At last, spring is here!

Long time no see.

We finally had a very spring like weather today! (It had been cloudy and rainy
for almost a month!!) I did enjoy the blue sky with the lovely sun today.
Also, lovely cherry blossoms! The trees are in their bloom now, and they just
look fantastic.
Cherry blossom trees at our village's Shrine.

A big tree at the Kehoji temple, just in front of our Ryokan.
With buddist statues.

A big old tree on a path next to our Ryokan that used to be a
main street in older times.
I love this tree with the black wooden headge.

Birds were singing while I was having a short walk,
taking some pictures. It was a so lovely day.


Eight snowmen are await

We've got lots of snow since Tuesday. It's really a lot!
I was struggling with snow almost all day. Phew.

Actually, I had a fun during I was throwing the snow
from our car parking to a stream next to;
(You know you need some motivation when you've got
to do something you are not willing to .....) Well, I did again....

I made eight snowmen! Ok, again!
(My family had signs after hearing from me,
saying "again, Noriko ?!") By not doing seriously
my main work, I did enjoy my "mission".

I'm sorry, but they are very seasonal.
Yet, they welcome you at our parking!
Please have a safe journey to Deyu Onsen.


Winter in Deyu


During the last two weeks winter has certainly arrived in Deyu Onsen. After a bright start, we had a wet and windy day which over night the rain turned to snow. It then constantly snowed for the next 48 hours or so, finally stopping on Sat 16th Jan. With plans disrupted the only thing to do was build a snow bear.

Whilst it was obvious that driving was hazardous, the snow enhanced the beauty of the Deyu area.An added bonus was the number of birds that were seen in the garden searching for food. One morning two Japanese White-Eyes, a Hawfinch, Rustic Bunting, and Narcissus Flycatcher was all seen within a few minutes.

Staying with our feathered friends, a visit to the Swan Lake was well worth a visit, with many swans and duck present. Even more impressive were the 50+ Black Kite lurking in the surrounding trees. For those interested in birds, the Deyu area has a rich variety.

Finally I would like to mention the New Year tea ceremony that I was kindly invited to in Gozen, about 30 minutes away. It was an interesting and very enjoyable time and I would like to thank all involved.

I guess by now that you have realised that the style of writing is different this time. Thats because I'm a guest writer from Colchester, England, and have just spent the two weeks mentioned in Deyu. And I'm guessing that if you are reading the English version of Deyu Onsen Spa Tales, you are probably not Japanese. So may I suggest that if you enjoy the tales written by Noriko, then go and enjoy Deyu for yourselves. I can assure you a very warm welcome.


Happy New Year

Happy New year!!! Many happy returns to everyone in the world.

Picuter above (left) is a pair of new year decoration called Kadomatsu.
My mum's handmade!
The other picuture (right) is a tiger. It's a year of Tiger this year in Japan.

Thanks very much for visiting our homepage and my blog.
I look forward to meeting lots of smiles this year.

Best Regards,


Shiny leaves

We had mild autmnal weather today.
Some places in Niigata prefecture already got snow
in the past a few days due to a strong cold wave.
I wrapped myself up with a couple of extra tops.
Winter is approaching little by little, yet, certainly.

Leaves in Deyu area have changed the green coloures into
red, orange, and yellow.

One stunning view of Japanese maple tree with the roof of
Kehoji temple.

Looking down the ground, I found a pretty Japanese maple leaf
dropped. What a beautiful leaf! Only one leaf leads to a feeling of
autumn; lonesome.

I enjoyed looking the coloured leaves little while, sitting on
a step of the temple's front door with a lady who just got
from a public hotspring bath in the temple.


Destinations: your mouths and barrels

We have hung persimmons under the eaves of
our ryokan.

They will become delicious dried persimmons.
The skin are finly peeled and hung with a bamboo

The skin is not directly sent to a bin; it is spread on a
big sheet and are dried for some use.

When it gets colder, we prepare a kind of pickled vegetables
called "takuan", pickled Japanese daikon raddish. The skin
is added to enrich the taste.

Sasakami area in Agano City is famous for persimmons
and there is an association among farmers that especially glow
this fruit.

I like both hard and soft texture of the persimmons. Dried ones
are also attractive. I like having the dried persimmons with some
cheese. It's brilliant!

They are hard workers, aren't they? ---Giving us a lot of happiness
from fruit itself and the skin!


Colours of autumn

We had a cold raining day today, however, one of our guests
stayed last night gave me a lovely way of thinking. He travelled
by his motor bike, and told me he enjoys each weather; if it rains,
he enjoys driving in the rain. How lovely, the ways he thinks.

Steps of autumn have been approaching to Deyu Onsen.
Leaves have been changing their colours into red, orange and
yellow. I guess it's slightly earlier than normal for them to
get into colours.

(Sorry, these were taken last week...)
At Kehoji temple:

Those coloured leaves are harmonised with leaves
of evergreen trees, giving us a gorgeous and colourful
time prior to a monochrome world made by pure
white snow in winter.