Skip to main content

Who says you need a TARDIS to time-travel?

So today, a slightly-chilly, drizzly Saturday, I did a bit of time traveling. Zoey and her host mom were kind enough to invite me on their excursion to Gokayama. Gokayama is a UNESCO world heritage site because all its buildings are built in the gassho-zukuri style (which basically means they're a-frame houses with thatched roofs). Part of the reason all the houses are a-frame is because they get so much snow--there were some photographs of the entire mountain covered in what looked like 5-6 feet of snow!


There's not a huge amount of stuff to do there. You walk around, poke your head into some of the tourist stores. The houses are all residential, so except for one "open house" you're not allowed to walk in them. But the village is very picturesque, and I really liked getting to spend time with Zoey and her host mom (who I also get to call okaa-san, or "mom").




The one house we did get to poke our heads into was very nice: the floors are all dark wood with tatami mats, and the thatch is pleasantly aromatic. They also have fire-pits in the middle of the main room, usually with a tea kettle hanging over it (and yes, per hospitality we were given tea!).


It really was like stepping back in time (as long as you ignored the vending machine hiding in the corner). Zoey and I agreed that it was lovely for a brief visit, but neither of us could handle the winters there! Just goes to show it takes all kinds.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Taking a Breather

Sometimes when you're in Tokyo, as wonderful as its bustling atmosphere is, you just want to forget you're in the middle of Tokyo.


A few weeks ago I was chatting with a guy from Sweden who regularly came to Japan on business and he said that despite how much he loved Tokyo he could never live here because of the lack of green space. Tokyo has its parks, of course, like all major cities, but if you want unspoiled greenery you have to be willing to head at least forty minutes outside of the sprawling metropolis limits. In winter this desire to surround oneself with greenery might not matter as much, but now that spring is seeping into the atmosphere and the upcoming sakura season is on everyone's mind (NHK even puts out an annual "forecast" for sakura!) the neon lights and concrete jungle start to feel a little oppressive.

That's when little hideaways like the Sato Sakura Museum and Kohmeisen come in handy.



The Sato Sakura Museum is a small museum in Nakameguro…

Short Hair, Don't Care: Model Behavior

I like to think I have a wide range of accomplishments under my belt:

Accidentally over-caffeinated myself conducting ethnographic research--check
Read 3+ books in a single day--check
Never (yet) pulled an all-nighter--check
Sung at Carnegie Hall--check
Published a poem--check

But now I can add a decidedly interesting item to that list:
Been a hair model in Japan--CHECK.

It's a bit of a long story.

It all starts with coffee, actually, like many of my adventures here in Japan do. I was checking out a coffee shop in the too, too cool area of Daikanyama (no, seriously, that entire neighborhood is just Too Cool for me, I don't even know why I was there). There I met stylist Yusuke, who asked if I wanted to appear in a PR photoshoot for the opening of his salon brand's newest branch, boy Tokyo, Harajuku. They're (wisely!) making a site to appeal to foreign clientele--it's a smart move because it's really hard to find a place that has stylists who truly are comfortab…

100K Announcement

RICEANDRAMEN HITS 100K VIEWS!!!

Thanks to everyone who has read and followed my journeys in Japan from 2011 to 2017. Your support of my adventures and observations means the world to me.

In celebration of Riceandramen finally hitting 100k views, I am pleased to announce that I will be running a giveaway!

I will send one lucky person a custom box of goodies from Japan that could include (but isn't limited to): snacks, stationary, character goods, traditional Japanese crafts and more. The only limits are weight and size and your imagination (I'll be keeping everything small and light to keep the shipping costs down).

Without further ado, the details and rules of the giveaway are as follows:

Details:


The giveaway will run from today, February 25 2018 JST/ February 24 CST to March 11, 2018 JST/ March 10 CST.You don't have to be in Japan to enter: since almost all of my readers are international, this giveaway will be, too. The winner will be picked at random and notified via p…