North Japan Autumn Leaves Touring – Day 2

Day2 Biei to Lake Toya
After we visited the Blue Pond, we headed to the south part of Hokkaido.By the time we got there,we passed the Hill of Shujitsu.It’s a hidden popular scenic spot.we can see a straight road like roller coaster and grand Daisentsuzan mountains scenery and the long-distance view of Asahikawa city, Biei town.

We also passed the Showa Shinzan.It’s one of Japan’s youngest mountains.It suddenly rose from a flat wheat field accompanied by earthquakes.

North Japan Autumn Leaves Touring – Day 1

Let’s go and visit the beautiful autumn leaves in North Japan!

Day 1 Biei in Hokkaido
We start in Biei area near Furano town. Furano and Biei are towns in the center of Hokkaido, known for their pleasant and picturesque rural landscapes.

The Shirogane Blue Pond is famous for its breathtaking blue waters.It can change from a milky light blue to a deep green-turquoise. It’s beautiful all year round ,but in autumn,red and yellow colored leaves and the blue color of the pond is splendid!

Stay at a luxury inn in Nara

This ” Ubusuna-no-sato” is a Luxury inn in Nara prefecture.

“Ubusuna” means the land where the person was born.
This luxury inn is the birthplace of celebrated potter Kenkichi Tomimoto (1886 – 1963), who was honored as a Living National Treasure by the Japanese government in 1955.
In 2017, the house was renovated and opened as an inn.

There are just two spacious suites.
Each with views over the beautifully designed gardens and large baths enclosed by their own private gardens.

You can enjoy dishes using local ingredients and Japanese sake in a fine dining facility. Mr.Hazama is a chief chef and he uses many local food ingredients to offer the special dishes for his customers.

How about to sit and relax in the quiet inn.

From the inn, you can walk to Horyuji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with one of the world’s oldest wooden structures.

Horyuji Temple

Horyuji temple was founded in 607 by Prince Shotoku, who is founder of Buddhism in Japan. It’s one of the country’s oldest temples and a world heritage site.

Throughout the 187,000-square-meter grounds are irreplaceable cultural treasures.Five-Story Pagoda (Gojū-no-Tō) and the Main Hall (Kondō), the Hall of Visions (Yumedono)the Gallery of Temple Treasures.

There are over 2,300 important cultural and historical structures and articles, including nearly 190 that have been designated as National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties.

How about to take a walk to feel with the essence of the 7th century.

Local food in Osaka

“Nikusui “ is local food in Osaka and familiar to the common people. It’s the bonito broth with thin sliced beef. Its clear soup really tastes good and reminds me the good old tradition in Osaka. If you have chance, try this!

Local food for lunch

Unagi eel Kabayaki is grilled eel with sweet teriyaki sauce and delicious local food here in Hamamatsu in Shizuoka prefecture.A savory smell of eel being barbecued is so nice.

Careful works of this young owner and chef cooks delicious meal.

This crispy Unagi eel Kabayaki makes you happy. Let’s try local food and feel Japan! 

The spiritual power spot “Ishiwari shrine”

About a 15 minute ride from Lake Yamanaka, we came to the entrance.

Passed the small bridge and go through the red Torii gate,

the long 403 staircase rises.Cannot see the very top. Straight steps leading up seems to continue to heaven.

After walked up 403 stair steps and 1 kilometer mountain hike, you finally reach at the shrine.

Beside the tiny shrine, you can see the large crack in the rock with some religious rope wrapped around it. Ishiwari shrine is translated to ‘Cracked Rock (boulder) Shrine’ known as a spiritual ‘power spot’.

There’s a passage way going through the split rock and going around the path 3 times (clockwise) will bring good luck. If you have time and tough mind, try here! One day tour include Mt.Fuji area is available from Tokyo.

Summer motorcycle touring in Tohoku region

Yamagata prefecture is a large prefecture along the Sea of Japan coast in the southern Tohoku Region. Mt.Chokai is the beautiful shape of mountain,referred to as Dewa-Fuji and a symbol of Yamagata. The mountain road “Chokai Blue Line” is a sightseeing road which runs up from zero to 1,100 m (3600 ft) above sea level.Along the way you can see the panoramic view of the Shonai plain, the Sea of Japan, at a distance, Tobishima and Sado Islands, and Oga Peninsula.

Sakata city is located next to Mt. Chokai and was once a major port city that serviced domestic trade with the rest of Japan during the Edo Period hundreds of years ago. it’s rich in nature, culture and tradition.

Also Summer oysters(Iwagaki-Japanese Rock Oysters) are in the prime season now in this area.Mineral-rich subsoil waters from Mt.Chokai create them delicious fine texture.It’s called the “milk of the sea”. Enjoy the rich flavor of the rock oysters that can only be tasted here.Squeeze the lemon and eat in raw!