Emily, Yumiko and I spent the day picnicking, hiking and exploring a small tea and rice farming village in the Japan Southern Alps. We made friends with a family who’s ancestors have lived in this valley for thirteen generations. They invited us to spend the afternoon with them at their farmhouse where we sipped green tea from their own tea fields and were given a guided tour of the village shrine as well as many lovely old abandoned homes (I got it in my mind to rent the empty house next door and we will have to see where this delightful dream might lead). In the evening the father offered to drive us back to where our car was parked and this little video documents our truck trip back through the village to our car. You will see many old homes along the way many of which are empty and abandoned as sadly few modern Japanese wish to live the humble life of a farmer and prefer instead to spend their lives in the city. As a result many small villages such as this are slowly becoming empty as the young people move away and the old people die off. With Japan’s dwindling population this problem is only likely to worsen in the years ahead. We were very happy to meet this kind and generous family who took such good care of us and we look forward to visiting them again many times in the future.
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