The Year in Review

2008.12.31: 青い目のおもてなし This American’s Omotenashi

Today we finally get to say goodbye to 2008. There's an old Chinese proverb: "May you live in interesting times." Until this year, I never really thought of that as a curse. Oil prices went insanely high, then suddenly collapsed. Does this mean the end to everyone's environmental efforts? Then the Subprime problem absolutely exploded, leaving the world's economy with a 100 Year Storm. I just hope people don't think of a stay at an onsen ryokan as an unnecessary luxury, but a necessary medicine to help alleviate all the stress the economy is causing.
This is where I would normally write a personal review of the year, but as a Ryokan Junior Association member, our calendar year goes through the end of March. I'll be writing my personal review at that time. For now, though, please allow me to boast of one major accomplishment here at Kamesei Ryokan. The previous year, I made the "100 Year Bath" outdoor bath for the guys' bath. This year, we managed to put in a cedar bath outside the ladies' bath. Now our ryokans baths are fairly respectable, so next year I will turn my efforts to the gardens and other areas inside the inn.
One other huge personal accomplishment was pulling off the Nagano Inbound Summit. The network that has come out of NIS is poised for great things in 2009, so hang on for the ride!


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