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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It’s raining, it’s pouring

The topic of many Japanese blogs: rain and lots of it. Some areas of Japan are suffering from landslides and flooding. The rain in Tsukahara is heavy (3.5 inches in 24 hrs.), but there are no signs of flooding. Erika and I looked at each other and asked, “Where does all the rain go?” I thought I was used to rain because I lived in Seattle. The rain in Seattle was light and lingered for many months. The rain in Japan is heavy and lasts for about a month. When I lived in Seattle, I wished that the rain would downpour and be over with. A note of caution: Be careful of what you are wishing for. The rain is seeping between the logs in our home (fun)…I’ll have to work on that. I was told by the former renter of our home that the rain used to enter the house like a waterfall. Good grief! Fortunately, that condition has been corrected and the waterfall has been reduced to a cup of water.

So far, the rain has not been too much of an inconvenience. We managed to load up on some free firewood over the weekend. A large drainage project is being constructed near the base of Yufu-dake. The area is being cleared of trees. The residents of Tsukahara have first dibs on the wood that’s being removed. Most of the wood consists of cherry, maple, and oak. The construction crews have cut the logs into 6 foot sections which fit nicely into the back of a pickup truck. Some unwelcomed wood contractors have managed to find the wood and are hauling it away to be sold. The profits they are making on the firewood are not being shared with Tsukahara. This practice equates to stealing from the community. We alerted the community leaders and they are aware of the situation.
The wood we are collecting will be used for the winter in two years…I hope. It depends on the severity of the approaching winter. Last year, we had to scrounge for firewood and pay a premium. This taught us a valuable lesson about preparing ahead of time. The time is flying by and winter will be upon us soon. I think we will be warm and dry this winter if we can make it through the deluge we’re having this summer. 


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