Sunday, September 27, 2015

Tsukiji Fish Market

I happened to wake up early in the morning of last weekend. And I noticed that I was very hungry. All right, let's go to a Sushi restaurant in the Tsukiji Fish Market.

Tsukiji is the largest fish market in the world and the place where foreign travelers love to visit. Though I heard that the Tsukiji Market is recently full of travelers all day long, I thought that it must be less people this early in the morning and I was able to eat premium sushi without waiting.

Brompton and I started toward the Tsukiji Fish Market.

When I arrived in the Tsukiji Market at 6am, there were a lot of people working there for fish trade and portage.

Wow, I found three big tunas on a small vehicle. The price is estimated beyond $1,000 per fish. 

There were also a lot of foreign travelers taking photo!

It is the wholesale premises for the professional people.

Please note that only licensed members are allowed to enter the premises until 9 am. If you are travelers, please wait until then. After 9 am, you can go but do not disturb working people here. In addition, please pay enough attention to surroundings because there are too many vehicle working in the areaIt is also said that some nationality people tend to touch everything in the market for curiosity but never do it because it causes bacterial infection. 

But if you really want to watch the famous Tuna Auction at the Tsukiji Fish Market, you should get there at around 4:00 am to get a ticket for it (free). There are two groups of 60 people each who are allowed to watch the action in the trading area; the first tour is allowed to watch the auction between 5:25 am and 5:45 am, the second tour is allowed to watch the auction between 5:50 am and 6:10 am.
More detailed info:

 Let's go to the retail and restaurant area in the market.

Wow, a lot of foreign people this early in the morning. What's up?

They were waiting their seats for popular Sushi restaurants. There are two most known Sushi restaurants, Sushi Dai (寿司大) and Daiwa(大和) in the area.

I supposed that more than 90% of visitors here were foreigners. I understood that I was too late to have breakfast here. I needed to come here before 5:30 am.

Then I changed my mind. Let's purchase a piece of Otoro Tuna and broiled eel at the Tsukiji Outside Market (adjacent to the Tsukiji Fish Market) and eat at home.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Brompton Lovers Gathering in Tokyo #22

On September 20, it was a perfect weather with blue sky after a rainy week. My Brompton M3L and I were a part of the Brompton gathering. Today 77 Bromptons gathered to stand in a row.

The gathering is held bimonthly at the Imperial Palace Park near Tokyo Station. Why do not you join the meeting next time? The next gathering is scheduled on November 8 (Sunday).

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hot spring experience after a volcanic mount trail ride

A day before yesterday Brompton and I went to Kurogane Onsen where the fresh hot spring is gushing out from the earth of Mount Adatara, an active volcano located in Fukushima Prefecture.

How to get there?
1. Take Tohoku Shinkansen (departing JR Tokyo Station at 6:04 am) to JR Koriyama Station
2. Change to a local train (Tohoku Line, north bound) then get off at Nihonmatsu Station
3. Take Bus (departing Nihonmatsu Station at 8:15 am) bound for "Okudake"
4. Get off the bus at "Okudake," the last stop
5. Unfold Brompton and enjoy a trail ride to Kurogane Lodge which is 5km away

[ride data]

Distance: 15.5 km (from Okudake bus stop to Kurogane Lodge 5 km, Kurogane Lodge to Dake Onsen 10.5 km)
Max. difference of an elevation: 810 m
Gained elevation: total ascending 415 m and descending 813 m

Get on Shinkansen at Tokyo Station. It takes an hour to get to Koriyama Station then change to local train to Nihonmatsu Station. 

At Nihonmatsu Station, get on the bus bound for OKUDAKE.

You have arrived at OKUDAKE, the final stop. You start a ride here to Kurogane Hot Spring. 

A part of the forest has started to change its color for fall and winter.

A view from the mid of Mount Adatara was nice.

The trail is only permitted to hikers, bikes and a Land Cruiser with permission.

See. There is Kurogane Lodge located between the mountains. What a stunning view!

Brompton and I hurried to the lodge, thinking of good feeling and smell of the hot spring.

I dipped myself into this fresh and excellent hot spring gushing out from the nearby volcano.

I washed all the sweat out and enjoyed the view and cool wind from the window, drinking a bottle of cold mineral water.

The source of the hot spring is just nearby the lodge. Please note that the place was dangerous for poisonous gas and some volcanic activities.

Today's mission completed. I love this mission.

Secret springs hunting before summer is over in Hachimantai (vol.2)

Summer is short. Last week, Brompton and I visited the Toshichi Onsen hot spring in Hachimantai for a part of the secret hot spring hunting.

Then we headed to other hot springs in Akita prefecture, crossing a prefecture border lined on the ridge from Iwate prefecture side. There are a lot of famous and historical hot springs.
Brompton and I hurried toward the next secret hot spring, cutting the thick fog covering Hachimantai Skyline Road.

After 20 minutes of downhill, suddenly big white steamvapor got into my sight. That must be!

Then I went down from the main road to the Obuka Onsen hot spring through a narrow trail.

We arrived at Obuka Onsen!

What an amazing environ and hot spring!

I enjoyed Onsen for an hour, chatting with another visitor. It's time to go to the last one. Fukeno-yu hot spring is located at the other side and not far.

When I approached the hot spring, I found a red roof of the lodge and rising white steam.

What is it? This is Fukeno-yu Hot Spring, the oldest and formerly (hundreds year ago) largest spa around the area.

I checked in for spa before being soaked in one of the best open-air bathes in Japan's north east  region.

That must be one of the outside bathes!

Color of the hot water is grayish-blue. Beautiful.

 I fully enjoyed a hot spring experience. Why don't you visit Hachimantai before winter comes?

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Secret springs hunting before summer is over in Hachimantai

Summer is short. Brompton and I need to go visiting a bunch of wonderful secret springs in Hachimantai, a mountain range located in Iwate Prefecture of the North Japan, before summer is over and the road is closed due to heavy snow fall.

Last weekend we visited Hachimantai for the secret hot spring experience.

From Tokyo, take Shinkansen Super Express to get to Morioka, a gate city for the Hachimantai mountain range.

Brompton and I headed to the first secret spring today, Toshichi Onsen. Unfortuntately the mountain was covered with thick fog on that day.

 Arriving at Toshichi Onsen's only lodge, Saiunso.

The left, an entrance to male changing room, the right, an entrance to female's, the center, the symbols.

There are a lot of open air bathes outside the lodge. 

See this color! I enjoyed to be soaked in the secret spring.

Let's go to the next one.

1.0 km was left to reach the peak of the road.

After a while I arrived at the peak rest house.

It was only 4 degree centigrade in temperature here in the peak rest house.
Then I started downhill to the next secret hot spring, Obuka Onsen. It is a well known hot spring among hot spring lovers.

(to be continued)