Jiri Kotynek（Nihonkai Club）
My name is Jiri Kotynek. I moved to Noto from the Czech Republic in 2005. People call me “Kochas.” I work as the braumeister for Heart & Beer Nihonkai Club. I studied at a brewing school for four years in the Czech Republic, the home of beer. After I graduated, I worked at a large beer brewery for about a decade, making beer. What brought me to Noto was when someone from my school who had graduated ahead of me asked me if I wanted to work at Heart & Beer Nihonkai Club.
“A relaxed lifestyle where you can be true to yourself.”
The Joys of Fresh Seafood and the Slow Life
I’ve traveled all around Japan, but in the end I just like Noto best. I like the old-fashioned rural atmosphere, with the beautiful mountains and the sea. In the Czech Republic, I was always pressed for time and lived a busy lifestyle. When I came to Noto, though, I found that time felt like it passed much more slowly here, and I felt like that lifestyle fit me better.
That, and the food here is outstanding. The Czech Republic is a landlocked country, so you can’t really get fresh seafood there. When I came to Noto, I was struck by how much fresh fish was available here — I love sashimi andsushi. I also like the way there are strawberry, blueberry, and watermelon farms here, and sake breweries, too. Strawberries are my favorite food, so when strawberry season comes, every year I head out to a farm to pick strawberries. I gopick blueberries every year, too.
The Incredible Festivals of Noto
The festivals here in Noto are very impressive — they’re so much fun. Get in the sea, build a fire… There are beautiful fireworks, too. The first festival I saw after I came to Japan was one of Noto’s festivals. I remember thinking that it looked dangerous, yet everyone was having so much fun.
In summer, I’ll go to Goshikigahama beach or Hachigasaki beach for swimming or snorkeling, to enjoy nature. When I have a lot of time off, I’ll travel to other prefectures or hang out with friends from the Czech Republic or nearby prefectures who have come to Noto, and we’ll grill food and have a party. I’ll also call my family back in the Czech Republic on Skype from time to time to let them know how I’m doing.
Try the Local Foods and Meet the Local People
Come to Noto and try the local beer and sake, eat the local foods, and meet the local people for a great time. You can experience the real Japan here.