We had the great good fortune to visit a friend's tea farm or chabatake this past weekend. Small growers just over the border from Tokyo in the mountains of Saitama-ken, they are concerned about traces of radiation found on this year's harvest. Standing in the fields just below the farmhouse in the sunshine, it's hard to believe there could be any problems other than the deer and monkey's that eat everything, apparently, except tea bushes. (Readers with deer problems should thank their lucky stars they don't also have to worry about clever monkeys with no compunction about using their opposable thumbs to dig up crops and gardens.)
I'll be writing up the trip in more detail soon at another blog, but wanted to share a photo or two as it was such an extraordinary day. We weren't allowed to help with any of the work, so we took advantage of the opportunity to explore, nap, pepper the family with questions in our bad Japanese, and simply soak in the place.