姨捨棚田 田植えスターツRice planting season is here

May 19, 2008: その他 Miscellaneous

Today I went to Obasute Station. The terraced rice paddies were starting to be filled with water, so the planting will begin soon. These rice paddies are famous for the 'Tagoto-no-tsuki', the moon reflecting in the terraced paddies. Tomorrow is the full moon -- the perfect chance to see the reflections!


May 18, 2008: 温泉タウン戸倉上山田 Onsen Town Togura-Kamiyamada

National TV broadcaster NHK will do their live karaoke program from Togura Kamiyamada Onsen today. I wanted to try out, but once handed the mike I don't like to give it back!


May 18, 2008: 青い目のおもてなし This American’s Omotenashi


Kamesei Ryokan was a little quiet this morning, so I woke up early and went to the Sunday Morning Market to sell my home-made cookies. People talk about the town needs to do this, or people need to do that, but I try to be a do-er, not a talk-er. Getting my butt out of bed early and selling the cookies I baked myself at the market is how I try to help make the town a livelier place.
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アカシア天ぷら Acacia Tempura

May 17, 2008: 温泉タウン戸倉上山田 Onsen Town Togura-Kamiyamada

Acacia tempura

Along the Chikuma River which flows through our town of Togura Kamiyamada Onsen are stands of acacia trees. I had heard that acacia honey is very flavorful, and this year for the first time I saw the beekeepers. At a restaurant in town here where I went for lunch, they served us acacia flower tempura. I imagined the trees and the bees as I ate it. Wonderful!
亀清旅館のHPはこちらClick here for Kamesei Ryokan website

信州牛ステーキ登場Introducing our Shinshu Beef Steak

May 17, 2008: 亀清旅館 Kamesei Ryokan

Shinshu Steak

Kamesei Ryokan's newest plan is a Shinshu Beef Special: choose either shabu shabu or steak. Tonight's guest choose the steak, and here is a picture of what Chef Takei prepared. I just brought the empty dish back from the guests' room, and it was perfectly empty -- I guess they liked it! 🙂
亀清旅館のHPはこちらClick here for Kamesei Ryokan website.

見るだけで目が回るI get dizzy just watching!

May 16, 2008: 温泉タウン戸倉上山田 Onsen Town Togura-Kamiyamada

Are we dizzy yet?

Every morning I walk our oldest son to the corner to meet up with his schoolmates for their walk to school. While waiting for the head honcho, or as they say in Japanese, 'honcho', the boys started twirling around the street pole. The weather was perfect for playing like that.

ミツバチとアカシアAcacia trees and honeybees

May 16, 2008: 長野に来る理由 Reasons to Come to Nagano


Our onsen's handyman, Murakoshi-san, kindly offered to cut a log into planks for me. I drove over to his workplace along the Chikuma River as usual, but as I approached I saw some people with net masks. My first thought was X-Files, but then I realized they were beekeepers and were here because the acacia trees were in bloom. Apparently acacia flowers make for delicious honey.
亀清旅館のHPはこちらClick here for Kamesei Ryokan website


Michelin Proposal ミシュランへの案

May 15, 2008: その他 Miscellaneous

Geisha brochure draft

A couple of months ago, The Michelin Guide to Tokyo's restaurants came out, causing quite a stir. Now the Travel Guide to Japan is being rewritten and the editors are coming through Nagano in a couple of weeks. Our onsen town got a 10 minute appointment with them, and I will be making the presentation. We will focus on our onsen's geisha with this brochure that I made. This would be a great opportunity to spread the word about our onsen to overseas guests!

戸倉上山田温泉に新しいパン屋さんNew Bakery in town

May 15, 2008: 温泉タウン戸倉上山田 Onsen Town Togura-Kamiyamada

Yummy bread

Last month a new bakery opened up in our onsen town, Togura-Kamiyamada. It's near the Yakushi (Buddha of Healing) temple, and so is called Yakushi Bakery. My wife and daughter and I went for a stroll, bought some yummy bread, and had a picnic at Nish (West) Park. We had a pleasant afternoon in town.

cute store



この為に長野に来た:地ビール Another reason I came to Nagano: Microbrews

May 14, 2008: 長野に来る理由 Reasons to Come to Nagano

My Microbrew bottle collection


As a regular contributor to NagaKnow magazine, here's an inside scoop on my next article's topic: Nagano Microbrews. You'll have to wait for the full article, but here's one of the image pictures.
Note: Here at Kamesei Ryokan we offer Yona Yona Ale, highly recommended for those of you who like microbrews.

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

Lots of hard work went into creating this collection