Guma is not just for skiing

Here is Tomoko and her Mom from Ikaho, Guma prefecture.

Ikaho Nagano
I went there for an osen trip with my family which I’ll write about another time. (two day trip, 750 dollars!!)

Tomoko has taken over the family business (a souvenir shop) that is over 100 years old.

It burned down three times!

What a sad thing to happen to such a sweet family.

They sell all kinds of little Japanese trinkets. You can buy a Japanese souvenir from them for anywhere from 100 yen to 45,000 yen. (One to four hundred fifty dollars.) Their shop homepage here

Where they live is very country side Japan. There you’ll find some of the friendliest people in Japan.

Tomoko studies English and her mom studies Chinese. However I did not see any language schools in their town??, so asked about it and they said “We study via a new online system where we can see and hear the teacher live!”


If you’re reading this, please leave a comment telling everyone your shop’s name because I lost your business card… Sorry about that.

Cute Japanese girl

This is Yakumo

Yakumo here making believe she’s going to let me have some of her doughnut!

Yakumo is the daughter of my wife’s friend Yasue. Yasue is such a cool Japanese lady. She graduated from UCLA. She’s very smart, beautiful, a good listener and now, a good friend.

She happens to read my blog from time to time so I told her I would post a pic of Yakumo here.

I would write this about her even if she never visited my blog. Really, because that’s how I am. However one thing I will not do is write about topics in a negitive tone.

Momma always said “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything” 🙂

Last night we went to Yasue’s home and was severed the most delicious stew, Mexican style, full of crab. This lady is one hell of a cook!
Thanks Yasue!


Beautiful Japanese water

Here is a pic of a pound in Japan that has the prettiest turquoise color I’ve ever seen.

Rich Mineral Japanese water

No, it’s not toxic 🙂

Sorry but I have no deep details for ya.

This pound is very close to a volcano that erupted 300 years ago and as a result the local Japanese pounds are filled with all natural minerals.

I loved this place and will go again this summer.
OK, I’ll ask my wife for the details and post them here.

If you come to Japan, this place is full of tourists but it’s all good because the place is truly stunning.

Fresh air, lot’s of things to see and do such as fishing, boat rides, museums, onsens, etc…

mochi local style

Mochi is a traditional style food made from rice.

My local community gets together from time to time to do traditional style activities such as mochi making.

There is a special type of rice that is grown just for mochi. This rice needs to be soaked in water over night then you drain the water and steam the rice. Next, put the rice into a bowl such as the one in the pic above.

Now for the fun part! Smash away! Be careful not to hit the side of the wooden bowl or you’ll end up with wood chips mixed in your mochi.

I’ve banged the wooden mallet against the side of the bowl and got some dirty looks!