RSS

Japanese folk remedy for mosquito bites: hebi-ichigo

Here in Chichibu, living near bamboo forest, we get lots of mosquitos in the Summer. The neighbors put us onto this folk remedy for mosquito bites. Simply put the hebi-ichigo (literally snake-strawberries) in shochu (white liquor) and let it stand for a few weeks, until mosquito season. The hebi-ichigo are out now. They are said to be poisonous, and I noticed yesterday we had lots of monkeys go past but they didn’t eat the hebi-ichigo.

Here is the shochu, today’s hebi-ichigo in shochu, and last year’s jar.

hebiichigo in shochu

potentilla hebiichigo in shochu

 

hebi-ichigo in shochu

potentilla hebiichigo in shochu

 

hebiichigo

potentilla hebiichigo

hebiichigo

potentilla hebiichigo

 

Below is a wild raspberry, which is edible. Don’t confuse the two!

edible wild berry

edible wild berry

This Japanese home remedy works much better than anything from the pharmacy! Just dip your finger (or a tisssue) in the jar and wipe the shochu liquid on the insect bite, and forget you were bitten….

(Don’t drink the liquid.)

Advertisements
 

The “Scarecrows” of Niekawa!

I went for a walk nearby last week and got a big surprise. As I was walking up the deserted lanes, I kept getting a fright, thinking “oh, there’s somebody there!” After a few surprises, it dawned on me that something weird was going on. And it got weirder and weirder, until I found the explanation in a copy of a newspaper article pinned up on the noticeboard at the other end of the street. Apparently the people of Niekawa, not far from  Mitsuminguchi Station, are working hard to create one hundred scarecrows to display around their little village. They seem to be about half way there and are having fun making all kinds of “scarecrows” doing different things, like hunting and fishing. It says they hope the scarecrows will scare the monkeys and boars away too.

Here are some of the “scarecrows.”

DSC00088

 

DSC00089

 

DSC00097

DSC00098

 

DSC00100

 

DSC00111

DSC00080

 

DSC00099

Oh, and this is a real cat!

not a scare(dy)cat

DSC00093

 

And here’s the newspaper article if you need it!

DSC00103

 

DSC00118

 

It’s really quite intriguing! There are more, but I won’t ruin all the surprises.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 24, 2016 in walks and places to go

 

Lake Tsuburata, Yorii (near Chichibu)

This is kind of a test run of my new camera. We came upon Lake Tsuburata (actually a dam) by accident when we were out for a drive in Golden Week. It is past its heyday by the feel of things. The hotels over the water are no longer habitable. The lake is used as a fishing spot for wakasagi (pond smelt) and herabuna (some kind of carp). They release the fish and you pay to catch them. It was very quiet and peaceful, with lots of fishing enthusiasts and all their gear, each spaced out along the platforms.

DSC00057

 

Disused hotels at Lake Tsuburata

Disused hotels at Lake Tsuburata

 

 

DSC00059

only resident of the hotel

only resident of the hotel

I’d like to go back for a walk around the lake. It’s about 4.3km around apparently. It would be nice for cycling too as the road goes from Yorii to Misato past Lake Tsuburata and there’s not too much traffic.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 10, 2016 in walks and places to go

 

Funny sign! Please be careful to bears.

The sign says it all. Please be careful to bears.

I’m crossing my fingers and hoping a bear doesn’t come too close to our house. Last summer there was a bear in the garden of my friend’s house, only a kilometer up the road. It kept visiting the same persimmon tree quite a few evenings in a row, and made a “sofa” for itself in the branches of the tree, by putting a few branches together like a nest. Fair dinkum! The summer before there was a bear even closer. 300 meters away. It ate half the grapes in the orchard and fell asleep under the vines, where the farmer found it in the early morning. I heard the farmer rushed back into his house and the bear woke up and ran away.

2015-03-17 11.51.12

 

This little bird is still coming to my back door everyday for crumbs, and this is it at my window.

2015-01-16 10.09.22

Bye for now! I’ll be back with my cherry blossom pictures soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 21, 2015 in fun stuff

 

Autumn leaves in Arakawa, Chichibu

It’s January and the snow is on the ground and the autumn leaves have long gone but I want to catch up and put my Autumn photos up, taken with a borrowed camera as I had dropped mine.  These were taken on my regular morning walking route in Arakawa, Chichibu.

Chichibu autumn

Chichibu autumn

 

Chichibu Autumn

Chichibu Autumn

 

Chichibu December

Chichibu December

 

Chichibu December

Chichibu December

 

Chichibu December

Chichibu December

 

Chichibu December

Chichibu December

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 17, 2015 in seasonal harvests and flowers

 

Autumn Dahlia Garden in Ogano

It’s way off the beaten track and billed as the biggest Dahlia garden in Kanto.

fuku ha uchi

The dahlia are bigger than the local kindergartners! The orange variety of dahlia is called “fuku ha uchi” which means keep the good fortune inside your house, and is chanted in early February while throwing soya beans out of your windows! (The second half of the chant is “oni ha soto”, or devils go outside).

Out of the hundreds of varieties of dahlia, all shapes, colors and sizes, the kids noticed the one variety called “Santa Claus!” Here it is:

red and white one is santa claus!

red and white one is santa claus!

This one is named after me:

"Stars Lady" variety of dahlia

“Stars Lady” variety of dahlia

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bye kids!

 

 
 

Animals outside my back door!

This is the story of my week (the fun parts!).

Monday late at night- I’m in bed reading chick-lit by an Irish author and ignoring the very loud sounds of something crashing through the undergrowth that is outside my window. The crashing goes on and on, so finally I think I’d better check it’s not a bear,and get out of bed. I shine the torch outside and see the rear ends of two deer with fluffy white tails. I’m thrilled to bits! It’s the first time I’ve seen the deer passing, although last Summer I could hear them calling out.

Tuesday I arrive home with a load of shopping, and there is a nasty monkey sitting on top of the porch, over the front door. I race inside and upstairs, and it’s in front of the window facing away from me. He can’t see me so I suddenly bang madly on the window and he gets a fright! Then he hisses and bares his teeth at me- so rude!

Wednesday afternoon I look out the front window as I’m passing, and there go two of the animals-that-shall-not-be-named (because I’m not a zoologist!). Something like a “squirrel-gone-wrong”, or a Japanese marten, or weasel family…. Here are some obscure photos of one at the back door, eating a rice cracker.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

at the back door

at the back door

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Below is my neighbor’s answer to scaring the monkeys away from her Summer vegetables. It worked. The monkeys were wary……

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 9, 2014 in Uncategorized