Sushi Shock

November 5, 2007: 日米関係Culture Shock

Tallest (?) Tengu in Japan

Armida and friend visited from Guadalajara. I took them to sushi last night. We traded sushi stories from America and Mexico with Sushi-Hei, our local sushi chef. In the States, California Roll is king, and salmon is a popular ingredient. In Japan, no Cali Rolls, and salmon is considered 'cheap'. Armida said in Mexico, the rolls often contain meat (!) and are fried. Sushi-Hei thought that meant the rolls contained fried meat, but Armida said they fry the whole rolls! Culture shock, sushi-style!

Shinshu Picnic

November 4, 2007: 長野に来る理由 Reasons to Come to Nagano


Picnic with friends in Sanada (Ueda City). Fantastic bread from the neighborhood bakery, interesting edible flowers, crisp clean air in the rustic countryside, and great friends -- Austrian, US East Coast, US West Coast, and our various spouses and little ones.

露天風呂とお神楽 Our Outdoor Bath Blessed by the Shishi

November 3, 2007: 上山田お神楽 Kamiyamada Lion Dance

Today is 'Bunka (Culture) Day' in Japan, and the Lion Dance troup (of which I'm a member) performed this morning. They stopped by our inn afterwords, and I had them bless our newly-made outdoor bath.
亀清旅館のHPはこちらClick here for Kamesei Ryokan website


November 1, 2007: その他 Miscellaneous

Thanks to our gardener, Okada-san, the natural setting for our outdoor bath is now complete! The branches rustling in the wind combined with the gurgling of the onsen water make for a perfect outdoor bath.
2 problems remain: Even with the trees, privacy is still an issue so I have to extend the fence; and we have to work out a way to make the government's Hokenjo happy with how we use the mineral water.
亀清旅館のHPはこちらClick here for Kamesei Ryokan website

Do You Jomon?縄文祭

October 28, 2007: 温泉タウン戸倉上山田 Onsen Town Togura-Kamiyamada

Today was one of those events that our kids look forward to all year: The Jomon Era Festival at Sarashina-no-sato Ancient Experience Park. You get to dress up as the Jomon's did, practice starting fires by sticks, eat wild boar meat, and lots of other fun stuff. Our oldest son got a kick out fishing with a bamboo rod, and our middle guy pigged out on a fish salted and cooked on a skewer over an open fire.
亀清旅館のHPはこちらClick here for Kamesei Ryokan website.

Fisherman Andy

Fish-eater Kenny


October 26, 2007: 亀清旅館 Kamesei Ryokan

古いと新しいライトOld and new signs

As was recently commented on live TV, Kamesei's Emergency Exit sign used to be ridiculously huge. Today I installed a modern sign -- so much nicer!
亀清旅館のHPはこちらClick here for Kamesei Ryokan website

露天風呂作業:あと1週間!1 more week left on the outdoor bath

October 25, 2007: その他 Miscellaneous

This year's big project: making an outdoor bath by hand. Today I finished the base of the 'yagura' and placed the bench. I also confirmed with our gardener: we're on for planting the trees in the middle of next week. After that we'll be able to invite guests to use the bath! (Of course, some people have already started using it!)

紅葉の始まりA touch of fall colors

October 24, 2007: 温泉タウン戸倉上山田 Onsen Town Togura-Kamiyamada

As you can see from this picture, it was a perfectly clear autumn day today. The trees on Jyo-yama, the mountain behind our town, are just starting to change colors.
亀清旅館のHPはこちらClick here for Kamesei Ryokan website.