Oysters and Orange Juice
Now that Fuji is finally done I can get back to the correct order of events. In The Events So Far I was going to try and catch up, but only got through our Friday of traveling to Hiroshima.
We got up and out at a reasonable hour on Saturday to tour the Hiroshima Memorial park. It is an experience that evoked many feelings and reflection, but I am not going to attempt to do it justice here. My post on that day summed it up best I think.
On our way back to collect our bags from the hotel we had lunch at a cafe on the river where we sat outside under umbrellas. It was still hot out that day, but the shade made it bearable. Oysters were the speciality of the house, but they also served pizza and drinks using fresh orange juice. Crates of oranges lined the edge of the patio. I had an oyster risotto and a very tall glass of orange juice that started out very typical, but got thicker towards the bottom of the glass tasting almost like a smoothie. Michael and Sarah both got iced cocoa which tastes a out as rich and good as it sounds. We have had a lot of excellent meals on this trip, but the quality of the food combined with lowish prices we paid puts this near the top of the list.
Our next destination on Saturday was our next hotel for another single night stay. We took the Shinkansen and a local train and then walked dragging our suitcases for about a half an hour to reach the Ivy Square hotel in Kurashiki. Kurashiki is a quaint touristy canal town out in the Inaka/country. Kira was very excited to come back here because she remembered visiting the two when she was younger. As we came in she tried in vain to get us to appreciate the old buildings and picturesque canal street. We were just too tired from our day of traveling.
We got checked in and went up to our rooms to find three twin beds in each room instead of futons. It was a little surprising because they had a traditional public bath here – the first on the trip. Janet was the only one of us bold enough to go down in the morning for a bath. We rested in the hotel for a bit and before venturing out to find dinner.
Most of us rested. There was no a vinous wi-if in our rooms and once Janet realized this she wa son a mission to get on the Internet and check email. two trips down to the front desk she learned that there is only wifi in the lobby. I had already accepted that I wouldn’t be getting online so this was fine by me.
We wandered down a street not finding much until we came upon a corner noodle shop. The restaurant had a single bar of seats (about 8 or 9) and on the back of the bars tools there were blue jeans. The seats were a little close to the counter and it was a tight fit for those of us in the 6 ft range. In almost every place we have stopped to eat we can usually get out order in a pretty easily. We were delighted to find out that they had an English menu, but it was completely separate from the menu in Japanese. When we started pointing at things it seemed as if they could not red the English. There was a lot of laughing and good humor as we used our limited Japanese to get across what we though was what we wanted. We’ve had a lot of noodles in Japan, but in my opinion these were the best so far. I got some fried slices of pork added to mine and the broth had a little zip to it with not too many green onions. I really enjoyed it and drained the bowl dry.
The kids being kids wanted to get dessert on the way back to the hotel so we stopped into another place that had pictures of shaved ice and cakes on the sign outside. They were a full service restaurant, but they didn’t seem to mind us coming in just for dessert. Sarah and Michael got chocolate cake, Janet got pound cake, but Melanie and I won the dessert contest. She got mango shaved ice and I got raspberry. They brought out a huge mind of finely shaved ice with what i believe was real fruit juice and frozen peaches on top. It was cold and refreshing and is to a snow cone what a homemade chocolate chip cookie is to a rock hard Chips Ahoy.
We went back to the hotel early enough to get a good nights sleep and promised Kira we would appreciate Kurashiki in the morning.
Of course before going to bed all of us with connected devices went down to the lobby for a little bit of the Internet.