On one of my long bicycle rides through the countryside around Kyoto I found a large area with many lotus ponds. At first I though that some altruistic Japanese had decided to create a vista of extraordinary beauty for the enjoyment of passersby. I was wrong, although I don't think my assumption was unreasonable because people have done just that all over Japan with plantings of cherry blossom, hydrangeas, cosmos and other flowers. However I realized that like the beautiful yellow rapeseed blossom in spring, the lotuses are a food crop. Lotus root is used in salads, tempura and stir fries. Beauty and usefulness!
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I came to Japan in 2003 to teach English. I lived in Shiga prefecture for 1 year, and it still holds a special place in my heart. I lived in Kyoto for 9 years, then moved to Machida, Tokyo in 2014 after meeting my Japanese partner. I love to take photos, and my Japan in Pictures Facebook page has some 40,000 followers. I have been the Regional Partner for Yamanashi Prefecture since 2014.I am enjoying exploring the prefectures around Tokyo (I like to get off the beaten track), and I hope the photos and stories I share will encourage more people to discover this wonderful country.