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Today we explored Ikusaka walking from the house down to the river and then up to Nonoka Grape Farm and on up a hiking trail into the mountains. Ikusaka is a grape growing region and Nonoka Grape Farm is located above the village with the snow capped mountains of the Northern Alps lining the horizon. We discovered they also have an apple orchard in Shiojiri city south of Matsumoto. It will be fun to talk with the owner if we have the chance. Although we couldn’t follow the hiking trail all the way to the peak this time we had a breathtaking view over Ikusaka and the Sai river valley.

On the way back to the house we passed a cooking lesson where they were learning to cook Oyaki which is a kind of stuffed dumpling and a local speciality. They had the windows open and everyone waved as we passed.

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