Hey, what are you doing for the rest of your life? No plans? Nothing? Then why not settle down in a 10-room mountain lodge in the Japanese Alps?
It’s called Hoshi Boshi Lodge, or HBL. You can of course change the name of the lodge but part of the joke is that you can answer the phone and say, “Moshi Moshi, Hoshi Boshi!” (Japanese will find it funny.)
Here are more photos of HBL from a website that hasn’t been updated in a long while. My longtime friend, Greg, has owned it for many years, but he rarely uses it as a lodge. Only occasionally does he have guests and even then it’s known only by word of mouth. If you put any effort into it, it can easily be a very viable business. (For those of you who speak English as a second language, “Greg” is an old Native American name derived from inter-marriage between Choctaw tribes and a northwesterly migration of Anasazi Indians that means “Lazy Bastard”.)
His work ethic aside, regarding my last blog post where I say this is my 12th visit to Japan, it is Greg who enables a lot of these visits because I know that coming here is always a relaxing refuge for me—until he starts making me do stuff.
Location, Location, Location
It’s in Sugadaira/Minenohara, the lettuce capital of Japan. In summer it’s busy with rugby and soccer camps and it’s common to see marathon runners training. At about 1400 meters (5000 feet) elevation, it’s perfect weather in summer while lowland Japan is brutally hot and sticky-humid. In winter it’s a skiing and snowboarding mecca. It’s 200km north of Tokyo and 25km from Nagano, where the 1998 Winter Olympics were held.
Speaking of the Olympics, consider this: Tokyo has the 2020 Summer Olympics. Why not contact the Bangladesh Olympic Team and offer them a cheap, quiet place to train? Then you can advertise that HBL was the home of the Bangladesh Olympic team, drawing in all the Bangladeshi backpackers who want to live in the very same hotel as their athletic heroes. Work those synergies! The 2019 Rugby World Cup is in Japan, too.
Greg wants $150,000—I mean, he wants $155,000; The Dromomaniac needs the smallest of commissions—and he wants it in small, unmarked bills sent to his fixer, Fat Tony, in the Cayman Islands. Or a check. I can’t remember.
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