Howie Hayman

A story about an international couple raising and home educating three young boys on a small island in Japan, half living in buses, engaged in organic, self-sufficient farming in the middle of a mountain forest while dealing with climate, cultural, and personal challenges. These pages are about pretty much anything and everything all guided by our family motto, Taking Chances, Making Changes, Being Happy. Thank you very much for joining us on our ongoing crazy adventure.
Our Tanegashima Story

The decision to move to Tanegashima was a bit of a surprise for family and friends, although they are pretty much used to me doing these kinds of "crazy" things. We went through a lot to get to this place, including four international moves. The moves, the island house, and getting set up, all proved to be very challenging but the benefits of being on this island are worth the difficulties. I decided to put our Tanegashima story online in order to provide additional information about the island (information in English is minimal at best) including small points which you cannot find elsewhere online. These small details might prove useful to those of you planning to visit Tanegashima or even to travelers to other places in Japan. I am hoping these pages might also serve as inspiration for those of you who are contemplating moving to a new place and a bit nervous. Hopefully you enjoy our story. Thank you for joining us on our ongoing island adventure.

Note: There are many gaps in our story during times I was simply too busy to be on the computer like our four international moves, when we purchased our present home, and when we purchased our mountain. I plan to fill in the gaps during 2024.

STORY - 2024
Story 2024
HAPPY NEW YEAR. Already a very busy year up at our mountain. A roof over the buses and an outside kitchen.

STORY - 2023
Story 2023
Another busy year up at our mountain with all of us working to make a healthy forest and comfortable living space.

STORY - 2022
Story 2022
Up at our mountain a few days after New Years. This was our first full year working on the forest.

STORY - 2021
Story 2021
We purchased our 4.5 acre forested mountain on this small island and the adventures began.

STORY - 2020
Story 2020
This was both an exciting year and a difficult year for us. We were happy to welcome our third son into the world.

STORY - 2019
Story 2019
A nice new years and then we were hit with a pretty strong earthquake with the epicenter only about ten kilometers from the house.

STORY - 2018
Story 2018
A new years ride on a train and the mystery bowl of ramen.

STORY - 2017
Story 2017
Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Years. A bit of traditional Japanese food.

STORY - 2016
Story 2016
This was a really good year for us. We were happy to welcome our second son into the world.

STORY - 2015
Story 2015
This was actually our first full year on the island. This years was incredible with parties, festivals, and rocket launches.

STORY - 2014
Story 2014
A really fun year and the beginning of our island adventures. Much of this year was spent setting up and getting used to this place.

STORY - 2013
Story 2013
The year began with a visit to America. We returned to Japan and ate a lot of conveyor belt sushi.

STORY - 2012
Story 2012
A few small house parties and then traveled to America for a three month vacation.

STORY - 2011
Story 2011
Many fun house parties. A strong earthquake hit Japan. A lot of trips to our favorite coffee shop.

STORY - 2010
Story 2010
Purchased the house in Nara and begin renovations. A bunch of parties, festivals, and camping.

STORY - 2009
Story 2009
A year of change. Almost bought a house in New York State. Then permanently moved to Japan.
STORY - Ancient History
Story Ancient History
I was born and raised in Kenmore, New York, a little village north of Buffalo, New York and damn proud of it. The climate was difficult, to say the least, with strong winds, freezing temperatures, and an unreal amount of snow some years. Certainly growing up in a place this builds character. I keep very fond memories of this place and my old house....the home in the picture.