Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Shinbayashi park is a pretty park about fifteen minutes on foot from Fujisawa station.
There is an old-fashioned thatch-roofed house there, some lovely trees, and a mildly steep trail that rewards with a view from the top of the surrounding city.

It's not a park that I would specially recommend traveling a great distance to visit, but it's a nice stop if you're in the area.

In the area I was, researching a story about country music in the Kanto area. One of the stops on my schedule was Stagecoach.

Stagecoach's proprietor is a really nice guy named Satoshi Katayama. On the night that I went, it was pretty quiet. There was another customer, who looked about 70, and had with him about a dozen harmonicas, one in every key. He told me proudly that they were Tombo harmonicas, a Japanese manufacturer. He got on stage and performed J-versions of Bridge Over Troubled Water and Blowin' in the Wind. I liked him.

Then Katayama got on stage and played a few tunes: Merle Haggard, Hank Williams. He beckoned me up. I demurred. He cajoled. I declined. He insisted. I was hauled onstage to sing. I picked the first one I knew in his playbook, which was Bye Bye Love. Everly Brothers. He strummed; I sang; Mr. Harmonica took video.

They're very nice there. I recommend it. Then again, I enjoy hanging out with septuagenarians.


  1. I know this Stagecoach but I have not been there.u-nn,They(old-man and "country road" generation
    ) usually sing old country music.Of course I like the simple good old music like Johnny Cash but I don't know a lot of old songs.

  2. I prefer old country to new, though there are a few new things that I like. Do you like new country?

  3. Alan Jackson,LeAnn Rimes,Deana Carter,Martina McBride,Mary Chapin Carpenterよく聴きました。
    I like Mary's "Why Walk When You Can Fly".Her voice is warm and simplicity.
    LeAnn has a powerful voice but I sometimes feel it too loud.
    She sings old country though I like originals.

  4. I like Mary Chapin Carpenter best of those. Other great female vocalists are Emmylou Harris and Loretta Lynn. Patsy Cline for old stuff. Alison Krauss for bluegrass.