Inaka Life: New, Unmanned Bakery

It's fairly common to find local, honor system stores here in the inaka. These usually take the form of a little table or stall set up on the side of the road by a farmer's field selling extra veggies, flowers, nuts, etc. There's usually a sign that tells you how much each item costs, and... Continue Reading →

Happy Birthday to my umeshu

Today, my homemade umeshu (check out my umeshu making journey here -> Making Umeshu and Ume Syrup) turned a year old! We finally cracked the jar open and it's delicious. I think if I were to make it again, I would put in less sugar, as it is EXTREMELY sweet. It's a liqueur, so that's fine,... Continue Reading →

Inaka Life: Sweet Potato Planting

Both of my schools are in rural environments, so part of the curriculum includes some farming and community involvement. Every year, the 5th graders go out to the nearby farms and help plant rice. We also have a school garden and field that students cycle crops through during the year. But by far the largest... Continue Reading →

Inaka Life: Daffodils

My town, Higashiagatsuma-machi, is one of the biggest producers of wild daffodils (ラッパ水仙) in Japan. The daffodils are such a big deal to this town, that our mascot is even a daffodil. He's a daffodil fairy creatively named Suisen-chan (his name is literally daffodil c'mon guys). He's adorable and I love him. Anyway, many farmers... Continue Reading →

Making Umeshu and Ume Syrup

Mid to late June in the inaka is plum time. Not because the plums are all lovely and ripe and sweet, but because they're hard, green and bitter. The unripe plums are harvested to make homemade umeshu (plum liqueur). The local grocery store had a display as soon as you walked in of the liquor,... Continue Reading →

Back to work, cautiously.

Today is Day 4 of the majority of Japanese public schools being reopened and holding classes. I'm thrilled to be back. I missed my kiddos and deskwarming was making me slowly but steadily lose my mind to exhaustive boredom. Of course, we can't just be running business as usual. There's some fun new adjustments to... Continue Reading →

My Life in an “Epidemic”

So, I'm sure some of you may have heard, but there's a little thing called coronavirus making it's way around Japan right now. *cough cough* maybe because the Diamond Princess quarantine was horribly bungled *cough* Anyway, I say "epidemic" with a health dose of sarcasm, because the situation is not really as bad as everyone... Continue Reading →

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