September 28, 2016

We recently held the Keihoku Lumberjack Championships in September which was an absolute blast. Lumberjacks or kikori (in Japanese) had to compete in “tree cutting” and “machine operation” events, and winners were judged on how safely, quickly and elegantly they could complete the various events. 

The championship was organized with the objective to acknowledge the rich history of forestry here in Keihoku, to bring the local lumberjack community togethe...

September 28, 2016

Every Friday, my colleagues and I like to grab a drink at Syu’s Bar, located in the Sushiyone ryokan. Besides having a charming female owner or okami (wearing the traditional kimono in the picture above) and the delicious Japanese bar food served, what I really enjoy about Syu’s Bar is that you can regularly find local lumberjacks to crack jokes with, and foreign guests staying at the ryokan to share stories with. It’s a cozy and convivial place to spend pe...

September 28, 2016

You see a lot of thatched houses in Keihoku, it's called Kayabuki in Japanese and is a classical style of architecture in the countryside. They are made of hay and are very cool to be in during summer, but they are also freezing in the winter. That said, my guests and I have had heart-warming times when sitting around a fireplace with family during the harsh winter. 

I stayed in there myself before and loved how spacious these houses are (They can accommodat...

September 28, 2016

When you walk in forests of Keihoku, you might bump into a forestry artisan who cuts branches of cedars or cypress to let them grow straight. These are our professional tree climbers. 

"Have you ever fallen down?" I asked him. "Of course, several times." He replied smilingly as if it was no big deal. "Though it was quite painful", he added. 
 

September 28, 2016

One of my friends is local woodcraftsman in Keihoku, who specialises in making small wooden carving of musical instruments. He is also a forestry artisan who grows and sells tree logs as well as a progressive rock drummer. He is definitely one of the many interesting characters you get to see carrying out their craft in Keihoku.

September 28, 2016

One of the places that many of my guests get impressed by is the Joshokoji temple, which is famous for its beautiful autumn leaves and spring cherry blossom. The temple was built around the 13th century when emperor Kogon retired from his status and moved to Keihoku as a monk for his rest of life. You will meet his statue at a prayer hall that is full of sacred atmosphere. I personally love adding this as an option to my day trips as it not only a cultural...

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September 28, 2016

September 28, 2016

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