Friday, 3 November 2017

The Japanese Food Adventure Chapter 3 - Day 16. A Ryokan in Nagoya

It was time to leave Kagoshima and travel 5.5 hours on the shinkansen to Nagoya. Pronto had looked after us well for breakfast the past two mornings but today we wanted to eat breakfast on the train instead.

I'd heard that Sakurajima had been active overnight and we were keen to take a look, we just needed to get up high to see it. The ferris wheel wasn't yet open but the cinema below it had windows in the foyer.

We peeked behind the curtains of the cinema window but there was nothing much to see, Sakurajima was looking the same as always. We didn't have time to watch a film and it was too early for ice cream so we made our way to the station to catch our train.

On the platform I spotted this Beard Papa's cream puff drink. It really was as described, cream puffs in a drink form!

As the cleaners were preparing the train for our journey something caught my eye in the distance between the station canopies, a big black cloud of volcanic ash rising up in the air! 

We were well prepared for our train journey with bento boxes. This one cost just ¥580 (£3.85) and had an impressive nine different sections containing a colourful selection of rice, fish, egg and vegetables. 

I'd often wondered how skinkansen managed to glide into the station with so little noise. The tracks appeared to be fixed to concrete slabs which had a rubber layer between them and the concrete below.

At Osaka we changed trains for the final leg of the journey.

For lunch some rice triangles and fried chicken with pickles. 

In Nagoya it was looking quite dark and gloomy, it didn't really matter though as we wasn't planning on spending much time outside for the next 24 hours.

We were booked into Kyoya Ryokan, one night here in a double room including breakfast cost ¥22500 (£148). The host Hiroshi couldn't have been more welcoming, he talked us through the many facilities in the Ryokan and showed us to our room.

The traditional Japanese room had very comfortable futon beds and tatami mat flooring.

There was also a Chabudai table, TV, kimonos, tea making facilities and private terrace.

The terrace looked out over a stunning Japanese garden.

There seemed little point in eating out tonight when we had such incredible accommodation to enjoy. With this in mind we dashed out to the local supermarket for food and drink to enjoy back in the room.

Today was 1st October but Halloween was fast approaching.

My supplies from the supermarket included a fish bento box, Age-mochi, a bottle of plum wine, grape strong zero and Asahi dry black.

Asahi Dry Black had a nutty and chocolate flavour with a quite bitter aftertaste. I much preferred the regular Asahi beer in the silver can to be honest.

In the room were a selection of plates so we decided to use them given the surroundings, it seemed slightly more civilised than eating out of the boxes!

My fish and rice meal was remarkably good value at a mere ¥298 (£2). A nice oily piece of fish, sticky rice, egg, tempura ball and pickles.

My wife chose tempura vegetables, inarizuchi, sushi and edamame beans.

The age-mochi were fried mochi brushed with soy sauce and covered with nori seaweed.

Salty and very chewy but quite nice with a beer.

Yona Yona Ale was available from the vending machine in reception. It was a rather nice American pale ale with a distinct citrus flavour.

In the wardrobe I found a kimono and waistcoat, I wanted the full Ryokan experience so decided to wear it. To be honest I was feeling fairly drunk by this point!

On my past two trips to Japan I'd not been particularly fussed about staying in a Ryokan. My main reason was that the futon beds might be uncomfortable, how wrong I was though!

Click here for Day 17
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