Growing up in New England people often joke about how there are five seasons, especially in Vermont. Spring, summer, fall, winter and mud season. After the long, cold winter all the snow melts and makes everything very muddy. While Japan doesn’t have a mud season, it does have a rainy season almost to the same effect, as everything is always wet and sometimes muddy. Japan’s four seasons are all very different and often have a specific food to go with each season. Spring has bamboo shoots (竹の子), summer has grilled eel (うなぎ), fall has chestnuts (栗) and in winter “hot pots” (鍋) are very common. There are also seasonal fruits and vegetables as well that are apparent in many Japanese dishes. I like living somewhere with a distinct four seasons. Japanese people pride themselves on making each season special with fresh foods and holidays. Please enjoy the beautiful fall weather we are having now.