Sights in Shizuoka
Trip Start May 20, 2010
48Trip End Sep 09, 2010
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Last night as we travelled to what N&N call their Shizuoka "Country house" I knew that we had gained altitude, as from the coastal city of Atami, it was just up, up and up all the
way to Tannami. And this morning I was blown away by the view! The view from their balcony is of Mt Fuji with its snow covered top, only about 30 – 40 km away. At night, the view is of the lowland with all its city lights. Awesome view by day and night.
First destination today - a green tea factory at Nirama. We were dressed in traditional clothing and went to pick the tips of green tea leaves.The new growth makes for a good cup of tea
We lunched at a restaurant which was tucked in a side street not far away and crowded with several bus loads of Japanese tourists. I figured it must be a good locals spot. We watched the ” noodle chef” at work rolling out the buckwheat dough to a huge flat sheet about a meter in diameter. After he had it really thin he folded it in half, in half again and then folded over one side of the quadrant. He placed this on the chopping board and then using a cleaver and a very clever rapid and steady chopping action he sliced the dough into thin noodles, picked them up shaking out the small scraps and laid them down on a tray ready to cook for buckwheat noodle dish. He made it look so easy.
We were ushered to a small booth and were immediately served with hot towels for cleaning our hands followed by a cup of hot green tea
From here it was back on to the motor way to Shenzui, a very popular Japanese tourist spot. We visited the local buddhist temple and the very popular hot springs where you can sit with your feet in the very hot water. There is an old story of healing related to the finding of this spring way back in 807 so this spot is over 1200 years old.
We spent some time walking around the back streets of this town - fascinating areas , very narrow lane ways and roads , homes with small gardens and flowerbeds. In the town garden someone was busy at work hoeing their plot of vegetables oblivious to all the tourist activity only a block or two away. All around the town there are springs / streams flowing out of the hillside or from under buildings being pped into paved gutters being directed down to the river. Apparently Japan has no problem with water shortage such as we have at home.
Not far from where they live we called in at Norikos favorite ice cream store before closing time and it is possibly the best ice cream we have tried in a long time - extremely creamy made out of milk from the local dairy farm in Oratche where they also make beer and have animals for children to come and interact with
Our final stop for the day was a local site commemorating an earthquake here in 1930. Part of the fault line, which was 1km long and 100metres vertical drop has been left as a reminder of he event in which 37people lost their lives.
Back at their house Noriko ran a hot Japanese bath. Hot spring water is piped from under the ground to their bathroom. In Japanese style you wash first outside the bath and then soak - I managed 25minutes at 41degrees in the mineral rich water - it was so relaxing and I felt like I do after a Finnish sauna. From the bathroom there is a view of greenery and if it wasn't for the roof next door I imagine I could've seen Mt Fuji.
After a lovely dinner and relaxing time on the balcony it was time to call it a night at about 11.30. Second day and I feel as though we have seen and experienced so much of the real Japan already.
Noriko and Naoto are wonderful hosts and are immersing us in their culture
R: And Katrina is still alive :D no need to worry