Our raised bamboo beds and bamboo fence are finished and we are actually eating some of our own home grown food now. The fence has done it's job well in keeping the hungry pigs and racoons out. This time last year when we still had the flimsy excuse for a barrier the pigs or racoons came and devoured all our potatoes, but this year not a single potato has been stolen. 

As there is still so much work to be done in other areas we are not in full production yet but we are doing much better than last year. At the moment we have growing - potatoes, radishes, sweetcorn, aubergines, tomatoes, cucumbers, pak chio, peas, lettuce, carrots, beetroot, asparagus, pumpkins, water melons, peanuts, shizo, parsley, rosemary, camomile, lemon balm, lemon grass, thyme, oregano, basil and mint.

The next step is to get some type of cover down on the paths and we have sourced some free horse manure which we will gradually mix into the beds to improve the soil structure. We put chicken manure down already which has added a lot of nutrients, especially nitrogen, but it hasn't improved the soil structure much which the horse manure will do a better job of. 

Here some pics and thanks to all the volunteers who worked on the garden but are no longer here, sorry you can't eat any of it!

(images will autoplay or manually click the slider arrows to scroll and hover over the pic for names)

  • Mulberry

  • Oregano

  • Camomile

  • Lettuce

  • Shizo

  • Aubergine

  • Tomatoes

  • Herbs

  • Peas.rotated

  • Biwa

  • Parsley

  • Potatoes

  • Radish

  • Pak-Choi

  • Sweetcorn

  • Thyme

  • Carrots

  • Beetroot



One of our recent volunteers, Peter Ugilionici, is an amazing artist, particularly at cartoons. So we asked him to draw our three permanent residents, the real bosses of Slowlife Japan, namely Tama, Mi and Kobe - Chan. When Jonathan bougt the property I think the cats came with it. As you know from out previous article Tama-Chan was recently appointed to the position of Garden Master

If you would like Peter to do some artist for you then we can put you in touch


tama chan for blogMi_Chan_for_blog.png





cats all for blog 

We also built a cat house and put the potraits outside but somehow they must be getting scared off by their own image as they don't seem to use it and prefer to find shelter elsewhere.



At Slow Life Japan we inherited three cats, Tama-Chan, Kobe-Chan and Mi-Chan. How Tama-chan came to be named so by Jonathan was inspired by an article in the orbituary section of British newspaper the Economist dated 2nd July 2015, called Tama-Chan, The Cat's Miaow. 


To read the full article visit https://www.economist.com/obituary/2015/07/02/the-cats-miaow

The story is about Tama, who although was a cat, was also the stationmaster of Kishi station and vice-president of the Wakayama Electric. A level which many people can't get to and quite a responsibility!. Tama was found at the station and being a Tortoise shell immediately stood out as these breed of cats have a long history in Japan of being associated with good fortune. People of all kinds would often and still do keep them around, look after them and give them special roles in return for the expected prosperity and a bit of rodent clearance. 

Kishi station was in dire financial trouble, and after succesfully starting her career bringing fortune to a local greengrocer, Tama was appointed to the role and soon the number of visitors to the station increased as well as the profits by as much as 10% in the first year. She became so popular that people came just to see her and soon she had her own special cat train made, the Tama-densha. The station was even rebuilt to look like Tama-chan and a whole tourist industry with a cafe and souveniers was built up around her.  She worked strict hours, 9 -5 with Sunday's off and even had her own office and uniform. However, the work was fairly easy which involved snoozing around the place and rubbing up against visitors legs. 

According to the Japanese principle of promotion by seniority, she rose effortlessly to super-stationmaster and honorary division chief. She was made an
operating officer of the WER in recognition of her contribution to profits, the first female to be so honoured, and then became company vice-president.

When Tama died thousands attended her funeral at the station and the president of the railway company announced that she would be honoured as a goddess and buried in a Shinto shrine. Since then a new station master has taken over, a cat called Nitama. 

So as of today our very own Tama-chan has now been appointed Slow Life Japan Garden Master, so it looks like Jonathan is now second in command!



Slow Life blog from the Lake District

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Yewbarrow House Gardens

Yewbarrow House Gardens

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