Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Globetrotting: Holiday in Japan, Part 2


{looking out the front door of the ryokan}

For help in crafting our time in the beautiful countryside of Japan, I turned to TripAdvisor where I found: Rural Japan Explorer.

[Please, please, please, if you are planning a trip to Japan, please tell me you will at least contact Rural Japan Explorer to see if it can work for you. I promise you will not be disappointed! And no, I'm not getting paid to say this.]

We did the "Discover Traditional Life in Hida Area 5 days" trip.

Our first stop was in the mountainous Okuhida area at Souen, a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) associated with the nearby hot springs.

Oh, my goodness.

Heaven.

Nature-therapy at its best: lush mountains, river, butterflies, flowers, cicadas, birds. So peaceful.

Warm welcome: tea, mochi (pounded rice), orientation of the property, kids fitted in their kimonos, and then left in peace to just blossom and breathe and feel one with Nature.

Ahhhh . . . .


{view from our balcony--I wish this photo also could share the sounds, the feel, the fragrance;
heaven on earth}


{our room}


{dinner around a traditional Japanese fire pit--this is the first of what felt like 20 courses--no joke (I lost count); it took 2 1/2 hours to eat dinner}


{resting--and rolling around--after what was probably the most elaborate meal we've ever experienced--I know, I know, life is rough, right?}


{quaint local summer festival just up the hill from our ryokan}


{the kids trying out the carnival games}


{when everyone had gone home}


{more from the festival}


This photo shows a little honor-system roadside shop. We nicknamed it "Granny's" after a character in Miyazaki's children's film "My Neighbor Totoro." There were vegetables, canned drinks, and bottled water all labeled with price tags and kept cold by the icy spring water that perpetually ran through the rigged-up trough. You picked what you wanted and dropped the money in the labeled can. Such a quaint little way to enjoy a crisp Japanese cucumber! (There was even a compost bucket for our stems.)

Coming up soon: the Japanese Alps, being green in Japan, communal bathing, and other cultural discoveries.

2 comments:

Abigail said...

Are those persimmons there in that basket? I'm loving all these food pictures. I'll have to show Jordan because he'll love it too! He'd love to visit Japan!

Sarah said...

No, those are tomatoes.

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