I love to cycle in the countryside at rice harvest time, and nowhere in Japan is the agricultural scenery more beautiful than in North-West Shiga Prefecture, where the yellow fields of ripe rice mixed with fields of golden stubble are laid out between the nearby mountains and Lake Biwa. Often flowers edge the fields and bundles of rice straw dry in the September sunshine. Blue dragonflies swoop over the rice, and huge grasshoppers bound across the path between the fields. Ripe rice has a strong smell, and some people hate it. Not me! I'm a country girl at heart!
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I came to Japan in 2003 to teach English. I lived in Shiga prefecture for one year, and it still holds a special place in my heart. I lived in Kyoto for nine 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.