Tag Archives: sugi

Allergy Season Is Upon Us

Although it’s still late winter, the allergy season has already started in Japan. Pollen allergies are very common here, and I have become allergic to some pollen since coming to Japan.

The most common allergies to pollen in Japan are sugi (Cryptomeria japonica, or commonly and incorrectly called Japanese cedar) and hinoki (Japanese cypress). Thanks to an aggressive tree-planting scheme decades ago by the Japanese government, a huge number of sugi were planted all over the country. And because of this, the allergy has developed in a large number of Japanese (and some foreigners, like myself). My symptoms are pretty common: itchy mouth, itchy eyes, runny nose, and lots of sneezing.

Before I came to Japan, I had no known allergies. But I became sensitive to Cryptomeria pollen. But that’s not all I became allergic to. Now, fruit from the rose family affect me. I get an itchy mouth whenever I eat most fruits from that family. This includes apples, pears, apricots, peaches, and cherries. Interestingly enough, I’m not allergic to strawberries or raspberries. I don’t like plums, and I’ve never tried loquats, so I don’t know my reaction to those.

If the fruit are cooked or processed in any way, I have no trouble eating them. When I was a kid, I ate canned pears a lot, and I can still eat them that way.

Of course, as I was typing this, I had a severe sneeze attack. That was fun.

Anyone have seasonal pollen allergies?