We thought some people might be a bit curious about where we live and what its like.
When most people think Japan, they probably think Tokyo. Tokyo is very densely populated and very busy. We don't live there. We live in Nasushiobara. Its in Tochigi prefecture a bit over an hour north of Tokyo. Its quite rural.
We live in a small two story house. Its bigger than what we had in California and we can comfortably have friends or family come to visit. There are houses on 3 sides of us, but the whole area is characterized by the rice fields all around. Its really beautiful here. Every evening we go for a walk around the area. At the moment the rice is nearly fully grown.
We are very close to the mountains. And they are beautiful. Theres lots to see and do in them too. The walking is good here. The area is famous for hot springs too. My favorite part is the fact that its so different here in each season. In winter the temperature gets down to just a bit below zero (Celsius). Its brown with just the dark green of the pine trees to break things up. In spring the cherry blossom starts and everything starts to get green. In summer is green, there is rice growing everywhere. The bamboo and other deciduous trees are in fully swing. And in autumn the colors are beautiful, the trees are red and yellow and the rice goes straw colored and is harvested. I have never been in a place with such seasonal contrasts.
We have a small car, which we love. Its only about 3 km. to Toshiba so I don't have to drive very far each day.