In March, I was lucky enough to have run a couple of tours for 2 foreigner-groups who live in Japan. A 2-day Gokanosho tour and a Takachiho & Mt Aso tour.
Takachiho & Mt Aso tour
Unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to do any tour in April though, I’m supposed to do a couple of Takachiho & Mt Aso tours in May.
I haven’t got vaccinated yet, but I’ve been very careful not to get infected with COVID by wearing a mask and washing my hands frequently. Luckily enough, we haven’t had anyone tested positive to COVID here in Gokanosho (approx. 250 people).
If you would like to join a guided tour, Text/Call me. I am available here. I would be pleased to be of help to you.
I’ve been working at a local construction company, on removing dirt from the roads. Most of the inhabitants in Gokanosho are safe, but there are some who have been living in shelter with neighbours together since they had lost the roads to their homes due to the landslides caused by torrential rains that happened on 4th July.
It will take a long way to remove all the dirt and fix or build & repave the roads, as they are a small local company. So I would like to be of help to them.
Thank you so much for who sent me warm messages! We have no problem now and living normal lives (almost).
At last, it seems the rainy season will come to an end soon, hopefully the day after tomorrow (29 July) if the weather forecast is not telling a lie. Normally, we have the rainy season starting from early June and finishing around early or middle of July. But it appears to be shifting later and bringing more heavy rains that fall intensively in short period of time, which can bring us floods and landslides.
I did some forestry work until the end of last week and will do similar work this week. It’s a long way to the top if I wanna Rock n’ roll!
Lately, I have been working in a mountain of Gokanosho as a forestry worker with Mr Ogata, a.k.a. “Lord Ogata”, who is also an innkeeper of Sakura-so and whose ancestors had been the rulers of one of the villages of Gokanosho. I was lucky to find a job easily thanks to him. He has been running his own forestry business for many years along with his accommodation Sakura-so and needed help to finish his forestry work as soon as possible and I happened to be there.
We have been working on mowing the grass on the steep hills of a mountain, where its elevation is around 1,400 meters high above the sea level.
Off to Mt Shiratori, one of the neighbourhood mountains in Gokanosho, to cut the bamboo with a mower. Mt Shiratori is a very good mountain for beginner trekkers to climb where there’s no big ups or downs throughout the trail from the start to the peak (1,450 m – 1,650 m ).
Having finished this work ( I had my wife together for this work ) earlier than we had expected, we went on to see if “Yama-shakuyaku” (= peony) are already blooming, which usually bloom around the middle of May.
Some of them are in bloom but many are not. It seems they will come in full bloom next week as average years. We, in Japan, are not in lockdown due to our constitution that forbids us to restrict our rights of freedom. Therefore, our government is not allowed to force us to self-restrict to stay home in order to stop the virus from widespreading. So there will be some trekkers who would like to see those beautiful flowers soon, and that is the reason for my work this time.
Given this situation due to the COVID-19, schools, universities and colleges are closed and big events are requested to refrain from holding by Prime Minister Abe. And we have lost most of foreign tourists who visit other countries.
However, I still had some foreign tourists who wanted to join my tours and I successfully ran all those tours and they enjoyed it.
Here in Japan, we have relatively fewer infected and dead compared to many other countries, thanks to their hard work who work at medical centres and our efforts of keeping hands clean with soap and alcohol and wearing a mask when go out. Actually, I haven’t got infected though I have had the chances to go visit touristic places.
We have alcohol bottles set at many entrances of restaurants / convenience stores / department stores / any public buildings for hand washing. I would like to tell you that this is considered to be the way we Japanese have practiced to keep ourselves clean and healthy. And I believe this is the best way to protect yourself and people around you. Follow us.
Let me show you how I enjoyed running tours in February and March despite this situation, as follows.