The bus ride from Senmi Shikizakura no Sato to Obara Fureai Park was about 15 minutes.
When we reached the park, I decided to follow the other locals and found food stalls. Perfect for my hungry tummy since I only had an onigiri for lunch. I checked out all the stalls and since it was very cold (less than 10C), I bought kishimen. Yay for my hiragana skills because I was able to read the stall’s food!
NOVEMBER 23, 2018
The bus ride from Senmi Shikizakura no Sato to OBARA FUREAI PARK was about 15 minutes. The rural area was a nice sight especially with shikizakura in full bloom.
When we reached the park, I decided to follow the other
locals and found food stalls. Perfect for my hungry tummy since I only had an
onigiri for lunch. I checked out all the stalls and since it was very cold (less
than 10C), I bought kishimen. Yay for my hiragana skills because I was able to
read the stall’s food!
Kishimen is actually one of Nagoya’s most famous dishes. Its
broth is seasoned with tamari and it has flat udon noodles. Some of the common
toppings are dried bonito shavings and thinly-sliced kamaboko (Japanese fish
That hot broth hit the spot and definitely gave me warmth! I
told the stall owner that her food was “hontouni oishii” (really delicious).
There was a stall with long line and I got curious what was sold there so I fell in line. I checked the stall’s name and read the hiragana park as “tamago” (egg) and saw in one of their smaller signs that they were selling “omelet”. I was still a bit cloyed from all the egg of the oyakodon (Day 1 dinner) so it was a bit of que horror when I learned this.
I decided to still buy one stick and I got fascinated with the machine they used to come up with the steamed egg on a stick.
True enough, I had a difficult time finishing one stick.
Good thing there was that chicken sausage from another stall to serve as a taste
After eating, I went back to the parking lot and checked out
the entrance area of the shikizakura area. I didn’t explore the place anymore because
I was afraid of surprise uphill climbs and missing the last bus to Korankei.
After taking a few pictures, I saw a van beside the bus stop to Korankei so I asked the driver if it was going to that destination. He nodded his head and explained something in Japanese… so just to be sure, I went inside the hall center and found the three volunteers who were with us at the Senmi Shikizakura no Sato bus stop. I pointed to the van and asked if it was the correct vehicle to Korankei, and they responded yes. So yay, I boarded the “bus” and waited for 16:00 to leave.
Ever heard of sakura blooming during autumn? Well, that is not a fantasy because there is a place in Japan where this happens. The town is called Obara, which is popular for shikizakura (四季桜 four-season cherry blossoms), and not too far from Nagoya.
My destination for this trip was the Senmi Shikizakura no Sato — farther than the more popular Obara Fureai Park.
Ever heard of sakura blooming during
autumn? Well, that is not a fantasy because there is a place in Japan where
this happens. The town is called OBARA,
which is popular for shikizakura (四季桜 four-season cherry blossoms), and not too far from Nagoya.
NOVEMBER 23, 2018
From Fushimi Station, the train ride to
Toyotashi Station was about an hour. I bought food for breakfast but wasn’t
able to eat it because there was a long line already at Bus Stop 1. It turned
out to be the bus bound for Obara Fureai Park, the more popular spot for shikizakura. My
destination was SENMI SHIKIZAKURA NO
SATO, which was farther than the park.
I rode the bus with Kaminigi as the last stop, and the 1-hour ride became 1.5 hours due to traffic congestion in the Obara Fureai Park area. It was an interesting ride because there were more than five other Filipinos in the same bus. They were MA students who had no classes that day, and we ended up chatting for some time.
When the bus arrived at the Kaminigi stop, there was no English sign where to go to reach Senmi Shikizakura no Sato so I decided to follow where the locals were heading. The walk was about 10 minutes and even before reaching the park, I already saw a few shikizakura trees.
Upon reaching the highway, there were even more shikizakura so it was a sign that I was very near my destination. I crossed the road and then saw this:
Even at the base of Senmi Shikizakura no Sato, the landscape was so scenic that you would not be able to resist taking lots of pictures. Imagine seeing autumn and spring colors mixing together!
Autumn colors were present everywhere. 😍
I thought that it was just a big area with some stairs or slopes. What I didn’t know was that I need to do a long uphill climb to go around the whole park. So, uhm, I was wearing loafers… Hence, most of the time, I had to be really careful in walking otherwise I might roll down the slope. Haha!
But, all those slope challenges were worth it because I got to see shikizakura flowers up close. Shikizakura flowers are quite small compared to the spring sakura one. Still, that does not make them less beautiful.
Some other sights I enjoyed:
After making sure that I already covered
all possible trails, I started my descent. Akala
mo naman nag-hike nang bongga. Haha!
I was so hungry by the time I reached the food stalls and dining area. I checked if there was anything interesting but all stalls had long lines so I decided to just eat the onigiri we bought earlier. Before finding a spot though, I smelled a really nice citrus fragrance nearby and found locals eating a small yellow fruit. I decided to buy one since it was just ¥50 per piece.
After finishing my onigiri, I removed half
of the peel of the fruit I bought. It was so juicy that my hands had juice
drops everywhere. I took my first bite… and my face couldn’t help but twitch
because of the sourness. I said out loud, “Ang asim!!!”. The group of four obaasans
(grandmas) across the table laughed and told me “Suppai!!!” (sour). They were
talking to me in Japanese and from the little I understood, they told me that the
fruit was yuzu and it was really
sour during this season. They told me “Gambatte!” (good luck) when I reached
for my 2nd and 3rd slices. I responded to them with my
basic Japanese skills – good thing they understood me saying thank you for
cheering me and that the yuzu was really not sweet. They said goodbye as I was
eating my 4th slice… and after that, I decided to give up on the
While putting the yuzu in the plastic bag,
an obaasan from another table approached me and gave me wet wipes. Such a sweet
gesture! I thanked her in Japanese and gave her a big smile as I wiped my hands
clean from the yuzu juice.
I think I am really a magnet of ojiisans and obaasans (grandpas & grandmas) of Japan. 😊 I had cute and heart-warming stories as well last year – in Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto and Todai-ji, Nara (here).
After finishing, I climbed a long flight of
stairs, which led to a small shrine:
In the middle of climbing the stairs, I noticed a nice spot with maple trees basking under the rays of the sun.
Trying to find the best angle…
Paid respect to the shrine at the top of the hill then started going down to catch the special bus going straight to Korankei.
I was waiting for the 14:01 direct bus to
Korankei and I was lucky to meet three locals who were volunteers helping tourists
in Obara. One of them can speak in relatively good English so she confirmed the
Being in Japan, everything was supposedly
on time but all of us were wondering why the bus had not yet arrived even if it
was 14:10 already. The volunteers started asking locals nearby and one of them
even called someone on the phone. Apparently, that Friday was a holiday so the bus schedule is
different from normal weekdays.
Plan B was to take the 14:37 bus going to Obara Fureai and from there, take the last shuttle going to Korankei. They apologized a few times but I told them not to mind it since Korankei was my last stop for that day anyway. What was more important for me was to see the autumn night illumination.
The Toyota Tourism website (click here) provided an accurate bus schedule for those who were in interested in going to Obara and Korankei in 2018.
Once the bus arrived at 14:37, we rode it
and I was surprised to know that it was a free bus. Yay! Story on my short stay
in Obara Fureai Park will be on the next post. 😊