September 2 traveled to Hokuto City（北杜）in Yamanashi Prefecture with Itonaga-sensei and members of BeGood Cafe. In the morning visited Egao-Tsunagete（えがおつなげて), an amazing NPO reviving rural communities through sustainable agriculture and forestry. In the afternoon visited the site where Amita Corporation plans on establishing their third forest dairy operation. In Kyotango(京丹後）in Kyoto Prefecture and Nasu in Tochigi Prefecture, Amita has established organic dairy cattle and forestry operations. Dairy cattle clear under brush and the timber is sold FSC certified.
September 3 traveled to Myokokogen (妙高高原）in Niigata Prefecture, near the Japan Sea. Installed temperature and relative humidity sensors in Mr. Genzo SUGIURA's （杉浦勇二さん）straw bale home known as Warishinoya（藁石の家) http://blog.livedoor.jp/warayar9/. Warishinoya utilizes a "rain scree" to prevent rain and snow from direct contact with the straw bale and earthen plaster walls. I suspect rain screens would help reduce interstitial humidity levels in straw bale walls in Japan, but have no data to support that opinion. In one location, I installed three interstitial temperature and relative humidity sensors: one near the exterior plaster, one in the middle of the bale wall, and one near the interior plaster. I also measured straw moisture content at two different heights and various depths. Given that August and September are generally the months with the highest relative humidity within straw bale walls in Japan, Warishinoya had very low moisture content measurements.
September 4 traveled to Kobuchizawa in Yamanashi Prefecture and collected data from Waraya (藁舎). Have collected two full years of data and have decided to discontinue monitoring Waraya. Removed the sensors, packed up, and traveled to Kawaguchiko in Yamanashi Prefecture, near Mt. Fuji. Visited Earth Embassy http://www.earthembassy.org/, which includes a cafe, guesthouse, and organic farm run by Jake Reiner. I visited Earth Embassy seven years ago in August 2002. Jake also directs Eden Homes http://edenhomes.blogspot.com/, which renovates Japanese timber-framed homes with environmentally friendly materials.
Spent the night at Earth Embassy and returned to Fujisawa on September 5.