In southern Nagano, comfortably nestled between the Chuo (central) and the Minami (southern) Alps, lies Ina-dani valley and the town of Iijima, my little corner of the world.
In the 28 years that I’ve been here I’ve seen a lot of changes in this area. The list of what we didn’t have then that we do now is long. For starters, here are just a few: the Chuo Expressway (national expressway that links Tokyo and Nagoya) wasn’t connected all the way yet. Nagano didn’t have an FM radio station and broadcast satellite hadn’t started. Fast food was nowhere near to be found and drinking “o-cha” (green tea) from a can or plastic bottle from a vending machine? Heck, no!! The Nagano Shinkansen wouldn’t come along for another 17 years and keitais (cell phones) and the internet were unheard of–and not just in Japan. To be sure, there was no such thing as a “blog”.
But things change. And blogs happen. So…in the coming weeks or months, I will write about places and events, about local customs, culture, and traditions, and about the life and the people of minami Shinshu. But, mostly I’ll write about what HASN’T changed in this rural part of Japan and this place that I call “home”. Hope you drop by and visit–anytime!