when and where to see fall foliage (Japanese version only):

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hay Fever

The hay fever season has started again this year. In early February, the spread of cedar pollen begins. A lot of people suffer from it in Japan. Anyone has a risk of developing hay fever. I got hay fever 10 years ago, so my body feel the season acutely. I have to continue to take the preventive drugs for two months every year.

Hay fever in Japan is mainly caused by Japanese cedar pollen. Last summer was cool, so a small amount of pollen is expected this year.
After World War II, Japanese cedars have been planted for construction wood throughout the country. Losing ground to the imported cheaper lumber has caused cedars to be neglected and create more pollen.
Furthermore, immune function system that had worked very well under poor sanitary conditions has come to overreact to pollen because improved hygienic conditions got rid of its enemies.

People protect their eyes and nose from the pollen by wearing glasses and masks to avoid it. From March to May, you can see a lot of people wearing masks in Japan.
When the H1N1 swine flu virus began to spread worldwide last year , some towns were thronged with people wearing masks.
It looked strange to you, but it's a familiar sight to us.

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