Monday, 11 March 2013

Minakami - Sakurai Shokudo

Lunch isn't included in the tariff at the ryokan so we decided to go for a drive, between dips in the onsen, to Minakami for lunch and site seeing. Minakami is a small town servicing the local ski resorts and tourism industry. Many of the shops in town definitely cater for tourists selling souvenirs and local produce.

It was a really cold day. The temperature must've been hovering around zero degrees. We'd had a near blizzard the night before so there was plenty of snow around. The car was parked undercover but the snow had blown in sideways so there was a decent cover over the car.
Powdery sticky dry snow
On the drive to Minakami we saw what looked like a bear. Holy shit a bear! But after watching it for a while we decided it was a Japanese Serow. A type of goat-antelope.
Japanese Serow - The tiny black dot in the centre

Sakurai Shokudo
We wanted some hot, like ramen, for lunch. As usual we'd left it pretty late so most of the restaurants in town looked like they'd finished for lunch. But we found a small place run by a couple of women. Probably mother and daughter. They were very welcoming and plonked us down at a table near a heater. Georgia is always centre of attention. While we read the menu, thankfully with pictures, they gave Georgia things to play with like the toy that played Happy Birthday.

We haven't had a dud ramen yet in Japan and today was no exception. Huge steam bowls of tasty delicious ramen. Perfect for a cold day although we were starting to steam in front of the heater. The service from the two women was outstanding and very friendly. We've been overwhelmed with some of the hospitality shown in Japan. We should be used to it by now but I hope I'll ever take it for granted.

The ladies saw us off with bows and smiles and we wandered up the street looking for souvenirs.
Sayonara ladies
Minakami main drag

Old steam train in the snow

Stop for supplies again

No comments:

Post a Comment