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! Casual work/stay stay/cation Japan

 
gardener
Posts: 478
Location: Nara, Japan. Zone 8-ish
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If I wait til this is perfect to post, it will never happen...and as I am writing this, a troop of macaques is feasting on the leftover grain in our rice straw pile across the street. It was the last straw for me (pun intended). So I will just post this and fix and add stuff to it as I have time. Bear with me please.

I would love to run over and scare the monkeys away, but I'm not willing to leave my napping 2 year old unattended. After a ruff night with little sleep, I don't want to risk it.
Rice straw is/was under the tarp in this picture.


Anyway, we are looking for help. We have too many things need done and not enough hours in the day or people in our community with free time.  We don't have any businesses yet or animals, so it's very flexible and low pressure. Help with what you can within your abilities a few hours a day or so. 

The neighborhood:


Stuff on the list: Monkey patrol, preparing beds, preparing seeds, planting out, propagation stuff, general cleaning up and sorting of junk on the premises. moving stones and making small stone walls. sheet mulching and taking care of established monster grasses. planting stuff that's been patiently surviving in pots. tearing up floors, walls, ceilings, kitchens, refurbishing all manner of things. getting fences up to snuff. 

Pretty much whatever your skills, we can find something helpful for you to do.

Stay for a day, stay for a week, stay longer....

You can stay in a studio type one room, I guess it's technically three rooms if you shut the paper thin doors, house with a tiny kitchen in it.



A no-flush toilet and shower/bath are a separate structure just down some stairs.



Our wifi just barely reaches, we currently live across the street. There is electricity and town water. 

First I will try to scare you off:

Sorry, no tobacco/nicotine of any kind allowed. 
Japan is very strict about "drugs", if you have a prescription, still check with customs. 
Alcohol is fine.


While not many people live in this neighborhood, it can be loud due to town announcements over the loud speakers, random solicitors soliciting from their vehicle speaker, the garbage truck song, the police song, and noon and 5pm songs...mostly it is peaceful and meditative...and the mobile supermarket truck song. 

There be venomous snakes, wild boar, occasional bear, giant hornets (suzume bachi), and the monkeys' usual route is on top of your roof, but once they know you are staying there, they should stay away...the deer scream loud at night sometimes.

Other risks are typhoons, generally from August to December, heavy heavy rainstorms.
And as always the nankai torafu earthquake is ever looming. 



This is a village of about 800 spread along the valleys of two rivers. Public transportation is bare minimum two buses a day. 

We are tucked in the mountains, the roads close for heavy rain. Nearest mostly stocked city is 45 min by car down the mountain. If there are any must-eats or must-not-eats for you, let me know so I can check on what's available. 

People in our village are generally open and friendly, but I would ask you to keep in mind that you are an ambassador, representing all permies. From the villagers' perspective you are a person that we vouched for and welcomed into our home. As such you also represent us. Gossip is a huge pastime here. Word gets around. Your behavior will determine how the next guest is treated and how we are perceived and trusted. You must be nice and flexible and quiet and modest. 

Being completely honest, we are just starting in this location and are still living a fairly conventional, modern lifestyle. We are between level 2 and 3 on the Wheaton eco scale . Help us move to level 4! I can't account for what ever toxic gick the previous owners have left behind, but the place had been unoccupied for ten years or so.

There is a lot of rusty metal and plastic bits blown all around in the garden plots from years old "mulch".


It rains a lot and humidity is high; your house has a faint but lingering mildew smell. If you are sensitive to smells and dusts and such, you're gonna have a bad time. Of course, during work PPE will be provided to your satisfaction. 

Great, now for the attractions:
Mostly quiet and chill. Lots of wildlife. Picturesque mountains and rivers. Crystal clear river is 2mins walk.


Small library down the road. Small mountain trail behind your house. small museum across the river open Thursdays. Village offers a hot spring, sports park, golf course, local shrines and temples, The coast is 45 mins down the mountain. There is a sand beach, but mostly it's a rocky beach. 

I will try to compile a list of possible learning opportunities in the village and add them later.

PM or reply if interested, Thanks!

 
gardener
Posts: 1974
Location: South of Capricorn
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The place is so lovely, Amy!!!
I wish I were closer, and perhaps had a clone of myself available. I'm supposed to go spend some time in Chiba/Tokyo next October, if those plans actually come to pass I will look you up to at least come and say hello!
 
steward
Posts: 3413
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
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This is a great opportunity for the right person.  I'm a bit tied down at the moment.  I'm guessing travel might be difficult during COVID?
 
Amy Arnett
gardener
Posts: 478
Location: Nara, Japan. Zone 8-ish
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Julia Winter wrote:This is a great opportunity for the right person.  I'm a bit tied down at the moment.  I'm guessing travel might be difficult during COVID?



Thanks Julia!

Yes, travel is very restricted. Only very special circumstances are being let in to Japan from abroad. The best place to get up to date information would probably be the Japanese embassy or consulate serving each person's country. I've heard there is a plan to slowly lift restrictions on certain countries and require a certificate of a negative test.

For people who happen to already be in Japan, you are still welcome to visit! Many people who are here on temporary visas or as tourists got stranded in Japan when travel restrictions were put in place.

Some things have changed since I first posted. A lovely couple came to stay for a few months and helped tremendously. They have since settled down in a more remote village a few mountains over. All the plastic mulch is gone, and the whole place is getting greener. Chickens will be joining us next week.

The house pictured in the first post is currently full of furniture and stuff we scored from the closing middle school from this thread: https://permies.com/t/146662/grab-closing-middle-school

There are a couple other livable buildings on the property, that are also pretty full of stuff from the school, but we could clear a space. We own another house in the village about 5mins or so by car away. It's in pretty good shape with plenty that needs doing. We could work something out for any amount of time anyone would want to stop by for.

Properly updating this listing and posting new pictures is on my to do list after many other things, but someone expressing interest would bump it right to the top!
 
pollinator
Posts: 108
Location: Japan
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You didn't mention the mukade and the gejigeji haha
 
Amy Arnett
gardener
Posts: 478
Location: Nara, Japan. Zone 8-ish
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N.Y. Anzai wrote:You didn't mention the mukade and the gejigeji haha



Yes! Two creepy crawlies that give me the heebie jeebies.
Mukade:

gejigeji:


I haven't seen a centipede as big as in the picture, but I came across a giant centipede in a bush about a meter off the ground. I didn't think they climbed trees; one more thing to watch out for.

The gejigeji are super creepy, but mostly beneficial, supposedly eating cockroaches.

I should also mention, there is a good number of ticks and land leeches. One of our new chickens was kind enough to pick a leech off my leg that I hadn't noticed. Good to know the chickens will eat them.


a post about them: https://permies.com/t/131178/Discouraging-Leeches#1031844

Anyone who is averse to creepy crawlies could still have a nice time visiting in the winter when they are mostly gone.
 
N.Y. Anzai
pollinator
Posts: 108
Location: Japan
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Yes i've only seen small mukade, they weren't as scary as I'd heard but by the time I'd seen any it was autumn time (spent most of summer hiding inside). Maybe it was because we are in Tohoku (I hope) that they don't get as big. Hope all the big ones live in Okinawa haha.

Gejigeji definitely live under my deck, along with some lizards and probably loads of other creatures. Much more than in the city centre where I'd moved from a few months back. I'm used to living in apartments so getting used to the creatures.
 
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Hey Amy!

I know COVID is crazy out of control and travel is much too restricted right now, but was wondering if you forsee needing help in the future. I'm hoping to travel out that way once things have calmed down a bit and would love to lend a hand at your gorgeous property :)

Cheers!
-Ashley
 
Amy Arnett
gardener
Posts: 478
Location: Nara, Japan. Zone 8-ish
344
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Ashley Rang wrote:Hey Amy!

I know COVID is crazy out of control and travel is much too restricted right now, but was wondering if you forsee needing help in the future. I'm hoping to travel out that way once things have calmed down a bit and would love to lend a hand at your gorgeous property :)

Cheers!
-Ashley



Hi Ashley! Thank you for your interest!

Yes, we will need help forever I think. Once the property pictured above is "finished", there is still the other property to work on which I haven't uploaded yet. We also have a few forested mountain plots that need thinned and transitioned from cedar to more diverse food forest ecosystems.

Hopefully things will calm down sooner, but we will be accepting helpers for years to come so no rush!
 
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