Friday, December 30, 2011

Rock garden carved into a book

Part of Guy Laramee's "The Great Wall" project is this fascinating, somehow compelling piece: a rock garden carved out of — or is it "carved into"? — a book:



There's something very Zen about finding such a small rock garden in such an unexpected place.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Friday, December 23, 2011

A stainless steel, BPA-free tea-brewing mug that's truly top of the line

Here's an excellent last-minute gift idea: the Hybrid Mug from Revenge Is. As you can see in the photo, it contains all the accoutrements you need for brewing loose-leaf on the go.

It even comes with its own travel case. It's also BPA free, naturally, for peace of mind and convenient tea-brewing on the go.

I also like that the Hybrid Mug holds a full 14 ounces, so that a single steeping will yield plenty of tea for a nice, leisurely tea break.

Happy steeping!





—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Aso tea-win article translated

Since I blogged about our win in the North American Tea Championship being reported in the tea grower–artisan's hometown of Aso, Japan, I have received some requests to know what's in the actual article, so here goes:
Aso City: Mr. Nagata's Steamed Green Tea
Even Americans Say, "Wonderful"

In America's largest tea contest, the North American Tea Championship, first place in the "steamed green tea division" was awarded to tea producer Koji Nagata (age 42), of Miyaji, Ichinomiya-cho, Aso City.


In the contest, held in late July in Las Vegas, U.S.A., over 200 teas were submitted in 15 divisions, which included matcha, white tea, pan-fried green tea, and blended tea. Mr. Nagata's "steamed tamaryokucha [curly green tea]" was chosen as the best through a judging in which each tea was scored according to leaf color and shape and the tea's aroma, taste, mouthfeel, and overall balance.


Mr. Nagata has been making tea for 23 years. He cultivates 1.7 hectares of tea plants and has emphasized making fertilizer from manure and reducing agrichemical use.


Eight years ago in Aso, he met Paul Kotta (age 45), who works at an American defense research organization and whose wife is also from Ichinomiya-cho. Liking Mr. Nagata's green tea, he entered it in the contest. [Editor's note: The reporter omits reference to Mellow Monk as his newspaper's rules forbid mentioning companies by name in such stories.]


Part of a trend toward health consciousness, green tea is undergoing a quiet boom in the United States. Mr. Kotta says, "Tea grown in Aso, with its large [temperature] difference between summer and winter, has a good balance of sweetness, bitterness, and savoriness." Says Mr. Nagata: "I was surprised when I learned about the first place win, but I'm glad to see Aso tea recognized overseas."

—Hiroshi Imamura



Koji and his wife, Miho, in their tea field.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Wagashi and a homemade mug

Little Monk made his own tea mug in Japan recently (although the proprietors of the make-your-own-ceramics store fired it for him), we recently used it at tea-and-snack time.





The treats are two Kumamoto specialties — Jindaiko and Mushagaeshi, the latter named for the curved stone walls of Kumamoto Castle, designed to repel climbing enemies.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Kyusu goes topless

During a recent trip to Japan I picked up this Chamiiru kyusu — "Chamiiru" is a brand name that literally means "see tea," which you can do with the Chamiiru as it's open on top instead of having a cover like an ordinary kyusu.

Its "big bowl" shape also allows you to swirl the tea around inside for thorough steeping. (This is done by moving the kyusu in a circular motion but requires practice and care if you don't want to end up reading the wet tea leaves all over your table.)

I'll post a photo of brewing tea with the Chamiiru soon. Stay tuned!


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Green tea and matcha manju

We had a wonderful tea break with Shaded Leaf and some matcha manju. Not manju homemade with Mountain Snow, but still pretty good.





—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gift certificates are here

In response to your many requests, Mellow Monk now has gift certificates.




Share the green. Share the goodness.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Sagaci-tea reviews Top Leaf

Kate at the Sagaci-tea blog has reviewed our Top Leaf, winner of its class at the most recent North American Tea Championship.


Kate makes it a point to "showcase small, independent tea companies," and everyone at Mellow Monk appreciates her kind attention.





Our Top Leaf, about to be brewed for Kate's review.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pairing cheeses with green tea

The plethora of green tea cheesecake recipes is almost proof in and of itself that green tea goes well with cheese.

Well, cheese desserts, anyway.

Now, cheese sommelier Cynthia Gold addresses this underexplored niche in the gourmet world by giving a broad overview of which teas pair well with which gourmet cheeses.

As for green tea and cheese, she write:
Soft or mild creamy cheeses partner beautifully with green teas like Japanese Sencha . . . . The clean, fresh, vegetal tones of the tea, with hints of earthy sweetness, are a wonderful balance for the light, sweet creaminess of a fresh ricotta, mascarpone, or chèvre. [emphasis mine]
But these are, after all, merely guidelines:
In the end, the rules of pairing tea and cheese are subjective. Steep for yourself.
Indeed. I recommend starting this gastronomical journey by sitting down with your favorite green tea — one of ours, maybe? — and a plate of your favorite cheeses. In fact, invite a friend or two over and make an event out of it.

At the very least, it will be an excuse to drink a lot of green tea, eat a lot of cheese, and generally have a good time with friends.

Good food, good drink, and good friends — now there's an ideal pairing.



The Monk tried Frosty Garden with some gruyère, fresh goat cheese, and red Leicester (left to right). The green tea's sweet, clean flavor blended superbly with the sharp taste and light creaminess of the gruyère and the red Leicester but was overpowered by the rich, salty creaminess of the goat cheese.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Thursday, October 13, 2011

An old rooftop in Aso

Here's a picture I took next door to where we filmed the kama-iri scene in Kyushu, Where Japan's Green Tea Grows.





—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Monday, October 10, 2011

Another way green tea keeps off the pounds

Green tea's ability to prevent obesity has been established, although researchers are still trying to determine how, on a molecular level, green tea does it.


Now, a researcher at Penn State has found one such molecular mechanism.


Joshua Lambert, an associate professor of food science, has found that the green tea polyphenol EGCG inhibits the release of a pancreas enzyme that helps digest and absorb fat.


Note that this is just one of the ways green tea inhibits weight gain — there are apparently many others.




Looks like some thoughtful dad is pouring some Crimson Grove, our black tea made from tea plant cultivars bred specifically for green tea.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More Kiva loans

We just made two more loans through Kiva. Mellow Monk supports this microfinance organization as part of our mission to promote sustainable, responsible ways of growing food.


Kiva does this by providing small loans ("microfinance") to independent, family-owned and -operated farms and businesses, which we believe are better stewards of the land and therefore better for all of us in the long run.


Our growers, after all, are proof of what wondrous things small, independent tea artisans can do.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rocket over Mt. Aso

A friend in Aso sent us this photo of a faintly visible rocket contrail over Neko peak (super-big photo here) of Mt. Aso.


The contrail of the H2A rocket is barely visible rising diagonally from the right, crossing the small cloud hovering over the peak's middle "tooth."


Like all H2As, the rocket was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center, on Kagoshima's island of — wait for it — Tanegashima [in Japanese, but lots of nice pics].






—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bringing the good tea news to city hall

Our tea buyer, while in Aso, visited city hall to give them a good story for their newsletter — about a local tea artisan's tea winning first place in its division in the North American Tea Championship.


A lot of the folks there were surprised to say the least — to think that tea from their li'l ol' town could hold its own (and then some) against the big boys!


It just goes to show that the size of a town has nothing to do with the quality of its tea. Or maybe it's even inversely correlated.


The "local boy makes good" story appears [PDF] in the September issue of official city newsletter, Koho Aso.



At Aso City Hall to tell their PR people (person) about Mellow Monk's latest recognition.



Exterior of Aso City Hall


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New review page

We now have a separate page of reviews of our teas, the reviews having outgrown their previous home.


We also have our own page on Steepster.


Our most heartfelt thanks to all the dedicated tea aficionados who have taken the time to review our teas.


And of course thank you to all of our customers, without whom we could not have made it this far. Much mellow to you all.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Monk's tea at Bioneers' silent auction

Bioneers is a group that aims to integrate many causes at a high level.


They're having a silent auction on October 16 in Marin, CA, as part of their 2011 conference, and the Monk's tea will be on the auction block, too.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Sunday, September 18, 2011

CoachArt—the art of improving lives

We recently had the opportunity to meet with some of the great people at CoachArt and hear about their wonderful work.


CoachArt is a nonprofit that provides free lessons in arts and athletics to children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses. These creative and physical outlets provide a much-needed distraction from their condition and gives the children a sense of normalcy. Siblings are also encouraged to take part in the lessons.


If this sounds like something you'd like to support, please read more at CoachArt's website.




A scene at CoachArt's "Saddle Up" horse riding clinic.


—Mellow Monk

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New lower rates for international shipping

In addition to recently offering a "super saver" 1st Class shipping option for our Canadian customers, we now have a much less expensive international shipping option for all other countries outside the U.S., too.


We heard you voices, and we have responded.


To thank you for your patience, here is a photo of an intriguing path beyond a shrine torii in Aso, Japan:





—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Monday, September 12, 2011

Three nif-tea infusers

The tea world is full of creative people, and here I submit three pieces of evidence of my assertion:

  • An hourglass-shaped infuser that looks like an hourglass but also lets you adjust the steeping time by twisting the two halves relative to each other.
  • A single-serving teapot that allows you to control the steeping time by deciding when to push the button, releasing the infusion from the brewing chamber into the pot itself. Ingenious!
  • Tea Duckie, a floating infuser that must also be one of the tea world's cutest brewing implements.

All of these infusers are also proof that more and more people are brewing loose-leaf tea.

Court adjourned — for tea.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Our beautiful trophy

The trophy for our 1st place award in the North American Tea Championship arrived — and it's positively beautiful.

All of us at Mellow Monk would like to thank World Tea Media for organizing the contest.

But we would especially like to thank you, our customers, for helping us get this far in fulfilling our mission .



—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Columnar cloud

I took this photo in Aso City, which is situated inside the Mt. Aso caldera.


The cloud, seemingly supported by the telephone lines, is rising up from behind the caldera's mountainous rim.


From farther away, one could easily mistake this cloudy column for smoke from the volcano, but this spot was actually a couple of miles from the crater itself.





—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Monk's win makes news in Japan, too

In addition to being reported on these shores, Mellow Monk's first-place win at the North American Tea Championship is also making news in the tea artisan's locality.


On the left is a cellphone pic of the article that appeared in the August 18th edition of Kumamoto Prefecture's paper of record, Kumamoto Daily (a.k.a. "Kumanichi").


The Kumanichi reporter who wrote the story sent us the photo used in the article, which was taken at a Kumanichi office. It features the tea artisan who crafts the winning tea along with our tea buyer, who was in the area when we received news from World Tea Media about our 1st place award.





—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Monk brings home a new iced tea from Japan

We just brought in this exciting and delicious new tea from a top-tier artisan in Kumamoto, Japan — Lightly Roasted Iced Green Tea.


His expert use of traditional tea-roasting techniques yields a smokey aroma and a sublimely nutty flavor. The roasting also greatly lowers the tea's caffeine content. What's more, the tea comes in quality sachets and can be cold brewed.


Read more about this wonderful new tea here.





—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Saturday, August 06, 2011

The Monk takes 1st place in the NorthAm Tea Championship!

We just received news that our Top Leaf™ Green Tea won first place in the steamed green tea category at the 2011 North American Tea Championship.


Mellow Monk is grateful to the judges and organizers and everyone else who made the 2011 North American Tea Championship possible.


The grower–artisan from whom we source Top Leaf™ says he is thrilled and humbled. We plan to post an interview with him here soon. Stay tuned!





A scene from the Tea Championship.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Friday, July 29, 2011

Green tea Arnold Palmer

With some homegrown lemons, we made a pitcher of lemonade, and with our Silken Shoots™ Green Tea made a pitcher of iced tea — and mixed the two together to make a green tea Arnold Plamer:





That Silken Shoots Green Tea in the back right; the homemade lemonade on the left.




The sweet citric tartness of the lemonade blended exquisitely with the tea's smooth herbaceousness. In other words &mdash yum!


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Frosty Garden in a mug

Here is some Frosty Garden Green Tea in a largish ceramic mug from Artcraft Gifts, which has some pretty cool mugs.


Frosty Garden is a shiraore, a green tea blended with some tea stems. Note that our shiraore is made with fewer stems that some — just enough to impart a natural smoothness, but without overpowering the flavor of the leaves.





—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Radiation and Japanese tea

TeaMuse has a thorough, well-researched article on radiation in Japan and how it has been affecting tea.


Some bad new, to be sure, but good news for Kumamoto tea (that's us):

Yes, most of Japan’s tea is safe. Tea from the Uji region, and the Yame, Kumamoto, Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures have not been found to have any radiation to date; they are all west of areas where radiation has been found.

And good news for Kyushu tea in general (Kumamoto is on Kyushu):

Japan’s second largest tea growing region is Kagoshima on the island of Kyushu, which thousands of kilometers away from Fukushima – a similar distance separates New York and Denver.

Of course we are all hoping that the crisis in Fukushima is cleared up as soon as possible, and the people of Fukushima come out of this safe and healthy.




A pond near the Shirakawa river fountainhead [suigen], in the foothills of Mt. Aso.




A bridge over Shirakawa river.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Friday, July 08, 2011

Homemade natto

Owen, a friend of the Monk's who lives outside of Vancouver, sent me photos of his amazing natto maker. He says he began intending to make a food dehydrator and later serendipitously found that he was also building a natto maker.


How lucky for him — and for those able to share in his fermented bounty.


If you can't get natto near you, have no fear: natural natto from Megumi Natto can be ordered online.



Where fermentation takes place.



I have tried this natto and can attest that it is excellent.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Update on Kyushu tea

Customers have been asking us whether what’s going on in the Sendai area is affecting the market for tea from Kyushu (such as ours), as it’s the farthest major tea-growing region from Sendai.


(Well, Yakushima is farther, but then the island is quite small, and tea from there is incredibly hard to get.)


The short answer, according to our grower–artisans, is that demand is in fact going up, which is good for them — unless they have to raise prices or reduce their shipments to Mellow Monk.


So far, that is not happening, and we at Mellow Monk are working hard to avoid price increases or stockouts.


Stay tuned, and stay mellow.



A park in the southern half of the Mt. Aso caldera. One of our growers has a tea estate in the foothills just on the other side of the mountain.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Friday, July 01, 2011

Frosty green glass teapot

I brewed some Frosty Garden Green Tea in a glass teapot.


As you can see, glass teapots are nice because they allow you to experience a tea's natural color more fully. In this case, the Frosty Garden's smooth taste and luscious mouthfeel were enhanced by the tea's rich green color.





—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Monday, June 27, 2011

Two for tea from Hokusai

For your serenity now, I humbly offer up two tea-related works from Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849), known today also simply as Hokusai.



Katakura tea Plantation in Suruga.



Koishikawa the night after snowfall, part of the “36 Views of Mt. Fuji” series.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Help us make a difference through Kiva

We just made two new loans to Kiva, which Mellow Monk supports as part of our mission to promote sustainable, responsible ways of growing food.


Kiva — whose motto is "Loans that change lives" — provides microloans to family farms and small, family-run businesses, the kinds of operations that are off the radar of conventional banks.


We would love to have you join our team! You can sign up here. If you have any questions, you can contact Kiva or drop us a line at info at mellowmonk dot com.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mellow magnificence on the guitar

Kindly give a listen to Mellow Monk customer and acoustic guitarist extraordinaire Keegan McClellan playing his composition "Machine Planet":





Word is that the cup seen in Keegan's "Wounded Knee" contains Mellow Monk tea.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Matcha caramel — homemade!

Some of Monk's helpers recently made matcha caramel from scratch using, of course, Mellow Monk's Mountain Snow. The final results were, of course, positively scrumptious.



The ingredients, including our much-lauded matcha Mountain Snow.



Cooking is nearly finished.



The pouring.



The final yummy result. See the whole album here.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Making mellow tea

Here again is a little promotional video we made to put you in the mood to brew — to brew green tea, that is.


And please note that although it may look that way in the video, we do not pour just-boiled water onto the tea leaves, as that would be too hot.


And so, without further ado ...





—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Frozen falls

I am a bit late with this one — a photo sent by a friend in Aso of frozen Koga no Taki (Koga Falls).





—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Brewing loose-leaf on the road

What if you are going somewhere where access to water is iffy — or if there is water but no easy way to boil it — but you still want your fix of loose-leaf tea while you are there?


Well, first of all I recommend taking your own hot water with you in a Thermos. It will keep just-boiled water hot enough for green tea (about 75°C) for an entire day. That will be easier than having to go far out of your way for water or a means of boiling it.


(Just remember that many Thermoses nowadays are so good that even after a half-day, the water inside may be too hot for green tea, so before steeping your tea, pour the water into your cup and let it cool for a couple of minutes.)


If water in the Thermos gets too cool, you could always "touch it up" with a microwave oven, if one is available. (I usually do not recommend microwaves for heating tea water simply because of the plethora of food smells that lurk in most microwaves.)


To keep your water hotter even longer, you can pre-warm the Thermos: Pour boiled water inside, let it sit there for about 5 minutes, pour it back into the kettle and re-boil, then pour it back into the Thermos. Sometimes those last 10 degrees of heat make a huge difference when brewing on the road.


And instead of a teapot, I would take a long a mug and an in-the-cup infuser like this one.


With these three things (plus the tea, of course) you will be a completely self-contained lean, mean brewing machine — with no need to seek out electrical outlets or water sources or microwaves, etc.


A couple of final points: I wouldn't put brewed tea in a Thermos, because the tea's taste (and catechins) degrade quickly inside. And as for those commuter mugs with a built-in infuser, the problem is that the mug part is almost always made of plastic, which I do not recommend for tea.


Happy on-the-road brewing!



That's another way to do it.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Friday, May 06, 2011

Two new Kiva loans

Mellow Monk supports Kiva in keeping with our belief in family-based agriculture, and today we made two new loans.


Like our tea grower–artisans, family farms take better care of the land, we believe, and so promoting family agriculture promotes better stewardship of the Earth.


We would love to have you join our team.








—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Santa Cruz oolong

In recent travels, I stopped in Santa Cruz and enjoyed this tasty, refreshing oolong in a cozy little restaurant on Capitola Road.


And notice the lucky chabashira in the cup.






—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The tea garden that began a life's journey with tea

Peter G., in Amarillo, TX, sent this to share with all of you:

You ask when I first "met" tea. Well, when I was a youngin' in the mid- to late 1970s, my mom would take my bro and me to the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Inside was a tea house, where kimono-clad women would serve green tea, rice crackers, and fortune cookies.

(That's right — fortune cookies. It may seem incongruous now, but it didn't then, and now it turns out the Tea Garden served the first fortune cookies of which there is evidence in the U.S.)

At home in those days, I had no interest in the black tea that my parents' occasionally drank, but for some reason, I would drink the Tea Garden's green tea. Perhaps because of the fancy presentation ... or because it was the only beverage my mother ordered.

I remember the tea's wonderful green color and clean, subtle flavor, with a nutty aroma. (I'm pretty sure the green tea served was genmaicha. Or I at least drank genmaicha there a couple of time.)

The tea house was open on the sides, so you could look out onto the garden and the pond as you sipped your tea [see photo]. Even then, I realized that the garden was a special place. And my bro and I had a blast climbing the high-arched moon bridge, too.

Thirty years later, I am absolutely hooked on tea, and I'm convinced that my experiences at the Tea Garden got me started on the right foot.

Today, I am enjoying your green tea immensely. It really takes me back to those fond days. Thanks for the great tea, and for the memories!

You are most welcome, Peter. I'm glad that tea garden path eventually led you to us.


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Update on our growers

Our growers are all fine. Their tea estates are located over 800 miles away from Sendai, in Kumamoto. In fact, other than Chiran (located another 100 miles or so to the south), the Kumamoto region is probably the farthest tea-growing region from the nuclear site.


Also, our artisanal growers use only locally made materials in the fields, so there is no risk at all of contamination through that route, either.


In addition, the disasters have not disrupted the growers' tea estate operations in any way.


If anything, there could be an increased demand for their tea, precisely because it is far enough from the Sendai region (whereas the well-known Shizuoka region is relatively close) to have escaped both contamination and infrastructure disruption. We do not, however, foresee any shortages just yet.


Thank you for your concern, everyone.



The water wheel at Asobo no Sato, in Minami Aso.



Another shot of beautiful Minamiaso ("South Aso").


—Mellow Monk

 

blog feed, facebook, reviews, steepster, teas, tweets, videos