It was day 2 of our road trip and it was raining miserably. Luckily, we don’t have to go very far for breakfast. It was a very nice traditional Japanese breakfast served in the dining room in the lobby of our resort. We appeared to be the only guests at the 9am seating that morning so it was nice to have the dining hall to ourselves. The food was very delicious and I especially enjoyed the fish, which was tender and perfectly seasoned. There were interesting local eats like the umeboshi, which is an acquired taste for some. I also really liked their pickles. Overall, I felt this was a nice, nutritious meal with lots of vegetables, which is something that is always lacking in our diet when travelling. The staff were very attentive and offered to take our photos as I was snapping photos of our food. They also offered us seconds for soup and rice but we were stuffed so we politely declined.
Follow Your Nose
After breakfast, we went over to Kurokawa Onsens to check out some shops now that they are open. There were various gift shops, coffee shops and bakeries. We were enticed by the smell of butter, so we walked into a bakery selling giant profiteroles. We got one along with a light roll cake. The profiterole was scrumptious and was filled with smooth cream. Aaron reports that the dairy in this region is supposed to be very good and it was evident.
After our snack, we decided to drive over to the Oguni town rest stop to kill some time since it was still raining. We had wanted to go to the Soba Noodle Road for lunch but the sky suddenly cleared up so we saved time by picking up some sandwiches from a convenience store before driving to the hiking trail head. We saw a few people returning from their hikes and their pants and shoes were covered with mud! Most of the hikers appear to be in their 70’s and older and were all in legit hiking gear with hats and hiking sticks. Here we were looking not properly dressed but we ventured on anyway. It wasn’t long before we reached the first rest stop and took the chance to eat our sandwiches and to enjoy the view. It was still a bit foggy at this time but at least the rain has stopped. After this first rest stop, we were above the mist so we couldn’t really see too much. It did make the trail look very magical though. Some of the course was very challenging with ladders and chains. I was really impressed by how the 70 and 80 year olds were completing this trail. That’s amazing! We did not have time to go to the second peak but we were able check out many of the lookouts. Luckily for us, the sky cleared and we were able to get a nice view from the lookouts on our way down. The purple azalea accents peeking out from the beautifully green hills was such an amazing sight. Soon, the memory card in my camera was full, so it was time that I used my eyes to take some mental images.
Learnt Our Lesson
Our villa was very close so we were able to stop by for another relaxing bath before going to dinner. We were prepared today and had stopped by the restaurant earlier this morning to make a reservation to ensure that we will not have to stress about dinner like we did last night. やまたけ was a BBQ restaurant which was recommended by the nice man at our resort last night. It has traditional Japanese seating. We were the first guests to arrive for dinner but it got very busy by time we left. We both ordered the beef dinner set. Then the lady helped us start the charcoal grill and we were given some pickled vegetables for starters. Next, the beef and various vegetables came including mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, yam and onions. We were a bit disappointed to see that the beef was frozen, so the taste and texture was not the best. The vegetables were interesting. I’ve never had grilled cabbage but it actually was not bad. Our dinner set came with other vegetables, soup and rice. For dessert, there was a sweet tofu pudding as one of our sides. At the end, when we had to pay for our meal, I realized that I did not bring my wallet! Aaron had limited cash and we were both panicking and kept searching our pockets and purse. We were short around 500 yen and said we would go back to the hotel to get some more cash. The lady was very generous and said we did not need to go back to the hotel. Instead, she offered us the sake for free, taking it off the bill! We were very embarrassed but bowed, said our thank you’s and sorry’s and were off. Reflecting upon how nice everyone is here, we went back home for another bath, breathing in some fresh mountain air, before calling it a night.