FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Snow Hut Village Restaurant (Jan. 30 - Feb 28)
Nothing beats warming up with a hot pot in winter. Except perhaps if you are having your hot meal while enjoying some winter scenery. Each year in the heart of winter, about 50 snow huts of various sizes appear at the Snow Hut Village in Shinadaira, Nagano Prefecture.
Enjoy the local specialities such as the “Noshiro-nabe,” cooked with a variety of fresh vegetables, mushrooms, meat and tasty Shinshu miso soup. Other local dishes are also available, and visitors are welcome to bring their own food and drinks and enjoy the friendly snowy atmosphere.
Open: Jan. 30 - Feb 28; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (Reservation required)
Location: Shinanodaira, Nagano
Tel: (0269) 62-2225 (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
Nabe (Hot Pot) ¥1,000
SNOW HUT RENTAL
¥500 per hour per person (includes charcoal stove, coals, grill)
Feb. 13-14: Snow hut festival / かまくら祭り
Start the New Year Doing Good
“Earth Day Money” is a volunteer reward system for people or organizations doing good eco-deeds through volunteer activities or donations. Award winners can swap points for discounts or presents at participating shops and events. The site is currently only in Japanese, but there are plans to have English pages up in the near future. For now inquiries in English can be made by e-mail (email@example.com) or by calling (03)3498-6522.
If you want to start the new year by volunteering but not sure what to do or where to start, the people at Service Grant may be able to help. The NPO offers consulting services to help people put their professional skills and experiences to work. English inquires can be made by e-mail ( firstname.lastname@example.org).
For your clean, green, active lifestyle
Small everyday habits can make a big change. A growing recycling network is benefiting children in developing countries. The aim of the movement is to collect plastic caps and donate the sales to fund children’s vaccines. Individuals or organizations can take part and there are places to drop off used caps all over Japan. Today only 37% of plastic bottles are recycled. The movement started when high school students in Kanagawa Prefecture decided “throwing away used plastic bottle caps was a waste.” Within the first six months of they year they managed to raise funds through collecting caps to donate 425,000 vaccines costing ¥20 each. The next time you think about tossing your plastic cap, remember it can either be turned into CO2 generating garbage or something that could helps save people’s life.
Web Notes: NPO Ecocap Movement