Tag Archives: 島田

Shizuoka Hotsprings: Sumatakyo-Part 2

Check the Hotel Homepage for more information (Japanese)!

Now, how much did we pay for one night at Suikoen Hotel, thebest one in Sumatakyo, lost in the southern Japan Alps with full dinner, breakfast and onsen bath/hotsprings bath?
130 US $ each, not bad!

Meals are taken early in Japanese hotsprings hotels.
Ours was launched at 6:00 p.m.!
A plate of zensai/appetizers was waiting for us. I can’t remember all the descriptions as I had no time to jot down anything, waht with being busy the pics (with a mobile phone, which is not the perfect way! Sorry) and the Missus waiting impatiently!

Bamboo Shoot

Vegetarian sushi with rice steamed in green tea.

Stewed mushrooms and pickled ginger.

Kogomi/fern, moutain vegetable.

Tea leaves tempura.

Fuki, mountain vegetable

And the procession of appetizers continued with stewed cold chicken and boiled vegetables,

yam, pickled wasabi and myoga ginger,

grilled yamame, you can eat the whole!

Japanese-style bbq with pork and vegetables and miso paste,

20 minutes later!

Shika tataki/Seared venison sashimi (the venison comes from wild deer in the nearvy mountains!),

an interesting “sashimi plate”: gomadofu/sesame tofu, salmon and konnyaku/devil’s tongue tuber jelly mixed with local green tea!

I don’t know too much baout this one. All I know is that it was made with azuki beans, yam and tofu. Very hearty!

Chinese-style fried salmon with sweet and sour sauce,

tsukemono, Japanese pickles,

Yamasemi (Mountain Kingfisher) white wine from Nagano Precture (extra fee!),

Freshly steamed rice is brought inside a double-lid pot,

so simple and delicious!

Miso soup, naturally,

Kawane Green Tea (did I tell you that Shizuoka Prefecture produces more than 45% of all green tea in Japan?)!

And Kawane green tea jelly for dessert!

before taking our first bath of the day, we took time to admire the carps in the garden pond!

The entrance of the hot baths…

The noren/curtain barring the view of the hot baths for men.
”男” means “men”. Don’t make a mistake!

The noren/curtain barring the view of the hot baths for women/ladies.
”女” means “women”. Don’t make a mistake again!

The “venues are switched every 12 hours. Do be careful and check! LOL

A view of the “make-up” room.

The indoor bath.

Scrub yourself before entering any bath!

Rotenburo/露天風呂/outdoors bath. A bit small, I must admit!

The relaxation room by the outdoors bath.
Do not trust the scales!

We did dip in the baths the next day before and after breakfast.
The breakfast was the all you can eat self-service style, both European and Japanese style. Above was my first helping (European).

I was really hungry after allthe walking the day before (and more coming on taht day!), I couldn’t help wolfing down another, Japanese-style, breakfast!

All considered, a good enough hotel, good steady food and very reasonable. Definitely recommended!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Ideal Party

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

Shizuoka Hotsprings: Sumatakyo-Part 1

Suikoen Hotel entrance in Sumatakyo

The Missus and I finally found a couple of days off work to go to a favourite destination of ours: Hotsprings.
Shizuoka Prefecture is probably the most famous region in Japan for such a venue.
Hotels, Ryokans (inns) and Minshuku (Pensions) can wildly vary in prices, services and meals served, but my other half is a wizard (sorry, witch!) when it comes to find out the best deal out of the Internet.
She planned the whole trip as my experience has taught me it is better this way in spite of all the grumbling (why do I have to do everything?….).
The following three articles are a journal of the two days spent together (in bliss?) along the railway tracks and mountain lanes in search for simple pleasures!

Kanaya Railway Station, Oi River Railroad (minuscule!)

We left Shizuoka City (Higashi Shizuoka Station) at 09:56 and reached Kanaya Station at 10:34 using the Tokaido Railway Line.

Before buying our tickets, we checked with the small food stand at Kanaya Oi River Railroad Station (next to Kanaya Station) as they always sell good local ekiben/railway line bento!

Large signs across the track made sure you know your destination!

We ignored the SL train as we were planning to board it on our return and instead used the diesel-pulled train. No need to say that all trains along the Oi River Railroad track are crowded with train buffs on week-ends!

That railroad is mainly a single-track line except inside stations (and not all at that!).

My bento box!
I wrote an extensive article at Ekiben/Railway Station Lunch Boxes-Bento 8!

It even contained a postcard!

The food inside!

The bento chosen by the Missus!

The food inside!

Cute SL train-shaped soy sauce container!

Green tea rasks for dessert!

Kawane Green tea to washi it down. Don’t forget that Shizuoka Prefecture produces more than 45% of all green tea in Japan and the area we are going to cross on our way, Kawane, is the major green tea producing area!

Although the train runs along the Oi River between montains, thereis plenty of place for (tea) farming.

Tea fields everywhere!

This is the season and farmers are busy even on Sunday! You will find very few recreation spaces there as farmers are just too tired at the end of the day!

The Oi River has always been a major river in Japan! For once the weather was clement!

Wherever you go in Jpaan, you will discover ball parks where Elementary School kids are eager to show off their new uniforms!

We left Kanaya at 10:49 to reach Senzu Station, the last station for that particular train. Nice natural decoration!

A view of Senzu Station, which stands pretty high in the South Japanese Alps!

We had arrived at Senzu Station 12:04 and still had sometime before taking the bus to Sumatakyo at 13:30. We were getting a bit hungry. Luckily we noticed a gentleman grilling/bbq-ing large yamame!

Yamame (山女 or “Mountain Woman” in Japanese!) is a kind of trout, either called Japanese trout or Seema.

One can either eat wild ones or pond-raised ones. These fat samples are raised in local ponds fed with fresh mountain waters. Griiled with salt/shoyaki/塩焼き, they are succulent. You can eat the skin, too!

Almost “next door” to Senzu Station stands a very interesting museum dedicated to sound in their many form, natural or devised.
The place is called Otogi No Sato/Sound Village.
Check their (Japanese) HOMEPAGE.
I was particularly interested in the “percussion faces”.

Long teeth!

Another one for a music-loving dentist?

Another one for hard hitting!

We finally reached our destination Suikoen Spa Hotel at 14:10.
Now, who is that lady?
Check the Hotel Homepage for more information (Japanese)!

I can assure you they will never lack water to turn that wheel!

Hotel lobby sitting room.

The lobby seen from the inside courtyard.

The same from another angle.

A small but scenic courtyard, indeed, with the nearby wooded mountains.

A small carp pond, naturally!

A traditional irori/囲炉裏 with a real charcoal fire!

As we still had plenty of time until dinner (served at 18:00, a bit early by Western standards!), we took the opportunity to visit the locality!

A traditonal minshuku/民宿 or pension.

Narrow streets with plenty of verdant nature!

Rivers and waterfalls running through the village!

Traditional Houses and shops.
And then it was time for dinner, but that is for Part 2!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Ideal Party

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

Ekiben/Railway Station Lunch Boxes-Bento 8

Just came back for a tw0-day, one-night trip to Sumatakyo Hotsprings at the foot of the Southern Alps in Northern Shizuoka Prefecture.
We took our last train from Kanaya Oi River Railway Station (private railway) and bought our ekiben (railway Station Lunch boxes) there before boarding the diesel train (we took the steam locomotive on the way back).
A series of three articles are coming soon to describe that trip in detail!

The bento I chose was called “Oikawa Furusuato Bento/Oi River Hometown Bento” and was commemorating the C11 SL.
It included Sato Imo/taro on a stick with sweet miso sauce, Tamahoyaki, Takenoko/bamboo shoot, Fried and sweetened Sakura ebi/Cherry shrimps, Gobo/Burdock root, Chicken Karaage/Deep-fried Chicken, yama imo/yam seasoned with umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums and amazu/sweet rice vinegar, Yamame trout (Japanese trout) and two nigiri wrapped in seaweed.

The Yamame trout had been simmered for a long time in soy sauce, mirin and sugar. The whole was edible, head, tail and bones included!

The bento included a complimentary postcard of the SL locomotive and chopsticks in original paper wrapping.

Even the soy sauce was included inside an SL-shaped tube!

The Missus chose the “Shimada Hatsu Shizuoka Aji Monogatari Bento/Shimada Start Shizuoka Taste Story Bento”. It is the second time she had it but the contents were slightly different from last year. Th saber-dancing samurai is a figure of a very famous matsuri/festivaltaking place every 3 years in Shimada City where Kanaya is located!

It contained a Sakura ebi nigiri, Unagi Nori Maki/Ell sushi roll, Wasabituke/wasabi plants pickled in sake white lees in its little container, Tea tempura, Menchi Katsu/Minced pork croquettes, Kuro Hanpen/Sardine paste, Take no ko and sato imo (nimono/stewed, kamaboko/fish paste “flower”, lychee and mikan!

And we had cold tea from Kawane (the region covering the area between Kanay and the Southern Japanese Alps, one of the best tea areas inJapan!) to wash it down!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Ideal Party

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

The Tea Museum/O Cha No Sato

TEA-MUSEUM-2

Shizuoka Prefecture produces between 45 and 55% of all green tea in Japan depending on the year and official surveys. Moreover, 70% of all tea made in this island finds it way every year at auctions and sales held within the confines of this central Prefecture.

The Tea Museum in Kanaya, Shimada City, would be a sufficient reason to visit this relatively unknown tourist destination, but you could also include it in a grander tour as it stands near Shin Kanaya Station where you could board one of three daily Steam Locomotive trains running up to Senzu Hot Spring resorts along the Oi River and unending tea fields. Another option would be to walk along the Old Tokaido Paved Road through mountain and forest, or along the main road circling its way up over beautiful vistas of the Oi River and its surrounding landscapes.

TEA-MUSEUM-3
Tea leaves Exhibit

Serving and drinking a cup of tea is an exchange of hospitality. It is evident that tea is in fact one of the very foundations of Japanese culture.
At The Tea Museum you can learn by experiencing its history and culture hands-on

TEA-MUSEUM-4
Tea leaves Exhibit

Tea has its origin in the mountain ranges of Asia. Its culture was developed in China and Japan, and later all over the World. People and environment each play a part in the way tea is enjoyed with amazing variations.
Here in Japan drinking tea takes root very deeply.
However because tea is such a part of our everyday lives we perhaps have come to value it less.
The Tea Museum, therefore, invites everyone to reconsider the original meaning of tea through many exhibits of tea life in the World.

TEA-MUSEUM-5
Huxinting/湖心亭 Tea Room in Shanghai

First, as you enter the small lobby leading to the exhibition rooms, you will be offered a cup of tea from Kanaya and invited to check the ninety varieties of tea from thirty countries displayed inside glass drawers you may open to feel and smell their contents!
Then, as you follow the visit route, you will discover the highly sophisticated ambiance of Chinese Imperial Era inside the reproduction of the famous Huxinting/湖心亭 Tea Room in Shanghai, the simplicity of a typical Tibetan house in Nepal, the great setting from a Turkish Restaurant in Ankara, or the quaint atmosphere of a traditional British household!

TEA-MUSEUM-6
Samovar and tea utensils from Russia

Other exhibits include a replica of one of the oldest tea trees in the World, from Yuna, China, a scaled down landscape of tea fields, farms and growers in Japan, and the History of Tea in Japan.

TEA-MUSEUM-8
Grinding your own matcha!
Check this site for more information!

Real tea lovers will also be able to sample and grind their own matcha tea in situ!

TEA-MUSEUM-1
Tea House Garden

Now, the main attraction is the Japanese Tea House/Ocha no Sato-お茶の里!
The tea house, tea rooms and extensive garden are reconstructions of original architectural works of Kobori Enshu-小堀遠州 (1579~1647), a renown magistrate and tea master from the early Edo Era.
The east garden of the Sento Palace in Kyoto, the residence of Emperor Gomizunao-o after he abdicated the throne in 1629, has been recreated there.
The Japanese garden is open to visitors free of charge.
Before entering the tea house, walk along the Yatsuhashi-八橋 (eight-wooden plank bridge), enter the house through Kouhoukyo-向峯居, the arbor of the official residence for the Chief Administrative Judge of Fushimi, and visit Taiunkaku-対雲閣, tea room from the Iwashimizu-hachimangu Temple and Rinsuitei-臨水亭, tea room of the official residence of the Chief Administrative Judge of Fushimi.

TEA-MUSEUM-7
Tea History in Japan

Before leaving the Tea Museum pay a visit to the small but very interesting library if you can read Japanese, the Yume Ichiba Shop to purchase local products and souvenirs or Restaurant Moegi for a well-earned refreshment!

Access:
Train: 5 minutes by bus or taxi from Kanaya Station on the JR Tokaido Line.
Car: 10 minutes by car from Sagara/Makinohara I.C. on Tomei Expressway
Or 15 minutes from Ojiro I.C. Bypass

Museum visitor’s regular exhibition fee: 600 yen per adult. Cheaper for students, groups and disabled people.
Service hours: 9:00 a.m.~5:00 p.m.
Museum and Teahouse visitor fee: 1,00 yen per adult. Cheaper for students, groups and disabled people.
Service hours: 9:30 a.m.~4:00 p.m.

The teahouse only admission is 500 yen per person (no discount)

Address: The Tea Musuem/Ocanosato, 3053-2, Kanaya, Shimada Shi, Shizuoka Ken, 428-0022 Japan
Tel: (81)0547-46-5588
Fax: (81)0547-46-5577
Closed every Tuesday (the following day when Tuesday is a National Holiday), December 29th~January 3rd.
Parking: free of charge for 9 large buses and 90 cars.

HOMEPAGE

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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