夏休みで子供連れのお客様が多いSummer Vacation = Lots of Guests with Kids

2008.08.12: 亀清旅館 Kamesei Ryokan



I was a little surprised this morning when I looked at our lobby and saw 4 baby strollers parked. (Well, one of them is our Misaki's.) You can definitely tell it's summer vacation -- a lot of our guests are here with their children. Kamesei's 'at-home' feel is becoming even more so!

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

若若女将と川越駄菓子Our Misaki with Kawagoe 'Dagashi'

2008.08.11: 亀清旅館 Kamesei Ryokan



We got a gift in the mail from a guest, Morita-san, who stayed at our inn last week. She sent us traditional 'dagashi' sweets and toys from Kawagoe. Our daughter Misaki enjoyed playing with the toys. Apparently Morita-san enjoyed Kamesei Ryokan's traditional feel enough to send us these traditional 'dagashi'.
(Note: One of our recent guests commented that it's nice Kamesei has this American innkeeper, but the real star is their daughter, Misaki. So, here is another picture of her!)

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


次の姨捨スイッチバック列車Next Obasute Switchback Special Train

2008.08.10: その他 Miscellaneous


My special contact at JR told me the next Obasute Switchback Special Train is scheduled for Friday and Saturday October 24th and 25th. This time, there will be afternoon AND evening (=Night View!) runs, and the train will be pulled by.... a steam engine! JR still doesn't have details on their website yet, but as soon as I get them I will present them here.

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

夏の暑い日々が続くAnother hot summer day

2008.08.09: 長野に来る理由 Reasons to Come to Nagano

Misaki at the water fountain


Today is another hot summer day. I took our daughter to the park behind Kamesei. We played on the swings but the slide was too hot. Then we stopped for a drink at the park's drinking fountain. That was probably the funnest part.

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

友達と信州そばEating Soba with Friends

2008.08.08: 長野に来る理由 Reasons to Come to Nagano


Nagano is famous for its soba (buckwheat noodles). However, to be honest, I'm not sure if Nagano's soba is better than anywhere else. What I can say is eating soba in Nagano's natural setting makes the noodles taste better. Today we had some friends come from afar, and we took them to this soba restaurant. It looks like the inside of some ancient farm house somewhere in the boonies, right? Actually, it's 'Kaya', a soba restaurant inside an old sake brewery in front of Togura Station. And eating noodles in this classic setting was fantastic!

仲良くで中庭を見るGazing at the Naka-Niwa garden together

2008.08.08: 亀清旅館 Kamesei Ryokan


Our daughter and the Saiwaki's son stopped to gaze at our Naka-Niwa garden together. They were so cute, watching the pond's koi and turtles swim around.

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

鶴亀がなじんできた。Our Turtle-Crane has come into shape

2008.08.07: その他 Miscellaneous


亀清旅館の露天風呂の庭に「亀」はいくつかあります。その1つはこの写真の中です。見えますでしょうか?大きい石が頭、そして手、足と尻尾の石も。体は青い植物で出来ている。縦に刺している石ともみじとススキが「鶴」のイメージです。その植物は去年の10月に植えつけられたばかりなのに、もうなじんできたようです。鶴のススキは特にすごいおい!正確の名前はハチジョウシマススキです。もみじはベニシダレモミジ “タムケヤマ”です。
Kamesei Ryokan's open air bath has several 'turtles', one of which is in this picture. Can you find it? The large rock to the upper left is the head, then there are rocks for the front and back legs and the tail, and the body is made up of lots of green plants. The vertical rocks and Japanese maple and pampas grass symbolize a crane spreading its wings. The crane-turtle combination are a symbol of good fortune in Japan. Ours was planted last October, and the plants have really taken a liking to their new home.
(Scientific names for the maple and grass are:
Acer palmatum var. matsumurae cv. Ornatum
Miscanthus sinensis. condensatus Hack.)

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

ガーデナーの岡田さんのHPはこちらClick here for our Gardener, Okada-san, website

迷惑のお返し:スイカ This is what I get for inconviencing a farmer: a watermelon

2008.08.06: 日米関係Culture Shock

Gift watermelon

The Japanese people tend to be some of the most welcoming people in the world. Today was a great example. I took our van for a drive through the Obasute terraced rice paddies, and part-way through a farmer's truck was blocking the road. I didn't want to inconvenience the farmer, who was working, to move his truck for us, who were just playing. But he came down out of the field to move it for us. When he saw me, he said, "Oh, you were on TV!" And he went around to the back of his pickup and pulled out a ... watermelon, and gave it to us. How considerate! If this were the States instead, I'd be afraid to guess what he'd pull out of the back of his pick-up!

戸倉上山田温泉を見守っている天狗Giant Tengu Looking Over Togura Kamiayamda Onsen

2008.08.05: 温泉タウン戸倉上山田 Onsen Town Togura-Kamiyamada

Our Guardian (?) Tengu

Above Togura Station is Tengu Park. This huge statue is the Tengu behind the name. He overlooks Chikuma River and Togura Kamiyamada Onsen as if he's protecting the area.
I took a group of guests there today on the way from picking them up at the station.

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

信州の夏の果実:ぶどうSummer Fruits are Here: Grapes

2008.08.04: 長野に来る理由 Reasons to Come to Nagano


Nagano is famous for its apples in the fall, but its summer fruits are delicious, too. The Kawanakajima peach season is just starting, as is the grape season. For anyone who wants to try doing grape U-Pick, a good friend of ours has lots of grape vines. We'd be happy to introduce him.

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