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.
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 here.
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...