June is here and that means 3 things. First, summer starts later this month. Also, it’s the start of rainy season in Japan. But probably most beautiful is the blooming of hydrangea. There are a couple of places in Kamakura that are famous for hydrangea, Meigetsuin and Hasedera temples. I’m hoping to visit Hasedera later this month to see the hydrangea in full bloom. I’ve already seen them blooming in Meigetsuin. Below is the purple variety. I’ve also seen blue, pink and green flowers. Which is your favourite?
Hydrangea, or ajisai, as it’s known in Japan.
As many of you know, I live in Fujisawa, Kanagawa, almost right in the middle of the prefecture. Fujisawa borders Ayase and Yamato cities to the northwest and north. These cities host the American naval air base Atsugi (named after the nearby city Atsugi, but not actually in it). As people that live in this area know, there are a lot of jets flying around during the day. We can hear them everyday. Recently, the USS Enterprise has been in the neighbourhood, and there have been training flights out of Atsugi Base. They said they’d be doing it between 8 am and 9 pm daily. That’s fine, we’re all awake at that time, and we understand that we will hear jets. I enjoy looking up and seeing them, actually. I like airplanes, including military jets. They’re fascinating to me.
However, earlier this week, they did what they said they wouldn’t be doing, night time training. At 1 am on Monday night, they were flying overhead, and they weren’t at the usual altitude, either. One was quite low, and it was so loud, it could shake windows. Zama and Atsugi cities’ mayors even asked the base not to do night time training. They didn’t listen. They potentially woke up several hundred thousand people. I have one message for the base: Please shut up at night!