I went into my BoE today to discover all but two staff members had taken the day off as holiday. I was informed that this weekend was Obon, the Japanese festival of the dead (blog coming soon), and that I could take the day off.
I'm now by the screen door or my front room, fan blowing gently, listening to the wonderful sounds of the Japanese inaka outside. My current state of mind is so incredibly peaceful and relaxed right now. I can hear the little stream outside my window trickling gently, as well as birds, cicada's and other wee beasties making their calls and cries.
As you can see in the photo above, the view is wonderfully green and tranquil. The green is a paddy of ina (rice plants; the processed grain is called gohan). The little drainage stream is between the ina and the dried grass in the foreground. In the background you can see some Japanese homes in my village.