I'm a "Mentor" of the prefecture of "Nagano". I'm not sure exactly what that means, but it does mean that even though today was a national holiday, I spent the afternoon in the Nagano office with the Governor's staff giving advice with the other Mentors on a variety of plans that they had. Actually, it was fun. We are trying to set up a lot of interesting trials involving wireless network webs, community VoIP networks and lots of other rather subversive, but community oriented projects. Nagano is the home of Governor Tanaka, who I wrote about before.

After the trip to Chiba, Mizuka and I are thinking about moving to the countryside and just keeping a small apartment in Tokyo. The Governor's staff in Nagano said that they would help us look for places. I told them we were thinking of moving to either Nagano or Chiba. Nagano is closer, but it's colder. It's a bit classier than Chiba as well... but Chiba has an ocean. hmm...

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"Nagano's a bit classier than Chiba" ....

Which part of Nagano is that?

I dunno... I guess the image. Like Karuizawa. Chiba has Disneyland, Narita and Makuhari. Nagano had the Winter Olympics and Karuizawa. I guess they're close. Also, Nagano has a bullet train.

So you're going to buy a bullet train kaisuken? ;-)

Chiba City seems more classy than Nagano City, which is a little grimy. Chiba has more Tokyoites living there to raise the standard (at least in the north and west portions). Karuizawa seems like it would get old fast--a little too laid back. Matsumoto is good for access to the mountains if you're into that, but otherwise more desolate than Nagano.

It's really depressing how boring Japan is outside of Tokyo!

Why are you thinking of moving? What does Nagano or Chiba have that Tokyo doesn't? If your looking to get out of the dirty crud of Tokyo, or any other big city, I recommend Fujino. I go there hiking and biking sometimes, and almost moved there. It's two stops from "civilization" (Hachioji), about an hour from Shinjuku, and yet only has 167人/km2 with a lake and mountains.

JOI retirement food -- it was likely to write
i think it's very good for

your ECCO Philosophy

Kevin, Sagamiko is a reservoir, not a lake. It's in the same class as Okutamako in western Tokyo. If it's used for drinking water they may not give out permits so easily.

Joi, trust your heart on this one. If both of you find your minds coming back to the idea again and again, I would definitely suggest giving it a try. Is there a way you can do it for a while without making any committments? That would be best.

You may like it, you may not.. but you'll never know unless you try. Carpe Diem.. You only live once. Take advantage of your freedom.

If Limin and I could move to a special place in the country without putting our financial health in danger I have a feeling that we both would decide to do it in a minute.

Mike, Actually they used to have no problem with boating on Sagamiko until some people died screwing around by the dam a couple years ago. Now for safety reasons you need a permit to "float objects" on the water.

But it's still a beautiful area for being so close to Tokyo.

Being near the airport is nice. One of the things I most hated about going to Tokyo - was the schlep into town. But being :20 from the airport is great!

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