We began our maiden trip(for me) to Japan tonight..it was a smooth 7h ride, where we saw the Land of Rising Sun(truly as the sun rose beside me) and Mount Fuji!
I was elated though I didn’t really sleep thru the midnight flight..too excited to start our personalized Japan Hour.
Us awaiting for our flight to Tokyo!
Our train marathon started from Narita Airport (taking NEX,1h to Tokyo)to Tokyo(Nagano Shinkansen, 2.5h)->Nagano City(Nagano Dentetsu Local Train,40min)->Yudanaka.
Tip: Get the Suica and NEX package..very worthwhile..NEX to and fro from airport to Tokyo station..Suica with added value for travelling within Tokyo..is like our Ezlink card..this package is 5500yen..if buy separately is 7800yen! a huge savings!
Asama..here it comes!all ready to board~
Scenic from Shinkansen window
On Nagano Limited Express Train to Yudanaka
Finally reach Yudanaka!
We arrived safely and no hiccups thankfully at Yudanaka..haha..and the weather was freezing cold at Yudanaka..it was around 2degrees..no snow seen..:( hoping to see it the next day, which it did! I called Mr Yumoto, boss of Shimaya Ryokan. A very friendly and well-organised man(I’ll explain later)..he came by in his black car to pick us up to the ryokan..
When we arrived..within no delays, he sat down with us discussing our itinerary for that day..he’s like a task manager I must say!...We arrived at Yudanaka a little too late as the monkey park willl be closing in 30mins time..so we visited monkey park the next day(which I’m glad we did)..and went to Shibu onsen instead on that day..
Mountain view from Shibu onsen
Shibu onsen was like a spa town, with 9 public baths in house..there is an activity that everyone in the onsen town can do to make a souvenir..u can stamp a shibu onsen towel at each onsen stop..and collect all 9 to make it a fantastic souvenir at the end. We didn’t go for all 9 onsens..we just went around chopping from one place to another haha! I tried the footspa though..it was so nice..esp in a cold weather!
Getting excited of 1st dip in hot hot foot onsen
Shibu Onsen Spa Town
After spending some time at shibu onsen, we went by walking past some small shops..i went into a pachinko shop..ask an old lady to teach me how to play haha..she patiently thought us how to..and it’s nothing other than like playing slots!
I learnt pachinko from this friendly obaasan!
Had a chat with the obaasan..it was an interesting encounter J
After that, we tried some delicacies along the way like the onsen manju(a bun made with steam arising from the onsen in the vicnity)..During winter, day time hours was short. It was pitch dark at 430pm! And there weren’t any street lights..eventually we got lost and asked Yumoto-san to pick us home haha..
Onsen Manju...a sweet bun cooked with steam from the hot hot onsen at Shibu
After going back to ryokan, we went for inhouse onsen..it was my 1st time..hot initially but then, feeling was so comfortable after a tiring day..next, comes the kaiseki dinner(a usual full meal course at ryokan)..ours is a 7 course meal and it was super oishii!...look at the pics and you can reckon we had a good time enjoying the king’s feast!
Look at Dear! he's enjoying his meal like a king!!
Egg Plant in yummy miso sauce
An early night rest and more adventures tomorrow..which brightened my entire journey with beautiful snow!
Email address to Mr Yumoto for reservations at Shimaya Ryokan: