Three-Day Weekend in Green Karuizawa

I recently went to Karuizawa for a three-day weekend in Japan (Mon. 9/18 was Respect for the Aged Day, 敬老の日). It was beautiful and green, and despite it being a three-day weekend, I was able to arrive on time on the bus with very little traffic. Apparently, Respect for the Aged Day is between seasons (summer vacation is over, but the leaves haven’t turned color yet), and so there aren’t that many people out traveling.

The other reason for the light traffic was probably that a typhoon was headed our way, but I’d scheduled the trip before the typhoon warning and it didn’t bother to let me know it was coming, so I went anyway. The typhoon came in the night and was gone before Monday morning, so aside from light rain the days before, I had perfect weather on Monday!

(The church in the first picture is Karuizawa Shaw Memorial Church (軽井沢ショー記念礼拝堂), and you can go inside.)

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Nagano’s Terraced Rice Fields (だんだん田んぼ)

I recently got the opportunity to visit Karuizawa, in Nagano Prefecture! It was actually my third time, but the first two times I didn’t have quite as much opportunity to go sightseeing. I was staying with a missionary couple living in Karuizawa, and after church, they drove me and another couple staying in Nagano to a beautiful area on a mountain with terraced rice fields! The weather was cloudy and a typhoon was coming, but that didn’t stop my them! Thank you!!

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Weekend in Okutama (奥多摩)

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to go to a church retreat in Okutama (奥多摩), which (unbelievably) is still part of Tokyo. The retreat center is called Okutama Bible Chalet, and has rooms for groups to come and stay. It felt a little like summer camp, but in the spring :)

This post is off-season, as I went to Okutama in March, but I think it’s important, as we begin to welcome the holidays, to reflect back on the year and all that’s happened.

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