July 27: The 25th Yufuin Music Festival starts
by Mie
The 25th Yufuin Music Festival (YMF) will welcome artists to Yufuin tomorrow. Staff is busy in checking the final preparation. We two will stay in Yufuin from today through the end of the Festival. We came up to usual Kotokotoya restaurant at 7:30 p.m. for the final meeting. I found there a crew of NHK TV, who is making interview with Mr. Masakuni Kato, the general secretariat of the YMF, or taking commemorative pictures of the late Mr. Toshio Kuronuma who had brought up YMF for many years. NHK will make a program of YMF in commemoration with its 25th anniversary.
The staff made the last check in two groups, male and female, and confirmed each other. In the female group, many trivial rolls were assigned to each member. The staff is stamping a YMF mark on the shopping bags. We made up our mind anew to work for the Festival hard, but with joyfully. After the meeting, we two moved to Kanakana-tei in which we stay every year during the Festival.
July 28: Cleaning up of the site
by Mie
From 10:30 a.m., male staff is building up the stage by setting a large sound reflector on the stage. They work quickly as usual year. The reflector will help artists play wonderful sound of music.
After the setting up, female staff joined and cleaned the stage quickly for the piano that has just arrived.
The piano weighs more than 400 Kilograms, four staffs carry it up onto the stage. I was kept in suspence by watching the work, but they were professional, anyway. The piano was set in the right position safely.
Soon, the piano is tuned up by a tuner from Yamaha, he said that the piano was in a good condition. We check the old seats, some of them need instant repair. The TV crew takes pictures of the preparation.

Now, the concert stage and lobby were cleaned up. I visited -an restaurant in Kamenoi Besso hotel. The restaurant has been under refurbishing for a year and was opened anew early this month. The restaurant inherits wonderful designs of the old model.
A brilliant bunch of hanging-down ground cherry catches the eyes of the visitors. Behind the bunch is an open kitchen in which famous foods like Ayu fish or juicy Bungo beef is grilled.

Refreshing cool breeze blows through the high ceiling spacious restaurant. Old thick timber structure creates a kind of objet d'art.

According to the recommendation, we took a dish of Hiyamugi, wheat noodles cooled on ice, and am omelet dish that may serve for two. The omelet contains many pieces of local chicken wrapped with the thick skin of the tasty egg. Japanese leek dotted on the top releases a refreshing flavor in the mouth. The light-salted soup enhances the taste of the omelet.

While we were enjoy the lunch, we got a call from Kotokotoya, that said Ms. Yoshimoto has just arrived. She is one of my close Internet friend who once lived in San Jose, and we were guided to San Francisco during our two-months travel in the US last summer. She moved to Japan this April and is now an assistant professor of Yamaguchi prefectural college in western Japan. She drove down to Yufuin this time to us as staff. In Kotokotoya, she has already chatting with key persons like Masakuni Kato and Misako Fuchino.
What was happy, many people in Yufuin welcomed her. She will stay in Kanakana-tei together with us from tonight. From left, Ms. Misako Fuchino of Kotokotoya, Mie, Ms. Yoshimoto, and Mr. Taro Nakaya of Kamenoi Besso Hotel.
We arrived dear old Kanakana-tei. A big old carp in the pond welcomed us as well. In the shade of the thick tree are two cars, new Pajero of Ms. Yoshimoto and our old Honda Accord.
We went to Tanaka Inn where an introduction meeting with the artists and the staff was to be held at 7 p.m. Ms. Misako Kouno (left), a pianist, and Ms. Kazumi Minokuchi, a stage producer of Casarus Hall in Tokyo. They are checking the rehearsal schedule of the artists on a note PC.
we took a dinner together with the artists and introduced each other. My husband sent Mr. Kobayashi, a prominent harpsichord artist, to the hotel. Ms. Yoshimoto and I took Miss Emi Kobayashi, a young beautiful violinist, to her hotel. We at last got in Kanakana-tei and toasted to start a short stay here. My husband has already working on his note PC.

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