2005_japan110 Back to Nakano: This is the church there. The auditorium is on the second floor and there is a one bedroom apartment on the first floor. It is on a hill overlooking the city.

2005_japan111 We slept on futon in the auditorium. Even when it was beastly hot, there were good breezes through the windows. And there was a fan on the wall.

2005_japan112 The church apartment was Mom & Art's home-base for this trip. They were teaching English language classes as a part of the ministry of this church and the nearby Susaka church.

2005_japan113 They shopped at this fresh-food market.

2005_japan114 There is a lot of produce grown in Nakano. Local produce was plentiful and reasonably priced. (One yen was about one US cent.)

2005_japan115 Nakano is filled with orchards, gardens and rice fields. These are apples.

2005_japan116 Japanese towns have farmland in and around them. This is because all land in Japan is incorporated into some village or city. In addition because they do not have North American-style land zoning, land use is much more mixed. This is rice.

2005_japan117 The Nakano peaches were astounding - large and delicious.

2005_japan118 Peaches are individually wrapped on the tree for protection from bugs and birds.

2005_japan119 Grapes are also carefully cultivated. The white thing is a rain shield. In this case there is a net over the vineyard, so the grapes were not additionally wrapped in paper.

2005_japan120 We went to a museum in nearby Suzaka that had been the large home of an ancient successful Sake maker (Japanese rice wine). The traditional gardens were beautiful. They also had interesting displays of historic clothing and childrens' toys.

2005_japan121 Water bubbled out of the center of this beautiful under-stated fountain.

2005_japan122 The central courtyard.

2005_japan123 Lisa and her girls.

2005_japan124 Melanie and I.

2005_japan125 In the evening after an English class at the Susaka church, the pastor and his family had us over for dinner.

2005_japan126 Another day, our friend LilyBeth (in the red) took us to the nearby town of Obuse for cultural shopping. It had a street of shops with Japanese-culture gift shops. This one featured hand-made paper items.

2005_japan127 There was a camel bench by the front door of a shop.

2005_japan128 Out by the street was this distinctive rhinoceros beetle sculpture. (The real, live beetles are about 2 inches long.)

2005_japan129 We had lunch at a Japanese restaurant there. Again the food was excellent. Even though we ate out extensively in Japan, the Japanese food was consistently balanced and healthy.

2005_japan130 Afterward on our way back we stopped for home-made ice cream. The cones had a square top. We are imitating a certain New York statue.

2005_japan131 That afternoon was another English class. This one was in a local public building. After the class we clowned around.

2005_japan132 The view out of the classroom. Notice the ski slopes that were used during the 1998 Winter Olympics. The trees in the foreground are another orchard.

A typhoon (hurricane) was expected to hit Japan that evening; it ended up going a different direction. However, loudspeakers around the community were being used to make announcements, warning about expected high rain and wind.

2005_japan133 That evening we went to LilyBeth Takanami's for dinner. We had met LilyBeth's daughter Mai last year when she visited North America and stayed with Marilyn.

2005_japan134 Mr Takanami loves fishing. He showed us his fishing equipment. The pole is handmade bamboo and is the very best.