After nearly 20 years in big Tokyo I was feeling burned out in my not-so-successful "career" in the service industry, knocking on several after a chance discovery of cheap old farmhouses we set out towards the countryside - but still close enough for my wife to further pursue her working live, commuting by Shinkansen while I would take care of the house and kids and build my own little cafe at home...
Our first bump came when we realized that the bank wasn't willing to give a loan for an old rundown house on some worthless property in the "Hinterland". So, we changed plans and will be building a new house. We already bought the plot last year, with about 400 square meters size, and I have started the vegetable garden beforehand, next project will be the garden house.

24 April, 2011

Hanami - Cherry Blossom viewing

The cherry blossoms are getting closer up to us, also those few trees that grow in Karuizawa will still take some time to bloom. For a person from Tokyo it seems a bit "wrong", but the blossom are actually approaching from the opposing side, from Nagano, and Ueda is already finished by now, while Komoro, the town we went to is just starting, as you can see. Komoro was an important town connecting the Kanto area through the Hokkoku road, which splits from the Nakasendo near Karuizawa towards the Shinshu region and on to Niigata with it's plains of rice and the island of gold, Sado. The park is located inside the grounds of the former castle which sits on steep cliffs high above the Chikuma river and was fortified by Takeda Shingen. Some of the stone walls look rather old and a bit sunken in, while the front ones are newer, but with huge boulders (both of which I didn't take any pictures, being too preoccupied carrying a heavy weight on my shoulders). Standing on the grounds of the former castle keep one could imagine the grandeur of those times when the castle was alive. Today the town has kept it's old main street with the old houses alive, but most other areas look just like any other town on the country side, run-down, a few closed up shops and quite a few old houses along the former highway are dust covered and empty, leaving a bitter-sweet aftertaste
I chose to use our recently bought Mont-Bell baby carrier because the ground would be very uneven and difficult to navigate even with our three-wheel buggy. Secondly, having been here already about a year ago for the cherry blossoms but actually viewing the (earlier) ume-plum blossoms, we knew that there are a few old stairs to climb inside the grounds. I am really happy with the carrier, once you get the feeling of how to put your feet as not to put too much strain on them. It also got quite a lot of storage space behind and beneath the seat for the baby's diaper bag, clothes and a blanket etc.
And last but not least it functions as a baby chair when having a - necessary - break.

The weather was rather cloudy and so was Hannah's face most of the time

She did up her mood a bit when given her beloved chewing ring

But even the tea seemed to be only a necessity,nothing enjoyable

Her mother having an intimate talk did carry some fruits 

Those two sometimes look like they are still connected by something

And Hannah became a bit interested in the flowers, if not only for whether they are eatable or not
Nothing really cheered her up

Not even the nice smell of a good cup of cappuccino

Which is understandable when you can only look and smell but are not allowed to taste any of the good stuff

And so the day went on, with Hannah still brooding about
What is The Meaning of Live

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