山と川と、友釣り解禁 Mountains, the river, and the start of the ayu fishing season

June 16, 2007: 長野に来る理由 Reasons to Come to Nagano

釣ってから温泉へどうぞ! Don't forget to come to Kamesei after fishing!

Snow capped mountains in the distance, the graceful flow of the Chikuma River, and starting today, the ayu fishing season. These are what make Nagano so special.

ツツジの色 azalea season

June 15, 2007: 亀清旅館 Kamesei Ryokan

Our town has come alive in colors thanks to the azaleas blooming. Pictured along with our pink azaleas is our daughter Misaki, now three months old.

2m車直し 6'7" Valet

June 11, 2007: 亀清旅館 Kamesei Ryokan


Parking the guests' cars is always my duty. But today was a surprise. How is my 6'7" body supposed to fit in a Mini?!

朝市 Farmers Market

June 10, 2007: 温泉タウン戸倉上山田 Onsen Town Togura-Kamiyamada


Every Sunday morning, from April to the end of October, our town has a mini farmer's market in the park in the middle of the onsen. But you have to wake up early -- it's over at 8am. Starting this week, there will be a 2nd market every Friday evening at 6:30pm. For this morning's market, I sold some of my Mom's recipe cookies. They sold out fast!

雲が山を Clouds thru the mtns

June 9, 2007: 亀清旅館 Kamesei Ryokan

All of Japan is getting rained on today, and our town is no exception. The rain clouds are filtering through the surrounding mountatins, creating a surreal effect.

温泉街の上の山城 Our Castle

June 9, 2007: 長野に来る理由 Reasons to Come to Nagano



Above our town is this mountain castle, Arato-jyo. It has been built to the way it was in the time of the Kawanakajima battles. In fact, NHK used it as a setting for their year-long drama, 'Fuurinkazan'. It's within walking distance of Kamesei (admittedly, quite a climb), and is definitely worth seeing.

たけのこ取りGathering Bamboo Shoots

June 6, 2007: 長野に来る理由 Reasons to Come to Nagano

取立て Fresh-picked!

June in Nagano means bamboo shoots, and today I went to the mountains to pick them with Ike-chan. Me being a first-timer, and Ike-chan being a pro, he picked twice as much as I did. But it was a great experience, and when I got back to Kamesei our chef prepared the freshly-picked shoots for our guests' dinners. Another reminder of why I decided to move to Nagano!

Asking the mountain god for blessing

The pro showing how to

芸者サミット Geisha Summit

May 30, 2007: その他 Miscellaneous


Our town hosted a 'Geisha Summit' with groups from 4 different areas including Tokyo Asakusa participating. A big achievement for our little town!


May 29, 2007: 亀清旅館 Kamesei Ryokan

bbq American-style

Grandma and Grandpa came from Seattle to visit, and we held an American-style barbeque with the neighbors. This is 'international culture exchange' at its finest!