How have you been doing, everyone? Here in Miyama, autumn is getting close to its end. In the meantime, we have been working on our inn to get it on track.
By the way, the wood deck that we started to build at the end of the summer was completed this autumn! We hanged a “hand-woven fisherman’s net curtain” on the window that connects to the wood deck. The curtain was a gift from Tina’s parents for our moving to Miyama from Barcelona. Now the wood deck is Tina’s favorite place.
Well, this time I would like to introduce Tina properly.
Tina was born in the center of Barcelona city. When she was born as the second daughter of her family, Spain was still under the dictatorship of Franco. Soon after she was born, Spain became a democratic country, and Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, was freed from the oppression of the dictatorship. So, Tina grew up in an era of turmoil and freedom.
Being interested in photography since she was a teenager, she studied photography in Barcelona. At her age of 20, she went to the States to keep studying photography while she worked as a babysitter and lived with an American family.
After her return to Barcelona, she started working as a photographer while she taught darkroom work at a photography school. She went around the world as a travel photographer, and later she became an editor-in-chief of a photography magazine. In short, she was working hard building up her career as a photographer in Barcelona.
So, her family and friends who knew her well were really surprised and worried when they heard that she was moving to Miyama, a rural village in Japan. In spite of the worries of her family and friends, it seems like she is enjoying a rural life in Miyama pretty much.
This autumn, she went to pick up Japanese horse-chestnut, Tochi. Villagers go to pick up Tochi every autumn and make rice cake of Tochi. Tochi Mochi. Tina participates and enjoys local events like this.
A long time ago, women of this village also used to pick up Tochi, but nowadays only men go to pick up Tochi and women cook the rice cake of Tochi. So, Tina was the only woman among the villagers to go to pick up Tochi this autumn.
Proceeding deeper and deeper to the mountain of our village on a pickup truck, and walking in the woods for a while, we finally came out in a beautiful mountain stream covered with moss like Yakushima Island. There near by the mountain stream, we found a 400-year-old tree of Tochi.
Tochi, Japanese horse-chestnut, looks like chestnut but it does not have thorns but it is covered only with hard shell. You have to break the shell, to take out shinny fruit of Tochi. You can find Tochi under the Tochi tree, but the hard Tochi keeps falling from the tree, so you have to watch out your head while you are picking up Tochi. That day, we picked up more than 60kg of Tochi!
As you can see Tina enjoys the rural life, and above all the villagers treat us very well. Thanks to the kindness of the villagers, Tina who came to live in this rural village of Japan is not homesick yet!
The other day, villagers gave us newly harvested rice and edamame, young soybeans. We made rice with edamame from them, and it was so good that we wish you could try it.
By the way, last six months, we have been working on our inn so intensively that we did not have any time for ourselves. Now Tina thinks she should do something different from taking care of our inn for herself and started taking a walk.
Tina is very interested in other villages near our village, so she decided to take a walk to investigate the villages nearby. The old men who are working in their farm are shocked when Tina, a foreigner, appears out of blue next to their places. But last time, she was the one who was shocked to see a Japanese giant salamander in a creek at a village next to our village.
Oh well, as you can see, Tina has been enjoying a rural life here in Miyama. Surely many things will happen to her from now on too, so I hope all of you support her life in Miyama.
See you soon!