What you see is not what you get

In the ongoing saga of The House, we met again yesterday with the owner, this time at the property with the purpose of meeting the “Ku-cho” (kind of like the head of the neighborhood HOA),and surveying the property. The owner had spent the entire morning and a good chunk of the afternoon at the city offices trying to determine which plots of land where his.

Japanese land is subdivided into plots, some of which are barely big enough to piss on, and invariably the plots that people own are scattered all around. So it is with our landlord-to-be. His land when laid out on a map looks like someone took the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and scattered them over the floor. Most of his land happens to be up a narrow path that has been made nearly impassible for at least the last 20 years due to overgrowth of bamboo.

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We hacked our way up there and found plenty of rock wall terraced fields, most of which were fairly covered in bamboo growth. There is potential up there, but it will take some serious reclamation effort. Do goats eat bamboo??? We did find some Kabosu trees up there and took home some low hanging fruit…

Anyway, the unused land in front of his house that we thought might be his… isn’t. We don’t know who it belongs to yet. All in all it looked to be quite a bit of land (my prior estimate of about 20,000m2 is probably close, but the locations were way off) but much of it is clearly dominated by bamboo.

He also handed us a contract. It was long, which worries me, and unreadable to me because of all the legalese, which worries me more, and from what I could tell didn’t include much of what we discussed the last time we talked (but like I said it’s hard for me to tell). I am going to have some trusted friends look at it.

Inch by inch, we’re getting closer.

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3 Responses to What you see is not what you get

  1. kenelwood says:

    Hey, hope you can use the kitchen garden next to the house, but still that’s a substantial amount of dirt and trees and bamboo up the mountain. A good way to keep the bamboo down is to just eat it. Ask KC. Keeping big animals from eating everything grown up there would be my biggest concern. Ask MHI. How far up the narrow trail is the land? 50 meters or so? Too steep for a wheelbarrow? What’s the trail like after a rain? Anyway, just some questions I’d ask myself.

    Good luck,



    • FreeB says:

      Well on the flip side of the bs contract you’ve got mikan and some pretty cool stone terraces.
      Also in retrospect. Upon meeting one “Ku-cho” in regards to a recently vacated house brought to our attention by a family friend, I was eyed up and down only to never hear anything back about the house again. Could have been my overeagerness. May have been the family friend’s reputation. May even have been my IL’s throwing a wrench in the gears, I dunno but I think a good impression is pretty key to a lot.
      What type of vibe were you getting from the the all important Chief of HOA if you don’t mind me asking?


  2. learnandgrow says:

    From the pics, Brodo, the bamboo doesn’t look like the edible stuff. I think too that goats wouldn’t be enough to clear the land – this stuff spreads by underground rhizomes. The good news is that they’re fairly easy (as the stage they look to be at now) to dig up, and pull, pull, pull out by hand. It’s like a never ending tug of war, but it can be done.

    All the best,



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