Sunday, September 30, 2007

Harvesting rice

Time to harvest rice! People do the job here and there.

Rice and soba flower ( to make soba noodle - one of traditional Japanese noodle)

When it's done, time for us to see autumn foliages come down the mountains then snow. Also time animals to stock something to eat for winter.

Hayaokidori website

One year for rosemaries

I transplanted 2 rosemaries into bigger pots 1 year ago ( September 2006). They looked like this below, then.

This below is at the moment.

I guess perhaps they grow little by little but while I see them everyday, a bit hard to notice it. It's good to know your plants still grow but at the same time honestly would like them to stop doing because it's hard to move them outside to get sunshine when it's fine and inside to avoid rain and snow.

Hayaokidori website

Monday, September 24, 2007


Cooked some lasagna, sprinkled some fresh rosemaries on top of the half of it to help digesting and to enjoy the flavor.

Common thyme topping at the rest half.

Better have it while it's enough hot.

Hayaokidori website

Hakuba model train - ED75&EF65 running the layout

Some customers brought their own model trains to enjoy the layout.
ED75 ( the red one at the elevated track ) pulls some old passenger cars, ED65 ( the blue one at the ground level track ) pulls 14 series night train cars. They enjoyed slower speed as they are. Some boys who do snowball fight near the EF65 fall down by being surprised the locomotive passing through?

Hayaokidori website

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Harvesting & tasting herbs in our garden.

Harvested and tasted some herbs in our garden.

Pepper mint, common thyme, rosemary.
Cellfille, spare mint, lemon thyme.
Like as usual, we roll a piece of fried pork, sauce and favorite herbs with sunny lettuce to eat.

Hayaokidori website

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hakuba regional autumn festival 2007

I am in charge of community activities this year. So every time they hold some events, I have to plan and organize something. There was an autumn festival in our region this past weekends ( Sep.16,17th 2007 ). It's a festival to celebrate the harvest. So probably like a thanksgiving?

Mikoshi - a portable shrine. Carried by some people on their shoulders.
To explain what I was in charge of.....

To control the speed by pulling the white rope tied to this Dashi full of kids who play the music there especially when it's on a downhill. I am not a brake!!! :o
When I think about my life, friends asked me to be a goalkeeper when we played soccer in my school days.... In short, my life is like to stop others or obstacle others by my bulk and heavy body ( bulk and heavy as a Japanese boy, I've learned that I am not bulk and heavy if it's universal standard :p )... something like that! LOL. And still on the way...... life might be hard to be changed :o
Before starting going ahead, I needed to replace my position at the left forward to control the Dashi.
Dashi tends to go fast if it's even a slight downhill, a tructer pulled it from its back. I just paid attention at kids around me not to injure any.

An old traditional straw roof house on the way. There are a few of this kind of houses in our area. Would like to live in this kind of house once but wonder it's tough to maintain the roof as there are few professionals to replace the straw when it's needed.

Nobori - flags for each group in the community to celebrate what farmers harvested.
We parade some distance with the Nobori.

Girls as miko ( dancers ) for Urayasu-no-mai. They became tense but anyway girls seem to like to dress and make up :)

Hayaokidori website

Monday, September 17, 2007

Indications of Autumn

Walked all the way back from a car factory and found some soba flowers were in bloom close to Iimori station.

Japanese pampas grass what we call susuki have showed up little by little lately. Autumn has come!

Hayaokidori website

Railroad crossing

A railroad crossing close to our place. No crossing gate at all while there are a couple of alarms.

Continuous uphill to Minami-Kamishiro. A kind of steep one.

Hayaokidori website

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lusitania Express reserved seat ticket

It's a reserved seat ticket for Lusitania Express ( Lisbon --> Madrid ) when I traveled around Europe by myself in 1982. Lusitania is an old name for Portugal. Lusitania Express was a night train.
We were able to reserve seats for Lusitania Express as well as others. As is often the case with trains in Europe at that time, it was not so strict to sit somewhere even if it's a reserved seat or no reserved seat. This reserved seat ticket told that the reserved seat for me was in a 6 person compartment. Compartment type seats were very popular at that time in Europe especially in long distance trains. Sadly I hear compartment type seats have been decreasing little by litte though.
When I traveled there, I always pull all the seats in a compartment to make there flat like a tatami mat room to sleep by lying down when it was not full. That time we had 3 people in the compartment so we did that to sleep. Other 2 were females, so they *commanded* me to sleep at the passage side as a bodyguard lol.... I thought they were enough strong! shhhhhhhhh!!!!
The designed "CP" letters at the upper left is the CP for Portuguese national railways. Lisbon is a capital, but the Santa Apolonia station where most international trains for Spain leave and arrive was not big. There were 3 train tracks if I remember right.

Hayaokidori website

Painting roof of our place

The roof of our place does not look that big while I look at it when I am on the ground but once when I climb up there, it looks big enough to paint it all!! I started painting the roof somewhen in the first half of back in this June but it's still going on and on and on little by little. I do the work only when it's fine, when I don't need to cook any for guests, and when I have some time for it. That's why it takes this long :( I know I have been doing this work too seriously and anyway if it's on a roof in a snowy place, it's not flat at all there. How steep? --Horizontally 10: Vertically 4.

#1. Washing the roof
#2. Deleting stain and paint protection for it
#3. Painting the roof
#4. Painting it again (In short, painting it twice having an hour or more of rest )

Equipments like brushes etc are all in a special box applied the roof angle.

Sometimes I see something interesting while I am on the roof. The car in the pic above is probably what we call " co-n-ba-in " in Japanese. It's a special equipment to harvest rice. I don't think we can find it going in a street in big cities lol..... It's a countryside here that's why we can see this kind of stuff going in a street sometimes.
While I am on the roof, sometimes small birds and bugs get close to me. Maybe they are curious to see what I do?

Hayaokidori website

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Making tomato sauce

We harvest enough tomatoes in our tiny farm, I cooked a pan of tomato sauce today. As the climate in Hakuba goes cooler than other places, I think the time we can harvest tomatoes is a bit latter than other places.
I like it when olive oil and garlic make some smell. I put enough tomatoes in the pan then simmer it for some hours. Tomato sauce made from fresh tomatoes are very tasty, you can enjoy it on top of pasta. Nothing else needed, it's one of recommended receipt by our customers.

Hayaokidori website

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Hakuba village athletic meeting

Held today, it was cloudy today but anyway we were able to have this event going on. I am in charge of a community activities for this year, so everytime they hold some events, I have to be there. Next one is an autumn festival - kind of thanksgiving if I can describe.
It reminds me of having cramped in the calf in another athletic meeting in my area some years back when I talk about athletic meetings. We need a regular exercise :o

Hayaokidori website

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Trainings for an earthquake disaster and a firefighting

There were some training for an earthquake disaster and a firefighting today. I joined one held at a nursery school.

Practising how to spread water around. The water pressure is very strong, someone has to support the hose otherwise only one person can not control the hose.

Connecting a couple of hoses. This is same everywhere in Japan if it comes to fireplugs.

Step on one hose which is screwing, then move the other hose like the red arrow in the pic above. This is easy.

Disconnecting a couple of hoses.

You need to push a ring (pointed by a red arrow in the pic above) towards this side which makes a noise to get disconnected. If you pull both hoses not doing that, they never get disconnected.

Firemen said that when an earthquake happens, a lot people in a wide area are to suffer at a time. It must be hard for them to handle everything. They might not be able even to go there due to landslidings, destroyed roads and bridges etc. I think we need to learn and practice what we can do at that case by ourselves

Hayaokidori website