• Trial Run for Program to Attract Foreign Visitors in Togari Hot Springs

    We were invited to Togari Onsen (Iiyama City) to participate in a trial run for a program to attract visitors from overseas. Wearing a yukata – calligraphy lesson – making the local Sasa (bamboo leaf) sushi – carving chopsticks – picking nozawana radish stalks – minshuku stay with meals and onsen – neighborhood walk with the dog – e-bike ride along the Chikuma River – vegan lunch in the temple district. Highlights included the charming proprietress of Alpen Plaza minshuku and the granny who gave us persimmons while we strolled the neighborhood. What a fulfilling experience!

    December 5, 2023

  • Geisha Performance at Kamesei Ryokan in Onsen Town Togura Kamiyamada

    Veteran shamisen player Harukoma-san and newcomer dancer Kotomi on Tuesday for Patrick Harnett and guests, And Harukoma-san again tonight with lead dancer Takeshi for Keith Parker and Ken Parker and friends, and in our lobby by the wood stove. The 30-minute show consists of a couple of dances (this month’s special dance “Momiji no Hashi” and the samurai standard “Kawanakajima”. Then we all get in a circle and learn a traditional dance, and finish with Konpira Funefune, a traditional geisha drinking game.

    November 13, 2023