In prevision of Tokyo’s cold Winter approaching, we have adopted a pair of 100% organic heaters. Although their current wattage is still a bit low (despite sustained high-level purring), we fully expect them to reach a good heating capacity before end of year…

And if you are looking to adopt cats in Japan, you should definitely have a look at these guys and these guys (recommended by previous): they do amazing work trapping, neutering and releasing adult stray cats, while placing kittens for adoption. (Needless to say, if you ever buy a cat from one of those horrendous pet mill shops, I will never talk to you again).

As Pierre and I were pondering the next stop on our week-long tour of Japan, I remembered a stunning picture I had seen in a special Brutus magazine issue on countryside minshukus a few years ago. I looked up what turned out to be the village of Ainokura (part of Gokayama town), in Toyama-ken.

Driving past the still-quite-urban town of Jōhana, the last few km of mountain roads and never-ending tunnels magically opened into some Lost Valley-like landscape, with a dozen thatched-roofed houses lying at the bottom. We spent the night there (half the village is minshuku, the other regular farmers) before resuming our trip south through the much more touristy but still very picturesque region of Shirakawa.

Definitely on par with Iya for surprisingly preserved piece of old-times Nipponia.