Thanks for all the nice welcome messages!
But yes, the whole Tohoku area is quite beautiful. We just passed the magical week or two each year in which all the rice paddies are filled with water, and the whole land looks like a vast mirror - especially if you look down on it from a mountain. But the shoots are out now, and it's over until next year.
Living here has definitely been an experience for me, after growing up in the Orkney Islands, surrounded by farms.
It's amazing to find so many people with Japanese connections on this forum! Nice to meet you.
I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this. Thanks for letting me know!