Nova files for bankrupcy

Nova, the English school that I worked for for about 18 months filed for bankrupcy protection late last week. After late payment of wages in September and failed payment (so far) in October, the president, Saruhashi, was fired and replaced.

For months Nova has been heading downhill financially, primairly after a ruling from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry stopping Nova from creating new long-term contracts. Following that there was a run on the compnay as students who feared that the company might shut down rushed in to cancel their contracts and get their money (or as much of it as they could) back. Bascially this has, in escence, had the same result as a run on a bank where everybody tries to get the money out of the bank at the same time. Since the bank has lent the money out to other people, they don’t have enough to cover everybody and goes into involvency.
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Back From my trip

I’m back from my trip to see the leaves in Gunma, Tochigi and Nagano prefectures. Although it didn’t really go as originally planned. I never actually made it to nagano.

Nikko and Oku-Nikko were both so beautiful that I decided to stick it out there and only wound up riding about 300km in all. Everything was beautiful shades of yellow. Especially in the high elevations (around 1700-2000m) the boreal (pine) forests’ needles were changing shades of green to yellow which looked so beautiful on the mountain side.

However, I did wind up cutting it short because it looking like it was going to (and actually did) rain no Friday and Saturday and possibly Sunday. It was pretty drizzly on Friday and – back in Tokyo – was a downpour all day Saturday

Photos to come.

Leaving for tour of Kita-Kanto and Shinshu

After getting sick this week, I decided to delay my depature for a day and will leave midday today. A bit later than I had wanted, but its probably best to make sure that I am healty before I go. I will probably be riding for 6 or 7 days starting in Maebashi. I have not decide where I will finish, either Matsumoto or possibily riding out to see a bicycle race at Fuji Speedway where a bunch of my friends are riding.

Tour de Kita-Kanto

Well, I am off on my bicycle again. I took a week off from work and will be leaving the week after next (most likely on the 20th) for a tour through the mountains north of Tokyo and through to Nagano. The route isn’t really cut into stone yet, but the plan is to cover Nikko, Minakami and Karuizawa.

It is going to be quite a bit colder than the previous tour that I did so I have to get out this week and buy a better sleeping bag (probably good to -3C) as well as some clothes.

I figure the low end of the tempertaures will be in the 0C range at night which is a bit on the chilly side. However it is right in the middle of the “turning of the leaves” season here in Japan, so hopefully I am in for some spectacular scenery.