Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Don't go chasing waterfalls // Part II

Friday, May 6, 2016

I had to work Friday but my friend ended up staying anyways so we could go out Saturday. I get off work at 9pm because my classes I teach are after school classes. Everything is usually closed in Minano by 9pm except for conbinis. So we went to Chichibu to eat tsukemen. It was my first time having it and it was really good.

I kinda liked it better than ramen because I always have to wait forever for the ramen to cool down enough for me to eat it. I have what Japanese call 猫舌, which means cat tongue, someone who can't eat really hot things (hot in temperature). So the tsukemen really was good for me.

Saturday, May 7th, 2016

My friend wanted to take me to this restaurant he went to when I was working. He went for a ride in Ogano and really liked it. It was わらじカツ.

Again, this was the first time I've had that. It's s thin, flat piece of katsu. Apparently, the restaurant we went to is one of the more well known わらじカツ places, the meat is fresh and tastier than other places according to my friend. It seriously tasted so good, and is probably one of my favorite type of katsu now.

Ogano is pretty cool, apparently it's really biker friendly. The restaurant even said "welcome ogano bikers" in Japanese and English. My friend told me every restaurant in the area has parking for bikes, and even when we were leaving the restaurant there were more bikes than cars.

When we were in the restaurant, there was a poster of a bridge with an icicle illumination. It looked super cool and I wanted to go in the winter, my friend suggested we go now so we did, just to check it out.

We drove out to it where apparently it was a forest park. When we got there we saw a large group of older people by a table with lots of food.

I always get so paranoid with tattoos in the countryside because my bosses told me that in Minano their way of thinking is equivalent to my parents' generation. My parents are pretty old school, traditional and hate tattoos with a passion and believe they are for criminals and prostitutes. So I always think the worst and think that people in the country will have a similar outlook.

It was hot that day so I wore a romper with no sleeves and like I stated before, my friend is covered in tattoos, to his neck and fingers. But the old people welcomed us warmly, and invited us to eat.

They completely ignored the fact that we had tattoos and wanted to get to know more about us. They were so cute and friendly. Honestly, whenever I meet genuinely kind people, a bit of my faith in humanity gets restored.

We ate some food to be polite but we were still stuffed from our lunch. However, they offered me dessert, and that I couldn't refuse lol. It was some homemade かりんとう and it was really good! Again, my first time having it. It really reminded me of Mexican churros.

Apparently it's sold at conbinis but they are a bit different than the homemade ones. The old lady made seaweed flavor, sesame, chile, and other ones I didn't try. I was addicted to the sesame, they gave us some to go on our way to the waterfall.

So we walked to the waterfall which was a pretty short and easy walk. The trail reminded me of something from a Ghibli film. So green, random mushrooms, and so many butterflies. Very much like something from a fairytale.

The bridge was cool, definitely something I always wanted to see in person. The waterfall was really nice too! I preferred the waterfall in Minano better but it was probably because we couldn't get closer to the one in Ogano, you could only go on the bridge. It was still really nice and we enjoyed it.

By the time we got back the old people had pretty much left. There was only one old man and he gave me some more かりんとう to take home, so cute!

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