Japan, Day 7: Atsuta

This is the last part of my 2018 autumn trip in Japan. There was a bit of a mix up with the schedule so I ended up having free time from lunch onwards. Good thing I read a lot about Nagoya so I decided to have lunch at Atsuta Horaiken. The place is famous for serving hitsumabushi since 1873.

NOVEMBER 27, 2018

This is the last part of my 2018 autumn trip in Japan. There was a bit of a mix up with the schedule so I ended up having free time from lunch onwards. Good thing I read a lot about Nagoya so I decided to have lunch at ATSUTA HORAIKEN. The place is famous for serving hitsumabushi since 1873. From the train station, it was a about a 10-minute walk to reach the restaurant.

However, when I got there, the employee stationed outside the resto told me that the waiting time was 50 minutes. I told him it was okay so he asked me to return during that time. There was nothing to do around their area – not even a convenience store to check out. So I checked if the revered ATSUTA SHRINE was nearby… and it was! I walked for 15 minutes and reached one of the side entrances. I was trying to find my way to Hongu, the main shrine, but all signs were in kanji so it was up to my gut feel again.

Lo and behold, I was right again because I easily found my way to the main shrine.

It is said that the sacred sword Kusanagi-no-tsurugi, one of the Imperial symbols, is enshrined here. Atsuta Shrine is also revered throughout Japan, ranking second only to Ise Shrine. This probably explains why the building in the main shrine looks like the one in Ise Jingu.

Atsuta Shrine is dedicated to Atsuta-no-Ookami who blessed mankind with love.

When it was 15 minutes before my scheduled lunch at Atsuta Horaiken, I left the shrine and made my way back to the restaurant.

The employee I met earlier gave me the thumbs up to go inside and wow, I was just blown away when I saw the garden and main door because it felt like I was entering an old but well-taken care of traditional Japanese house.

Inside the resto, I waited for a bit before I was accompanied by one of their staff to the 2nd floor where a table was assigned to me. I ordered the hitsumabushi which was priced at (¥3,900). My meal arrived after about 20 minutes – big bowl with rice and unagi, small bowl of soup, pickles, small jar with ocha, and a container with nori, wasabi, and green onions.

Hitsumabushi consists of a big bowl of rice, topped with unagi, and there are three ways to enjoy this.

1) As it is – take a spoonful of rice and a slice of unagi then place them in the empty bowl

2) With the condiments – do #1 then add nori/wasabi/green onions

3) With broth made from tea and dashi – do #1 then add the broth

After trying all three, you may now enjoy the rest of the food with whichever method works best for you.

I used the small empty bowl the resto provided so that I can decide later on how I want to eat the remaining portion. But, I couldn’t choose only one so I did all of them repeatedly, without any particular order.

I didn’t get to finish the rice because the serving size was like good for two. ☹ I went back to the hotel afterwards to do a final check on my luggage then went to the nearby airport limo bus stop. The bus ride to Chubu Centrair was about an hour and I did a last-minute souvenir shopping – bought two sets of uiro from the famous Aoyagi Uiro.

Had ebi fry for dinner before my flight back to Manila…

Can’t believe one week in Japan just went by. During my first day, my thoughts were about having lots of days to explore Japan. By the last day, I was already thinking when my next trip to Japan will be. Still undecided where to go next but I am sure it will be another awesome adventure. ❤

Japan, Day 5: One Piece Store and Osu

Got off at Kintetsu-Nagoya Station after the Ise-Shima daytrip and before reaching the exit of the building, one of the elevators grabbed my attention. THERE IS A ONE PIECE MUGIWARA STORE IN NAGOYA!!!

I was greeted by a big space dedicated to Roronoa Zoro, my favorite character! Apparently, November was his birthday month so they had that special space for him.

NOVEMBER 25, 2018

Got off at Kintetsu-Nagoya Station after the Ise-Shima daytrip and before reaching the exit of the building, one of the elevators grabbed my attention. THERE IS A ONE PIECE MUGIWARA STORE IN NAGOYA!!!

Of course, I got on the elevator and went to the paradise of One Piece goodies. I was greeted by a big space dedicated to Roronoa Zoro, my favorite character! Apparently, November was his birthday month so they had that special space for him.

After getting my fix of One Piece goodies, I went for a quick visit to BIC Camera to buy the newly-released TESCOM 2-way Steam Hair Iron TPW 2826 (2-in-1 hair straightener and curler). It was a quick trip

I initially wanted to eat in a kaitenzushi (conveyor belt sushi) restaurant but was reminded of Gaburi Chicken restaurant so dinner was in Osu area.

Ordered their specialty karaage and a platter of yakitori to pair with drinks that resembled Chu-hi. I liked their food as it is but it was also good to dip in Japanese mayo.

That dinner was the perfect way to cap my fifth day in Japan. I still had a bit of regret not being able to eat sushi but that can be easily fixed with a good Japanese resto in MNL.

Japan, Day 1: Hida-Furukawa

It’s the continuation of the Kimi no Na wa seichi junrei (聖地巡礼 – anime pilgrimage) in Gifu Prefecture – but this time in the town of Hida-Furukawa.

Just in the area of HIDA-FURUKAWA STATION, I was already able to capture 3 shots similar to Kimi no Na wa frames!

It’s the continuation of the Kimi no Na wa seichi junrei (聖地巡礼 – anime pilgrimage) in Gifu Prefecture – but this time in the town of Hida-Furukawa.

NOVEMBER 21, 2018

Touchdown Hida-Furukawa Station!

Just in the area of HIDA-FURUKAWA STATION, I was already able to capture 3 shots similar to Kimi no Na wa frames:

No train was passing by at the time though…

Then from the train station, it was a 5-minute walk to HIDA CITY LIBRARY. I showed an image of the Kimi no Na wa poster to one of the librarians and she gave me an ID pass. Picture taking was not allowed and complete silence must be observed. Not surprising though that the area for Kimi no Na wa fan dedication was already gone during this visit as it has been 2 years already since it premiered.

Look who I met in the library again!

Next stop was SAKURA BUSSANKAN/GIFT SHOP where they sell various Kimi no Na wa souvenirs such as the container similar to kuchikamizake and Taki’s bracelet. They also offer a 30-minute kumihimo braiding lesson so that you can craft your own bracelet. Fee ranges from ¥500 to ¥1,500, depending on the type of bracelet. I wanted to try it but I was too shy to ask. 😦

Since there was nothing to do anymore and there was still more than 2 hours before the train back to Nagoya, I decided to go to one of the recommended GOHEI MOCHI places in the tourist map. Gohei mochi is a sticky white rice cake coated in miso sauce and has this grilled/smoky taste. It is a featured snack in Kimi no Na wa as seen in this frame with Taki, Tsukasa, and Okudera:

Apparently, gohei mochi is a popular snack in the region because I saw lots of stalls offering this in the other areas I visited in Chubu region. Didn’t enjoy this so much though… After an hour, it was time to go to KETA WAKAMIYA SHRINE, the last stop in this Kimi no Na wa seichi junrei. It was about a 30-minute walk and I didn’t see any mode of public transpo in the area.

These kids were walking in the same direction and I got surprised when they turned around to say “konnichiwa!”. So kawaii!
Finally reached the shrine!

Still had about an hour left before the train arrives so it was a deliberately slow walk to take in all the sights of this small town before I leave.

Good thing there was a waiting area in the train station because by the time I got there, the temperature was already 5C. There were also vendo machines which had hot tea so I was saved.

Back in Nagoya Station, dinner was supposed to be in a mazesoba restaurant because they had gyoza but the line was still long even if it was already past 9PM. Settled for this restaurant which serves oyakodon, one of the famous Nagoya-meshi. I got this set which had oyakodon + soup + kushikatsu with miso sauce. I also ordered my favorite Japan alcoholic drink – chu-hi. I chose the yuzu flavor since I hadn’t tried it yet.

Everything was yummy and the serving size for oyakodon was big that I had to force myself to finish it. I am not sure if I understood it correctly that the restaurant uses Nagoya cochin for their chicken dishes – a premium chicken breed which has a flavorful meat than the usual.

Before heading back to the hotel, we passed by Club Sega and I saw one of the UFO machines containing Nyanko-sensei pillows (from Natsume Yuujinchou). Ugh, if only I had good skills or at least a really good luck.

NYANKO-SENSEI!

Anyway, that’s it for Gifu prefecture and the Kimi no Na wa pilgrimage. Kyoto adventure will be up next!