Late Autumn in Niigata under the Dark Sky

My another photo blog “LQ Laoshi’s Photo Gallery”(outside wordpress)

a persimmon on the cutting board

So I decided to eat this bitter persimmon because part of it became so soft.


pieces of persimmon ready for eating

Some slices that were so soft were sweet a little. Some slices that were not so soft were tasted as if remaining some bitterness. My conclusion was simple. Sawashi-gaki was far better than this. I mean, sawashi-gaki is persimmon that got rid of bitterness by strong alcohol.


View of Iide Mountain, from Niigata

I went out with my Olympus camera when I finished the online conversation class for sophomore students at 4p.m. on Friday. So it was getting dark already. Now it is late autumn. The top of the Mountain IIDE was already covered with snow.


I heard these days voices of swans flying over my head, I mean, in the sky. They are coming from Siberia to Japan to spend winter time. I saw one of them on Saturday morning. She/he was alone, though they are always in herds. I wished her safe migration.


Leaves in my garden have turned to red and yellow, although this happens in everywhere in northern hemisphere in this time around, anyway.


This region is cold, so it is impossible to raise rice crops twice a year. The paddy fields are left as-is through the winter.



Farming people like to plant flowers at the edges of their fields. When I took these photos, rain started falling. I gave up taking photos and came back house.


I wish if I had more time to practice this.

Morning Market in Niitsu, Niigata-ken, JAPAN

Because of corona virus pandemic and my hectic job for online teaching, I don’t have chances to go outside for these months. If there is a chance for me to go outside world, it had been to go for a walk one hour, or to go shopping in the morning market in Niitsu. I went to Niitsu this morning. And what I saw when I got off the train was a locomotive pulling passenger cars. The steam locomotive runs only on the weekend as a sightseeing train.


But anyway, my destination is here, the parking lot that turns to be a morning market on the dates with 1 and 6.


Every time I come to Niitsu morning market, I buy Kimch from Ms. Minami Yamashita.


This is her cooler box. There are three types of Kimchi; Chinese cabbage, Radish, and Cucumber kimchi(s).


山下南さんのキムチ、販売場所と時間

This is the information of her Kimchi selling. Her Kimchi is available in Niitsu, Gosen, and Suibara.


Another shop.


I was interested in mushroom of 250 JPY, but I didn’t buy them.


Flower shop.


I bought one basket of these Shuyo-Ringo(s).


So this is a photo of what I bought today in the Niitsu morning market.
8 apples “Shuyo”: 800yen
11 persimmons: 500yen
1 Chinese cabbage Kimchi: 500yen
1 Radish Kimchi: 500yen
2 Pears “Niitaka”: 400yen
1 Radish with green leaves: 100yen
1 Bitter persimmon: 100yen
——– 2,900JPY in total

There is an issue about persimmons. Since Niigata is in northern part of Japan, most of persimmons here are bitter because of chilly climate. You can get naturally sweet persimmon, if you were in Hiroshima or Wakayama because they are warm places. The issue in Niigata is how to get rid of bitterness from the persimmons. There are three ways to do that:
1) To make persimmon dry fruits; You peel off, tie with code, and hang them outside under the roof. You might need some nets as a protection preventing birds from eating them.
2) To use chemical reaction of strong alcohol; You put the upper part of persimmons into alcohol that is stronger than 40%. And put them into plastic bags to keep them airtight for several days.
3) is surprising one, You just keep the bitter persimmon until it gets sweet. I don’t know how long it would take. There is a moment between ripening and rotting. So it must be a very short period of time. In that moment, the bitter persimmon becomes sweet. It is not “You eat when you want to eat”, but you have to eat when it happens. I know a person who said that it tasted rotten when she ate this type of persimmon. She said she would never eat any kind of persimmons again. So it seems that bad experience left trauma about persimmon.

Today I found this type of bitter persimmon. A lady explained to me. She raised her sample persimmon. “See, this is a little early. You keep it more time, then you can eat this sweet”. I have been interested in this type of bitter persimmon for so long. I asked her to sell that sample to me. It was 100 yen. Shown in the photo is the one. Part of it looks ready but other part of it looks still early to eat. I will tell you the result.

At the End of October in Northern JAPAN

There were a little chilly autumn days recently. I thought the mountain Iide might have got snow on the top. As I expected, I found that there was snow on Wednesday 28th.


These sparrows had been somewhere for one month or so. It was the season that there were a plenty of rice grains in paddy fields. They liked rice better than bird seeds that I give them. But now the season has changed, they have com back to my garden.


A ginkgo tree has not become yellow enough. It would be still earlier to be the best color.


Another yellow thing in autumn is this introduced species from north America. You can see this flower anywhere in Japan at this time of season.


A river and the mountain Sugana-dake. Soon the leaves will be yellow and red on the mountains.

Took a Walk to the River, though Rainy Season is still going on

The spring semester was over. Summer break has started. But there is no time for me to take a rest. I have already started preparation for the next semester. Since the day before yesterday, I have been scanning the pictures on textbook so that I can use them on PPT slides. Since today is not rainy (though it’s dark), I took a walk in the afternoon. 

Bridge for Farmers’ Vehicles

Mountains whose heights were about 1000 meter were seen from the bridge.

View from the Bridge

A farmer and her husband were working to harvest onions.

Farmers are Working Hard on the Ground

Oh, by the way, this wordpress writing system is quite inconvenient. It is hard for me to operate. Now I regret starting writing this post. This is terrible.

Growing Rice in the Paddy Fields

I can see five peaks of Gozu Mountain. “Gozu” uses two Chinese Characters for “Five” and “Heads”.

Mountain Gozu behind the Paddy Fields

It is a kind of agony just to write sentences and insert images. I hope someone will change and enhance to make it easy to write and post a blog.

The board is saying “Let us make the river clean”, “You will be punished if throwing trashes and/or dirty matters in the river area”.

Unclear Board saying not to throw garbage

Flowers I saw on the way to the river

I am just wondering how other wordpress users feel about this very poor operability of writing system. I would like to say “This is a torture”.

A Solar Eclipse was Seen at 5 p.m. in Niigata , JAPAN.

I put a feeder in the garden. A sparrow comes every morning.

Another lily flower opened in the garden. It is good to cut the flowers to make the bulbs grow bigger.

A solar eclipse was seen today. The photo shows the shapes of the sun that is the lights coming through the paper screen of Japanese style “Shouji”. The paper is worn out and has got many holes. So I need to change the paper screen…if I have time to do so…

The reason why I write this blog is to make records about my activities as a Japanese teacher. So I don’t mind if people hardly visit this blog. Having said that, it is really amazing that only very few people come here these days….

Lily “Lollipop” in Bloom

The new writing system of wordpress has made difficult to write and edit a post. It seems a HTML geek is proud of building an automatic function to form “DIV” commands. But it is almost painful to me. I want someone to get the old simple writing system back.

By the way, I asked a neighbor to cultivate the land and grow vegetable so that the garden would not be an abandoned bush. On Monday the person was cutting weed for us but he mistakenly cut the lily that I planted several years ago (Because the lily was among the weed). He brought that lily to my house with some apology. My mom put it in a brown glass bottle of a cheap “energy drink”. Since the bud of lily was still young, we didn’t expect the lily would be able to bloom. To our surprise, the lily flower opened in the following day.

Lily “Lollipop” in the bottle of Lipovitan D

I bought bulbs of lily “Lolipop” several years ago in DIY shop “Komeri”. The bulbs were discounted because they were apparently unsold long time. I thought, if it were going to be a waste, I would buy and plant them in the garden. After that, Lollipop had been in bloom every year even though I didn’t take care of them. The neighbor didn’t cut them all, so some are still left on the ground.

Lily “Lolipop” on the Ground

Yesterday my mom went outside around the noon to get her lunch. It was so hot, so she gave up staying outside, just buying a lunch box, and then came back home. She told me to look at her lunch box that costed only 330 Japanese Yen. She wanted to show that there were a lot of things in a cheap lunch box that would be equivalent to three USD. But I have to say, I don’t think it is good to eat those cheap processed food. It should be bad for health.

330 Yen Lunch Box (=3USD)

Green beans that I planted are growing in the garden although it will take more than a month or so from now until the harvest.

Young Green Beans are Growing on the Ground

I found the gooseberry was turning to be red. Taste? of course anything from the garden is always sour. I have already confirmed it by the most reddest goose berry fruit.

Fruits of Gooseberry Now Turning to be Red

And this morning I found that flowers of hollyhock started blooming.

Rare Color of Hollyhock Flower

Uh,… I wasted my one hour to make this post. The blog that people hardly view is called “an isolated island on the continent” in Japanese. Mine is also like that.

Fruits and Vegetables are Growing in the Garden.

A fruit of silverberry (goumi) has turned to be red. Actually there were only three fruits on the silverberry tree. This is one of them.

I have already taken this one. Only two goumi(s) remain on the tree now. They are still green.

I don’t know whether this silverberry is edible or not. As was obvious for the case of strawberry, nothing from my garden can be sweet. They are always sour so that you would like to jump up when you put them in your mouth.

I left the silverberry like this on the table. Soon I found that this small tiny red fruit had disappeared. I asked my mom where the silverberry had gone. She answered that she offered it to the deceased my father. And then I saw this small red thing was put in front of my dad’s photo.

Flower of cucumber has already had the young cucumber .

This is a flower of egg plant.

This is a flower of pumpkin. If it was a female flower, it would be a pumpkin. But you know, the flowers are almost always male flowers. A female flower is very rare. There is no easy thing in this world.

This yellow flowers are not of pumpkin but zucchini.

These vegetables were not that I planted. Since I am very busy in days and nights for the online teaching things, I asked a neighbor to cultivate and grow vegetables in my family’s garden. I should be thankful to him.

But there is a one vegetable that I planted.

I planted some seeds of green beans. Seeds were sold by 200 JPY (tax exclusive) that was approximately equivalent to 2 dollars. The seeds were imported to Japan from the country where the authority used teargas to disperse the peaceful demonstrations in order to do a photo op in front of a church to show a man holding a book that he had actually never read at all (probably).

But anyway, it is not that big issue, I mean, where the seeds came from. Because they have germinated safely on the land of Japan. If I can harvest green beans, I will boil them just a little, dip into mayonnaise, and then eat them in hot summer night with chilled beer. I am looking forward to doing so.

How to Take Care of Your Tomato

This is to show you how to take care of your tomato in this time around.

You need to cut off the buds of branch so that the main stem can grow. The orange circle in the photograph shows a bud coming from between the main stem and a leaf. It should be removed.

This photograph shows, by a blue circle, that an unnecessary branch has been cut off. In this time of season, you need to check this very frequently like almost everyday. If you leave those branches to grow, your tomato will be terrible and chaotic with many stems and branches such that you want to start singing “Welcome to the jungle!”. Cut them off, or you will get small size tomato.

Strawberry in the Garden: So Sour

Several photographs that I took on Sunday.

Nothing has to do with the black bird, but you know, the new writing system of wordpress is not easy to use. Do I need to got used to this? I am not sure how I can insert HTML code by hand?

And the response of the system is a little slow.

I want the old writing system to back. This is quite difficult to handle.

I forgot to attach this photo onto the initial version of this post.

Okay this is today’s photo that was taken in the garden.

Many of strawberry was already eaten by ants.

Taste? It was just sour. The quality was not that good,, you know, not as good as strawberry on the shelves of grocery store. But strawberry is strawberry.

Uh…, it is quite difficult to continue to write. Let me stop writing. It seems that it will take a time for me to be acquainted to the new system. To be old sometimes means that it would be difficult to learn a new thing.

I Forgot to Bring a Face Mask but Went into Supermarket.

I have been just in home and doing online teaching things for so long. The only chance for me to go outside world is to take a walk or go to nearby supermarket. Last Sunday, I wanted to do both, but I forgot a face mask. So I just took a walk and went back to my house without going shopping. Today, too, I wanted to take a walk and go shopping.

Before leaving home, I took photos of green fruits in the garden.

00499

This is a Silver berry that is one of three hanging. I don’t think this will be good to eat. It will probably be ornamental accessory in the room.

 

00500

I reduced the number of apple “Kougyoku”. Only three remain hanging on the tree because the tree is too small to grow many apples.

 

00501

Peaches are becoming bigger and bigger. When it comes to reduce the number, I actually reduced too many for peach trees. But it would be okay because the number is not an issue for gardening in a small places. Anyway I left home for a walk after taking these photos.

 

00502

Flowers on road side.

 

00503

While I was taking photos, a farmer lady talked to me, saying I should take a good picture of Mountain Yahiko.

 

00507

So this is Mountain Yahiko. I would like to erase the utility poles and electric cables.

 

00504

Flowers just by the asphalt pavement.

 

00505

This is a kind of ornamental flowers, however, it still looks like a wild plant. Many people don’t think this is ornamental. But actually I like these kind of natural plants rather than plants that got too much improvement.

 

00506

Many people don’t like them. But they are also doing their best to survive.

Taking pictures by my digital camera, and then I went to a supermarket. I looked at people’s faces. And I realized that I forgot to bring a face mask. I thought I should get out of there. But I wanted to buy some food for my supper. I continued shopping with talking by myself “Sumimasen (I am sorry)”, but in that situation, it would have been better not to speak anything if I don’t put a mask on my face.