Rural Living Experience

At last I decided where to spend our summer holiday.

The place is Nagano prefecture which has a hot spring and nature things.
The reason that I chose this place is that my younger daughter can experience rural living and I can get there within three hours by car.

Crawfish by wiki commons

This tour I chose offers us various unique experiences such as crawfishing, making a raft and cooking rural food.
If you want more to do, you can add noodling, cooking bread and various crafts.
We will stay in a “minsyuku” ( guest house ).
A minsyuku is a small Japanese house and sometimes you share public spaces like corridors ando toilet with its owner.
My wife and I have never stayed in a minsyuku because we are shy with new people
So we also may feel more tension than usual.

The travel fee is low even though we are going during tourist season.
That’s helpful for us because a usual high season tour costs 1.5 times higher than off season.
It’s because I ordered through the consumers’ cooperative society( co-op ) which doesn’t pursue a profit.

The other options I also wanted to go to were Naoshima, Kanazawa and the Tohoku area but we will go to these places when my children grow up.

Anyway we’ll enjoy a short summer holiday. If possible, we want to go to the other places during the summer season.

I’m Keen On Flicker

Some years ago I became a Flicker member but I didn’t understand how could put it well.
This week I began to understand the way to enjoy it a little more.
I uploaded some old photos and became a premium member.

The merit of Flicker is to store photos and videos in unlimited storage.
If my PC and an external HD(hard disk) break down accidentally, I lose all my photos.
You can sort the photos in chronological order and you can make and see your original web album everywhere.

The second merit is to share and comment on photos among the many people in Flicker which seems to have the largest number of members in the world.
If Mr.frizztext and I upload the tractor photo, we can share and compare it each other.
I’m surprised that a lot of members upload high quality photos.
In addition I am joining various groups which have similar interest as mine.
If you know a good group, I want to know the group too.

The third merit is that I can save my children’s photo and photos of their craft.
Perhaps I’ll set some of them as public.

The problem that I concerned is Flicker company will go bankrupt and I lost all of them.
So I need to save them also in external HD in the same way as previously.

My flicker site.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Numbers

If you build a building or tear down an old building, you need to be concerned about the neighborhood more than you think.

If people who live near the construction site are angry with the contractor for some reason,
you might not be able to continue to build or the working time might be restricted.

Contractors always make an effort to meet the nearby residents before they being to build..

The numbers in the photo shows the noise level and vibration level in the construction site.
People walking around the place can confirm the noise level and feel that the contractor seems to do well.
When the number is less than the legal limit, the contractor can say that they are respecting the neighborhood.
However, some people might think the sound is too loud even if the number is low.

Anyway the field superintendent needs to be wary of the noize level and complaints in the neighborhood.

I Planted Some Vegetables

Last weekend I planted some vegetables in my garden.

It feels hot outside so the vegetables should grow quickly.

zucchini

I tried to grow zucchini for the first time.
It hasn’t attracted any insects yet.I’m looking forward to eating it with tomato spaghetti.

corn

I planted eleven stalks of corn this year.
Last year I could only get two ears of corns because antcows ate most of the corn.
So I will check them carefully and take off any insects.

sweet pepper
watermelon
eggplant

The other vegetables are also doing fine.
Two or three seedlings are enough for us to have summer vegetables to eat.
We will have to get them almost every day during the summer season.
The taste is very good because I grow them myself.

Parent’s Day : Art And Craft Class

The other day it was parent’s day at my elder daughter’s school.

I accompanied my younger daughter to her art and craft class because my wife needed to work that day.

Children made paper arts with soapy water, straws and paint.

At first children blew through a straw into the soapy water in the plastic cup.
Then they put their paper on the cup when the bubble grew to its full size.
The bubbles left an interesting pattern on the paper.
They could also mix the paint coloring on the paper.
Of courese my younger daughter and the parents was able to participate in the class and make their own works.
My younger daughter put her hands in the cup but she laughed loudly. 😦

This is of my elder daughter’s work. It is quite unique.

This day gives us a chance to know how our daughters talks to their friends and how they study in class every day.

After the class, the elementary school teachers held a disaster exercise in preparation for things like an earthquake.
We parents had to take our children home on foot while we checked for dangerous routes such as where a block wall might fall.

Taisho Romanticism In Kawagoe

The Taisho era in Japan was from 1912 to 1926.
The romanticism in Europe inspired the era in various fields like literature, movie, policy and thought.
That is to say that Japanese adapted the Western style in their own way.

You can see that heritage in architecture which is used in various places even now.

In Kawagoe I can find them easily.

This is of a small restaurant into an alley.
This building is registered as a tangible cultural asset
The owner needs to report house’s maintenance to the government but he can receive the subsidy for repair.
You can enjoy eating a full-course meal of French cooking.

This is of a local bank.
This building was built in 1918 and is three-stories tall.
This building remained safely though the massive earthquake happened.

This is of a museum but it was built as an imported bicycle shop in 1915.

On the other hand among the old buildings there are a lot designed from eastern architecture.

Anyway the western and eastern style buildings exist side-by-side in Kawagoe city.

 

Local Souvenir : Peach?

Is this a peach?
No, this is a peachy sweet treat filled with bean paste.
Its box also looks like the box of a real peach.
This sweet treat is called “Shingen-momo”
Shingen comes from “Shingen Takeda” who was a famous military commander.
Momo means peach.
You can usually buy this in Yamanashi prefecture where you can get lots of real peaches, too.

If you need to buy souvenis for someone like your colleague and customers,
you generally choose snacks because they aren’t expensive, easy to send to someone and long-lasting.
Most souvenir shops develop their own local snacks such as rice dumplings, cookies and rice crackers.

Many these souvenirs are sold in each tourist spot.
The reason is that you can not buy them anywhere else.

Besides making such souvenirs is a popular business for local people and it makes the town cheerful.

You can find various souvenirs on this site.

Local Retro Movie Theater In Kawagoe

The movie theater “Sukara-za” was opened a hundred years ago.

Info ‘Sukara-za”

In those days many masterpieces had been shown but the theater had closed three years ago.
Three months ago, this theater came back thanks to a local nonprofit organization.
The staff didn’t know how to run a theater at all.
The operational expenses were gathered by a lot of donations and local sponsors.
The staff held an event which the famous director talked about some movies.

Currently, this theater has been run by the NPO since for three years.

People who live in Kawagoe hope that this nostalgic movie theater remains open.
You can’t watch a latest movie but you can watch good old movie such as “Sound of Music” and Akira Kurosawa’s movies.
Besides you may feel a nostalgic sense in the theater.

Large Chain Stores

I often go to this home improvement center to buy garden tools and fertilizer for vegetables on the weekends.
As you can see these photos, the center has a large area which offers gardening goods, furniture, kitchen materials and car parts.
Besides you can buy beer, vegetables, snacks and rice at this center
There are also McDonald’s and Starbucks in the same area.
You can finish your shopping in just one place.
Sure it is very convenient and I need these shops but I feel a kind of strangeness.

This center is full of chain stores like IKEA, Costco and Carrefour.
(Carrefour has pulled out of Japan.)
So there are many of the same centers in the Saiama, Chiba, Kanagawa next to Tokyo.

Actually if you were blindfolded and taken somewhere, you couldn’t find out where you were because the cityscape looks alike everywhere.
I heard that this also happened in the US and other countries.

If a city wants to keep its character, it should not attract chain stores even if it becomes inconvienient.
If the government restores the Tohoku affected area, I hope that the unique and advanced town will be built.

Globalism means that every thing is unified but localism is the opposite.

I’ll write about local affair and things next some posts. 🙂

Where Do You Make A Booking For Your Travel?

In the past I had to go to travel agencies and talk to their staff if I want to make a booking for my travel.
The merit of booking through these agencies was that I could read some pamphlets about many places.

So I recently took some pamphlets at a travel agency and searched similar tours to the same destination and compared them on the internet.
In most cases the tours on the web are low-priced than those on pamphlets at a travel agency.
I wonder if a travel agency will disappear if it doesn’t have good travel consultants.

Anyway I’m searching for a tour for these summer holidays by online travel services.
There are three types of online travel services as below.

1 Low-priced Travel
Their service often offers packages that include both the airfare and hotel reservation.
You can’t select the date of flight freely.
Most of the services don’t have dinner or sometimes breakfast.
If you add more money, you can select a higher class hotel and a better flight.
If you want to travel economically, you had better choose this type.

2 Mid-priced Travel
From major to middle class travel companies which offer various tour types such as for family, for businesss and for group participants.
If you want, you can chose a conducted tour.
I have two daughters so I may choose the family type tour.

3 For luxurious travel
This type dos not concern me. 😦

There are tons of online travel services and
the site which advertises many online travel service.
You can compare among them if you input the conditions.

The way to book a trip has changed very much from before.