Hello from Okayama

Please introduce yourself
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:37 am
Been thanked: 4 times

Hello from Okayama

Post by Del » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:51 am

Hi all,
I’d like to introduce myself; I’m Del from the UK and my Japanese wife of 30 yrs. We are in the long process of moving to our Kominka in Wake, Okayama having completed the buying process last month. :D We found this forum whilst we were searching for wood burning stoves :shock: Having read some of this forum’s content it is great to have found like minded individuals and thus decided to join. We hope that we are welcome.

My wife describes herself as a semi-retired professional photographer and I’m counting my days to retire from a major UK Airline. Over the past 3 years we both talked about moving to Japan initially to Okinawa then Hokkaido. We considered my wife’s home prefecture of Shiga and my personal favourite Narita, Chiba. At one point we actually signed a contract to rent in Kyoto, but quickly cancelled. In effect we were undecided about where we wanted to live. What we did know is that we wanted a Kominka that was habitable with some land and a naya ( barn ).

By chance my wife 18 months ago was invited to go a British Fair held in Hiruzen, Okayama after which we decided to have a look around. We were impressed by how welcoming the people of Okayama are as well as the number of Kominkas available. Research online revealed two things that surprised us both. Firstly that certain parts of Okayama was least prone to earthquakes as well as typhoons. ( I know this is subjective and that we can’t beat Mother Nature :ugeek: ) Secondly that the Prefecture had a variety of incentives via some of their local wards to encourage people to move to the Okayama. :dance:

Six trips to Okayama and a year later we eventually found a habitable Kominka in a small village in the mountains with a view, a small hatake and a Naya.Not too isolated (23 friendly neighbours) and quiet. My Japanese language being very poor has prompted one neighbour to say I have 2 yrs to improve. Lots of work to be done details of which I’ll put on a separate thread as we will be asking lots of questions. We will also try to answer questions if we can as well.

Sorry for the long intro, but felt I needed to provide some background.

Yoroshiku onegaishimasu

Del & Wife :D
Last edited by Del on Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 2540
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 1679 times
Been thanked: 1131 times

Re: Hello from Okayama

Post by Zasso Nouka » Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:29 am

Welcome to Japan Simple Life Del & Mrs Del and thank you for taking the time to sign up. We really do appreciate that.

Wow that's quite a diverse choice of places to live, funnily enough I deliver to a michi no eki over near Narita airport every morning, it can be quite impressive when a large plane passes just tens of metres over your head on it's way to land.

You've certainly chosen a nice place to live, will you be doing the work on the Kominka yourself or get the builders in ? I love a bit of DIY so will be looking forward to your posts on renovating it when the time comes. As you might have read importing a wood stove from abroad can save you a packet and isn't as daunting as people think. If you are shipping household goods over with Kuro Neko when you move they can also take care of shipping a wood stove over and they told us if it's done within 6 months of moving here it counts as household goods so doesn't incur import tax but you might want to check with them that advice is still current. My advice there is get the largest one you can, you don't have to fill it up to the max every time but it's always better to more capacity than you think you will need.

Would love to see the house and surrounds if you have the time and inclination.

User avatar
Eric in Japan
Posts: 241
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:21 pm
Has thanked: 200 times
Been thanked: 371 times

Re: Hello from Okayama

Post by Eric in Japan » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:57 am

Hi Del and Mrs. Del!

Wow, I envy your kominka! We were looking for one at first, but later decided to build by ourselves.
Are you planning to use the barn as a workshop, or are you thinking of some livestock?

"... so, the cucumbers said to the cabbage, `Lettuce Go.`"

User avatar
Posts: 1292
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:10 am
Has thanked: 1118 times
Been thanked: 575 times

Re: Hello from Okayama

Post by gonbechan » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:00 pm

Wonderful to have you with us Del and Mrs. Del.

Okayama, is a wonderful prefecture. The locals are really friendly. Wake is a great choice too, close to Bizen and also easy access to the Sanyo expressway if you feel the sudden need for bright lights.

Real estate, especially old farm houses, are really cheap compared to next door Hyogo. The only downside being that plop toilets are still rampant in most parts of rural Okayama, but installation of a septic tank should solve your problem (if you have it) without too much trouble.

Excellent to hear that Mrs. Del is a photographer and I hope she finds the time to take an enormous amount of pictures of the progress of your new home and that you might find it in your heart to share them with us here.

It must be so exciting, this new journey of yours.

Posts: 261
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:52 pm
Has thanked: 110 times
Been thanked: 325 times

Re: Hello from Okayama

Post by paradoxbox » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:15 am

Welcome! Okayama is a great place, lots of space, not too far from Osaka or Fukuoka, and the growing conditions there are fantastic for vegetables and fruits alike. Maybe plant some peach trees this year as a celebration!