Living in the Japanese countryside on weekends【August 2023 Summary Gallery】

This year, Japan experienced abnormal weather conditions, with a prolonged heatwave in the northern part of Saitama Prefecture. August continued to be hot, and the precious summer vacation was affected by rain due to the influence of a typhoon, preventing our planned camping trip.

Nevertheless, the weekend country life at my parents’ house with my child continued (laughs).

Beetle Collecting – First Half of Obon

The Obon festival, observed in Japan during mid-August, is a time to honor ancestors’ spirits. Families reunite, clean graves, and offer food at ancestral altars. Bon dances and festivals are held, and lanterns are floated on rivers to guide spirits back to the afterlife. It’s a blend of Buddhist and Japanese traditions, fostering a sense of community and remembrance.

My second son, tasked with submitting an insect specimen for school, collected beetles in the grove near Grandpa and Grandma’s house. It was a poignant moment when he actually turned a beetle he had kept for a while into a specimen, saying, “I’ll make it a specimen when it dies.”

During the hot days, the second son often explored and drove around the area early in the morning. He visited small dams and traditional Japanese houses, reminiscent of the Takamado no Sato sericulture farm, holding sentimental value.

Summer Vacation with the Second Son and 2-1

The second half of the Obon vacation.

On the last day, we visited a managed fishing pond deep in the mountains of western Gunma Prefecture. It was a delightful experience to catch beautiful mountain trout with fly fishing after a long time.

The weekend after the summer vacation, we visited a new sericulture museum in the area. The sericulture farmhouses seen in Takamado no Sato were similar in structure to this building, and when the second son was young, Grandpa and Grandma’s house also had a spacious second floor without room partitions.

This place was used in the past for silkworm cultivation, and the farmhouse’s roof had high windows for climate control in that space.

On the last weekend of August, we began planting broccoli.

Dragonflies were flying around abundantly, signaling that autumn was approaching.