This post is premature, but I don’t give a ****! I’m pretty excited and optimistic. Today we talked to the owner of The House. He remembered us from the first time we expressed interest a couple of years ago, and he was extremely receptive, saying he would be happy to let us use the house and the land attached to it. He gave me permission to enter the house to do a thorough inspection before we meet to go over the details.
Last week I took an afternoon bike ride out to the little hamlet the house is located in (only about a 30 minute ride from my wife’s family home in town). I was going on a survey of the surrounding area. I had never had the chance to actually walk up the road to see what condition the upper part of the valley was in.
At the bottom of the valley I took this picture, in which you can see The House in the foreground on the left, with the rest of the hamlet behind it. Everything between me and The House used to be cultivated rice fields…
On the other side of the hamlet, just beyond a Shinto Shrine I ran into some cultivated rice fields, beyond which I could only see forest… a wall of trees.
Needless to say I was surprised with what I found beyond that wall of trees that screened the upper valley from the lower valley…
Extensive Kabosu Orchards:
The orchards were beautiful and clearly well cared for. I hope I can meet the person responsible for them some day and maybe learn a thing or two about the widely adored (at least in these parts) Kabosu.
Going Further up the road lead me into a mountain forest and I could tell that I was probably the first to come that far in at least a year or two. Unfortunately I had to turn around before I got to the end, but I will be taking that hike again sometime soon I am sure.
I put together a little graphic using an aerial photo taken of the valley in 1974. The Valley has obviously changed a lot since then but it should help place the photos in perspective a little bit.