Skip to main content

Winter Vacations Diary

I'd like to continue from the 31. So, after check out we headed up to Takayama City to enjoy some fantastic Gifu beef, then headed back to Hirayu onsen for check-in.. The drive back through Gifu's icy roads on summer tires was a heart pounding experience for me, you see, I'm from Southern California, so this is not my kind of weather.

At any rate, things worked out well and we made it back safely. We were allowed to check-in 30 minutes early, which was good cause' I needed to freshen up a bit before dinner and I needed a little more time to whined down. Also, for me, whenever I check\in to a hotel I like to reserve the private bath since there are usually no people, and it's nice too because you can enjoy the person you're with.

On that day, the 31st of December, there were so many people, families, friends, lovers – full occupancy that night. I have a slight aversion to being around so many people. There's a common belief that an onsen should be enjoyed with other people and that you should socialize and chat the night away. While all of this may sound good often times a person misses out on the real purpose of being in an onsen.

The water, the surrounding nature, the sounds, and quiet solitude that I find to be the most memorable experience for me. It's the water I remember the most, not the stranger I just met.
I am there because I want to get away from people and enjoy my time with someone special. I think many people forget this and wonder why they haven't fully relaxed and enjoyed themselves, it's because they had gotten so worked up chatting the experience away. I guess everybody is different.

Just about every night I had a delicious steak. Before dinner it's always nice to take a dip first, drink beer or nihonshu second then eat something really nice.   Dinner was excellent! The beautiful taste of nihonshu buried in white powdery snow.


  1. The servings look awfully small but...the Sake in snow is a great pic!!

  2. Hi Chris,

    Thanks! Yes, those servings were quite small, but they served us plenty of different dishes which actually made me full! I have a few other sake in the snow pics.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Shin-Okubo: Little Korea

So I finally got around to going up there to Shin-Okubo,  the land of Seoul via the Yamanote Line.  Been putting this trip off for years for personal reasons;  I am not a fan of Hanlleyu.      I knew why I came up this way, and for none other reason than the food, and maybe to bask in the nausea of Korean romanticist who steal Japanese Jukujo's souls.    But honestly, I like spicy food and stews and pickled vegetables that challenge my taste buds.    I also love the little funky cafes that line the main thoroughfares and alley ways, each with their own little eclectic menus and interior decor.     This place is Korea.  

Shin-Okuba represents more than just a place to relish in Korean culinary delights and K-pop culture, but a place where Koreans can express themselves through their culture.    You can feel the local vibe in the air as you're walking down narrow walkways and footpaths.    I have personally been to mainland Korea six times, so a lot of the nostalgia was there …

August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, especially  in places like Tohoku and Kanto regions.  August is also  the most contentious month of the year in Japan; with the end of the war and war-related guilt.    Then there's the great exodus back home for millions of Japanese.   Obon season is what it's called in Japan, and it's  where families return to their hometowns to remember their ancestors and to spend time with loved ones.  Gravestones are visited, cleaned, and washed; rice or alcohol is often placed on  miniature altars next to a  headstone.  This is a way for Japanese to reconnect with their roots; a way for them to stay grounded and founded in the ways of tradition and cultural protocol.   

For the foreign tourist, some places will be overcrowded and expensive to reach; for Japanese, this is normal and can't be helped.   Wherever you go there will be lines and h…

Japan Board of Education: Amazing Grace...?

Japan Board of Education Textbook.
Amazing Grace
Shuken Shuppan  Polestar textbook English Communication

Preface:  Japanese / Japan is  one of the leading donors in humanitarian aid around the world.   They have donated billions of yen to charities, developing countries, and startup business to just about every country on the globe.  Some Japanese have even taken matters to the extreme  to the point of poking their noses into hotspot areas like Palestine and Isreal, things the Japanese may want to avoid.  Had Japan shared its borders with an ethnic minority with its own government, the relative peace and calm of this country would be questionable.   No other country can be like nor emulate Japan.   So, where does this spirit of charity and altruism come from exactly?   Why do the Japanese feel they need to save the whole world, while caring very little for its own people?   It's the Board of Education...?  The essay below is one such example of what Japanese kids learn in school,…