戸隠紅葉のアップデート Update on Fall Colors in Togakushi

October 10, 2008: 長野に来る理由 Reasons to Come to Nagano

Photo courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Pang


A couple of our guests went to Togakushi today and took this picture at Kagami-Ike ("Mirror Pond"). The leaves are starting to turn color there. Togakushi's fall colors are truly spectacular -- Highly Recommended.
(From Kamesei Ryokan / Togura Kamiyamada Onsen, approx. 1.5 hrs by car or train/bus.)

この自動販売機は何を売っているでしょうか?What do you think this Vending Machine is Selling?

October 9, 2008: 温泉タウン戸倉上山田 Onsen Town Togura-Kamiyamada


Japan is Vending Machine Heaven (or Hell, depending on how you look at it). There are even some on the top of Mt. Fuji. And they sell all kinds goods.
Here in Togura Kamiyamada Onsen, we have several vending machines that sell: Eggs! This morning, our #2 son and I bought some for our breakfast. The were nice and fresh, and very flavorful. So if you have an urge for eggs and can't make it to the grocery store in time, we have you covered!

中学生社会体験@亀清旅館 Work Place Experience for Middle Schoolers

October 9, 2008: 温泉タウン戸倉上山田 Onsen Town Togura-Kamiyamada


Our local middle school sent their 2nd graders out around town to different businesses to experience what the working world is like for a couple of days. We had 4 students come here to Kamesei Ryokan. I was in charge of the 2 guys. Needless to say, I put them to work. I hope they didn't get too harsh of an impression of life working at a ryokan!

亀清旅館のHPはこちらClick here for Kamesei Ryokan website

戸上中のHPはこちらClick here for Togura Kamiyamada Middle School's website

新聞に活動を注目 In the News for my Activities

October 9, 2008: メディア Media

今日の信濃毎日新聞に戸倉上山田温泉のハロウィーンについての記事がありました。私は実行委員長としてQuoteされています。(p.29, 寺沢 順子さんのColumnにて)
そして、10月7日のJapan Timesに日本の伝統を守っている活動として有道出人さんの記事に書いて頂いております。

When I first move to Nagano and started out here at Kamesei Ryokan, I received some publicity in the local newspapers and TV just for the novelty of being a blue-eyed innkeeper in Japan.
However, recently I have been getting publicity for some of my activities. Today's Shinano Mainichi, Nagano Prefecture's daily newspaper, had an article on Togura Kamiyamada Onsen's upcoming Halloween event. It featured a quote by me, the organizing chairperson.
Tuesday's Japan Times had an article by Debito Arudou and he included a line on my positive activities here at the onsen.
I find these articles to be very rewarding. Please wish me luck in keeping up on my activities!

Japan Timesの記事はこちらJapan Times article is here.

Nagano Tour ... by Robert-sensei

October 8, 2008: 長野に来る理由 Reasons to Come to Nagano

English Teacher, Proud Papa, and Nagano Guide: Robert

One of my fellow Americans living here in Chikuma City has a very professional personal home page. Not only does it include cute pictures of his family, but it has a very thorough 'Nagano Guide' page. It highlights day trip destinations as well as local areas of interest, with very detailed descriptions and photos. (Not to be missed are the great graphics on the Mori Shogun Keyhole Tomb entry!) If you are looking for information on sights to see around Kamesei Ryokan, this is a fantastic place to start.

Website address: http://www.tomorobi.net/nagano.html


金木犀が香りを The Giving Tree

October 8, 2008: 季節 Seasons

I once had a discussion with my mentor on "Giving". Many times, people "give" with strings attached, or expecting something in return, or for recognition. Giving simply and purely from the heart is probably a rarity in this world.
Lately, our town, Togura Kamiyamada Onsen, has been graced with a lovely scent. The 'Kin-Mokusei' (according to the dictionary, fragrant olive trees?!) are in bloom. They are casting their scent far and wide, giving pleasure to everyone in the town. The trees do so with seemingly no hidden motives. Hence every time I smell their scent, I remember the talk on giving. If only we could follow the good example of this tree!

関さんからのエッセー Essay from Seki-san

October 7, 2008: メディア Media

One of our regular guests, Seki-san, is a member of an Essay Club, and he recently wrote an essay with Kamesei as the theme, as per below (Sorry -- Japanese only.)

by 関 一郎

銀座通りの新イベント:流木アート The Ginza's New Event: Driftwood Art

October 7, 2008: 温泉タウン戸倉上山田 Onsen Town Togura-Kamiyamada

Togura Kamiyamada Onsen's most active shopping district is our version of The Ginza. Their latest project is a new event: Driftwood Art. Following the lead of our handyman, Murakoshi-san, participants will go down to the Chikuma River and pick out some driftwood to take back and shape into light fixtures and other fun objects. This holiday weekend, bring the family and enjoy making fun art projects.

詳しくは村越さん For details, contact Murakoshi-san 090-3426-3651

Shrooms Galore キノコの色々

October 6, 2008: 温泉タウン戸倉上山田 Onsen Town Togura-Kamiyamada

As Robin would say, Holy Fungi, Batman! Look at all these different varieties of mushrooms! Today was our town's annual Mushroom Display at the Tourism Hall. Chino-san and the gang came through with an impressive display of delicious-looking but mostly dangerous mushrooms.

運動会で市民同士の付き合いInteracting w/ the Townspeople at the Town Athletic Event

October 5, 2008: 日米関係Culture Shock

horsing around at the town, err, non-picnic

The Summer Festival, the Chamber of Commerce, the Ryokan Assoc., etc. etc. There gets to be too many town events living in a small town in Japan. Today I participated in yet another: the town's Athletic Event. There were all kinds of funky competitions, from the spoon relay to races with couples squeezing a balloon between them while running. I participated in the 4-People-With-Their-Legs-Tied-Together race.
I have a suggestion for next year. The fun and games were interesting, but something was missing: food. I think if this were small town America, the games would be a side show to the main event: a town picnic or bbq.