Since for sun-drying one only needs to use the sun and air, you can preserve foodstuffs simply without the use of salts or sugars. Throughout the world many types of sundried food have been produced due to the simplicity of process.



For dried foods there are other benefits which are not seen in other preservation methods. In the process of  sun drying umami flavor, aroma, and nutritional value are enhanced.  For mushrooms, umami taste is further condensed after they are dehydrated. I strongly recommend using sun-dried mushrooms for making dashi soup or broth, or frying them as ingredients for fried foods.  Dried foods make the cooking time shorter and the amount of seasonings smaller to get  distinctive taste. Even for busy people who have little time for preparing every day meals, I would recommend trying dried foods to have easy-to-prepare and nutricous meals.


キビ麺パスタ (天日干ししたmushroomを使ったパスタ)

Kibi millet Pasta with Sundried Mushroom



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By Yumi, Heathy Food Stylist