Maioka Park, is a conservation area in the metropolitan Kanto area that preserves the satoyama Japanese countryside as well as marshland bird sanctuary. Maioka rice field

By this visit the rice plants had been planted out and the seedlings grown.

 rice plant rows

All about the fields buzzing around us were blue dragonflies, mating and zipping around. I almost caught one.

blue dragonfly2

What I couldn’t figure out was why there were so many dead shrimp in the rice fields that day.

dead shrimp in rice field 

The lotuses were blooming but I couldn’t get close enough to photograph them, they were blocked off by a rope.

Lotus pond

Kappa sumo3

We were tickled to see this kappa at sumo statue. Kappa feature in Japanese fairy tales and are mischievous water fairies that live around streams. Nearby was this cheery country sunflower strip that my dad said was out of character with the local Japanese landscape. Nevermind that I love sunflowers!

country sunflowers

bee visits sunflower

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