Thursday, August 14, 2014

Road trip day 2

For day 2 of our road trip we woke up and found a nice little restaurant and had eggs and toast for breakfast.  The toast was fantastic and reminded us of challah bread which is my favorite. 

We drove to a small town called Hagi.  The drive there was through the mountains and countryside and was amazing.  There were little rice fields and houses tucked in to the steep valleys when ever the land was flat enough to build on.

A couple houses tucked in to the valley.

Tiered rice fields and a house.
The road was narrow and winding and there were few places to turn off so some of the most picturesque places were no possible to get pictures of.  Some of them were tucked in tiny valleys and had fields that were only 150 ft wide at their widest.  It was really pretty.

Hagi is small town that still looks very traditional.  It was built as a fishing village and the town still has some of it's original walls from the 1600's and the street map from that time period can still be used in some areas today.

The moat that was around Hagi castle. 
There was a path to the top of the hill.  I thought it would make a fun hike.  It was very moist under the trees.  I actually saw a crab that was living in a tree!

Tree crab?  This was well away from the water.
About 3/4th of the way up the hill, I decided that the hike might have been a bit of a mistake.  Apparently Japanese mosquitoes have refined pallets and they decided that foreign women are delicious.  I fortunately had mosquito repellent with me and quickly wiped myself down but not until after I had been thoroughly bitten.  Jeff somehow was unscathed, I guess he doesn't taste good.  I had around 50 bites.  I have learned my lesson and will not go in to the woods without dousing myself in DEET first.  The view at the top was pretty but not worth the bites.

Here is one of the old mud walls that it still standing in the town of Hagi.

This is the traditional style of house in Hagi.
Jeff and I had a lovely day wandering the streets of Hagi.  It is a town that is known for pottery and I was on a quest for the perfect teapot (for those of you who don't know, I love tea pots and have several packed up at home in Boise) so that I can drink the perfect cup of tea in our apartment.  We found one that was both unique and very much in the traditional Hagi style.  The couple we bought it from were super nice and we left to go back to Yamaguchi very happy tourists.

For dinner we went back along the canal and found a place called "Dinning Bar" that looked adorable.  There was no English menu or pictures and the waitress spoke very little English so we used one of your useful phrases "ososume onigaishimasu" which pretty much means please bring me your recommendation.  We had a great very traditional meal of shishimi (raw fish), tempura (lightly battered and fried) shrimp and vegetables, seasoned rice and fish soup and a small bottle of rice wine (nihon-shu - what we would call sake in the US).  It was a great meal and a big success as far as Jeff and I were concerned since we successfully ordered despite the language barrier and really had a lovely evening.  We stayed in the same hotel as the previous night and slept great.

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