Venetia Stanley-Smith was born in England. She grew up in Jersey, the Channel Islands, Spain and Switzerland.
When she was 19 she travelled overland to India in order to discover the true purpose and meaning of what it is to be alive.
She met a young enlightend teacher called Prem Rawat, who was then twelve years old. She stayed at his ashram in Hardwar and listened to his discourses and was amazed by his clarity and insight.
Through his techniques for finding serenity within, which he calls Knowledge, she began to discover the answers to her questions, lie within herself.
In 1971 she decided to travel onto Japan and arrived by boat in Kagoshima from Hongkong. After living in Tokyo and Okayama, she settled down in Kyoto.
1n 1978 she founded her English school Venetia International, where she is still teaching English and herbal workshops.
1n 1996 she and her husband Tadashi Kajiyama moved to Ohara a beautiful valley, twenty minutes drive from Kyoto.
She also writes with her husband, articles about gardening, herbs, nature and lifestyle for many Japanese publications.
She is a mother of four children and two grand-children.
Tadashi Kajiyama, Alpine photographer was born in Nagasaki, Japan.
In 1984 he went to India to learn about alternative ways of living. He climbed in the Himalayas and travelled around India for almost a year.
On his return to Kyoto, he started the popular Indian Restaurant Didis, which he still runs.
He has been a fulltime photographer, since he married Venetia in 1992.
He spends all his free time mountaineering, rock climbing and mountain skiing.
He has built up an extensive photo library of mountains, nature and outdoor sports. He has also written many articles for many of the major mountaineering and nature publications and magazines in Japan.He also loves to go canoeing with his young son Eugene!