For all the J-Pop or singer-songwriter fans out there (or anyone who enjoys some easy, uplifting tunes), I’d like to introduce a musical duo called Kotonoha, made up of a couple native Shimaneians* named Moe and Yuka.

This first video was features western Shimane in the towns of Tsuwano, Masuda, Hamada, and Gotsu.

This one takes place on the Oki Islands.

And here’s one in Izumo.

More information here on the website, though it’s all in Japanese:

Shimane map: Oki, Matsue, Izumo, Gotsu, Hamada, Masuda, Tsuwano

These a few of the places where you might be able to take part in a homestay during the 23rd Japan-America Grassroots Summit in Summer 2013. This is a very good opportunity for any Americans of any age, occupation, or language level to visit Japan and have a very authentic experience, so please look into it and pass the information along to anyone you know who may be interested.

*Or as some of the CIRs and I have taken to referring to ourselves, “Shimaniacs”