14 April 2008

At the Wasabi Farm, Plum Blossoms are taking a bow

Here in Nagano, the climate is getting warmer with occasional rain, and gloomy-looking sky. Nevertheless, having fun is all that's on our mind. =) It's Spring! No better time than Spring! ;)

We visited a Wasabi Farm for the first time, though our intention wasn't to gather Wasabi. Ha! We were excited about visiting this place in Azumino , which was a 30 mins drive from home.

Know Wasabi.

It is a kind of spice often used in Japanese dishes like Sushi, or Sashimi. It comes in a form of green grated paste when served. The picture ( lifted from the internet ) on the right shows the root of the Wasabi plant, where the paste is being extracted from. Personally, I do not fancy the strong irritating flavour that bothers my nose much. A little tinge of it works fine though.

Know more about Wasabi

Flower of Wasabi. Some restaurants or Japanese inns serve unique cuisine using fresh leaves of Wasabi too.

I noticed something special about this farm. Everything was so clean and fresh here! Wasabi is grown in totally clean mountain stream, with water so clear like glistering glass, oh but I forgot to take a shot. I'm rather convinced that visitors were not here to get Wasabi's stuff, but rather; to enjoy the lovely nature! =) I love the fresh air especially!

Blooming Sakuras along the Wasabi Plantation.

It's been weeks since Plum Blossom started to bloom, and this lovely flower is slowly fading away. We got to catch the last glimpse of some Plum Blossoms, though the trees were balding fast.

Plum Blossoms are simply sweet smelling. =) If only its scent can be conveyed across...

When Plum Blossom retires, Sakura is taking over the limelight.

My husband told me that these are ' Mountain Sakura ' ( 山桜 ). Unlike Sakura trees raised or planted in gardens or at special locations, Mountain Sakuras are naturally grown especially on mountainous areas. In terms of tone, they are less softly colored, a little stark perhaps. Mountain Sakura trees are less voluminous than man-raised ones, somewhat a level lower than real classy Sakuras.

It's not difficult to detect other lovely flowers too. How I love Spring so...

Now, these look like berries bundled up in delicious branches. Yum, yum...

In Japan, it is not difficult to find shrine even in the most unthinkable places.

A Tori Gate ( Japanese Shinto shrine archway gate ) under the Sakura Blossom.

The Wasabi farm may not serve exactly for sightseeing ( well of course! It is for raising Wasabi!! Silly me! ), but I thought I really had a fine share of relaxation here. =) I love the fresh air and young greenery, and watching some pretty birds bathing in the stream. They moved too fast though, and I missed them. Anyway, we didn't leave the farm empty handed cos we bought some seaweed flavoured with Wasabi. Oh yes, I've tried them, and the flavour was just right, not too strong.

Caught this stone carving when we were about to leave the farm. I thought the man and wife within looked so loving. =) We would surely like to be as loving, forever...


Ellena said...

Dear Sister,

Thanks for sharing all these wonderful pictures with us. It's really good and relax to see all these beautiful picture even though we are not there..... It really brighten up most of my days.... Thanks again... :) God Bless

Magnolia Wedding Planner said...

Such amamzing photos.. such a fantastic flowered trees!! They seems like fake!! It should have been a wonderful day for you!
Thanks for the wishes and don't worry if you were late..I'm still partying!!
Lots of hugs honey

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

WOW WOW... that was spectacular. You were a great tour guide of the Wasabi farms. What a magical place. I wished I could smell the blossoms and as I was reading I found myself sniffing... LOL.
The photos were beautiful and amazing. The little bird was adorable... ahh... I reread that 3 times... thank you for sharing it.

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

WOW these are great pictures! I shall have to tell Dilly. She will love this too!

I have heard of wasabi but never seen it.

It looks nice and warm there. I can't wait to feel the sun on my toes!


ps I like your music!

stay-at-home mum said...

Thanks for sharing. Those are really beautiful photos you have there! I have always loved Japan in the spring !!

bp said...

Very beautiful shots, Stardust... no reason not to love spring! =)

The Wasabi farm is new to me, thanks for the insights, and it looks very clean to me, and serene, too!

Seen This Scene That said...

Hi stardust,
Learned something new about wasabi from your fantastic series of photos. Hope to visit one some day. Keep on enjoying and sharing!

Stardust said...

Hi Lena,
Thank you for dropping by despite being busy. I'm glad that you've enjoyed the walk, me too. =) God bless.

Hey Silvia,
You're such a fun girl! I think I should party more, just like you. =D

Hi Michele,
Thank you so much for taking time to read. I wish I can take wildlife pictures as well as you do...

Hi Bobber,
Be careful wif Wasabi wen yu consume it. It givs yu fiery nose like Dilly's.

Thank you for visiting, though I'm not sharing much. =)

Hey bp,
I can imagine that you love Spring, don't you? Perfect season! ;)

Hi Seen This Scene That,
Great sharing you have there too, and I've always enjoyed visitng.

Mandy said...

I just wish I could be there! Japan is beautiful in Spring! Or anytime of the year for that matter. :)

Stardust said...

Hi Mandy,
I think seasonal countries are mostly beautiful. I hope you have LOTS of wonderful findings at the new place and share with us! =D