Japan is a friendly, polite country; it feels safe. In Fujiyoshida few people spoke English, but they made a great effort to understand and be understood.
The menus, which would otherwise have been unintelligible, were much helped by illustrations. Outside some restaurants there was a display of plastic food in a cabinet; my guide book says this practice dates back to the Meiji Restoration of 1868 when the Japanese had to explain with wax models the new food coming in from abroad.
Restaurants, like Japanese rooms generally, are plain, uncluttered and relaxing. Here is the Kubota restaurant where we went with Aiichiro Mogi on our last day in Japan.
And here is the proprietress who served the most delicious eels.
While on food, I have to admit to disappointment about breakfast, which seemed to be similar to other meals (miso, fish, rice etc). I guess I am a creature of habit who enjoys her muesli, bran, fruit and yoghurt.
I was pleasantly surprised by the slow speed of the traffic and the length of time allowed for pedestrians to cross roads where there are crossings with lights.
Bathing is a pleasure, with a shower first, then a soak in a hot tub (for relaxation not for soaping), then another shower.
You may be required to wear toilet shoes when you go to the loo (which always seemed to have a warm seat).
Sleeping on the floor on a futon is very comfortable. Japanese people don’t have clutter so I found little space to stow my stuff in hotels. What would they make of Telfer’s Cottage?
We took a lovely walk along a path between conference venues, past allotments and paddy fields, all beautifully laid out.
And all around us were the mountains, a lovely spot.