Travel to Yamaguchi – 1. Sanzoku Restaurant

travel, Yamaguchi

3. Sanzoku Restaurant

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Where is Yamaguchi…?

Yamaguchi prefecture is located next to Hiroshima prefecture. If you stay at Hiroshima for a while, Yamaguchi prefecture is worth visiting. Although Yamaguchi prefecture is less urban than Hiroshima, you can enjoy different warm atmosphere there.

 

Sanzoku means “mountain pirates”, who lived with a group in a mountain and stole things from travelers. Japan is a small island and there have been few areas which are not governed by any local authorities. So the places where mountain pirates could act were limited and Yamaguchi prefecture is one of the most famous area of them.

 

In Yamaguchi prefecture, there are some restaurants where you can try their wild foods like big onigiri (rice ball), grilled chicken legs/river fish etc…

 

To get to the restaurant, you can take JR train to the nearest station from Hiroshima. Please note that there are not so many train service because that area is mountainous countryside. So I recommend you to leave Hiroshima early morning and have lunch in Sanzoku restaurant. The nearest restaurant from Hiroshima station is Kuga area brunch.

 

 

If you are interested in Sanzoku restaurants, please message me before you go because this place is a little bit complicated. If you go to a wrong way from Kuga station, you can not go there! I will give you some details of way and Japanese memo you can show people you find there so that they will guide you to the restaurant! The nearest station “Kuga” is located in a small village and people there are very very kind. (They can easily recognise that you are from outside of village or not.)

 

 

This branch consists from three separated restaurants which are designed with different concepts. One of the restaurants are designed like a Japanese castle so you can have a very special time there!!

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Travel to Tokyo – 6. Udon

Tokyo, travel

6. Udon

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If you come to Japan, then please do not miss this chance to try Udon noodles. One thing I want to stress here is that you do not have to go to posh restaurants for nice udon. At least when it comes to udon, I can not agree that posh restaurants are better then casual restaurants. There are some famous casual udon restaurant chains in Japan and they are all amazing. Especially, “丸亀製麺(Marugame Seimen)” and “はなまるうどん(Hanamaru Udon)” are my favourite. All menu are available for about £2.00 – 5.00 so you can feel very easy and relax. Luckily, they have so many branches all over Japan so I think you can find at least one during your trip even if you do not try to. So today, I will introduce these restaurants which are very close to Japanese people’s life.

 

This time, we went to Marugame Seimen in Tokyo Haneda Airport (B1). What makes their restaurants special is their help yourself system. Before you go to the counter, you need to decide Udon to order. (There is a menu board in front of the door.) If you are curious of their menu and price, you caan visit their website from here. When you go to the counter, tell your order to the kitchen. There are also menu board on your head at the counter.

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Once you order udon, slide your tray to left and the chef will give you udon in a minute. Then keep slide your tray with udon, then you will reach topping and rice ball area. If you want something there, take plates beside toppings and add them on your tray. If you don’t want anything just pass that area, then you will reach the till area and pay money for your order.

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There are some free topping and drink as well. Japanese people often put some finely chopped spring onion and grated ginger etc… These essential toppings are available for free. And water and hot tea are also available for free. Usually there are boxes of these toppings on your table and you can take them as much as you want. Or sometimes there are tables just for toppings and drink. In any case, you will find them after you pay.

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This time we ordered “Kake (plain udon just with soup)” and “Curry udon (udon with Japanese curry)”. These pictures were taken after we added toppings.

My husband added spring onion to his curry udon after this, and he loves it. When you visit there please enjoy your original udon!

 

If you are now curious how to make udon, please visit my recipe to make udon.

 

I know sometimes it needs courage to go into the restaurants when you do not know how they are. I hope this article will help all the foreign people who wants to make closer experiences to Japanese people’s life! xx

Travel to Tokyo – 4. Hostel

Tokyo, travel

4. Hostel

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Some people prefer to stay at luxurious comfort hotels. In fact, I was a person like that in the past. However, these days I totally changed my mind. Whenever I come back to Japan, although I miss Japanese food a lot and want to try real traditional Japanese foods in a posh restaurant at least once, I want to act like I am home rather than keep visiting new places. As long as these places are very familiar to me, I already know what I want to eat and where I want to go. I felt more like that I need my own house in Japan. I mean, I need “a kitchen”.

In Japanese supermarkets, of course, you have different options and when you see there are so many fresh fish I can not help wanting to cook by myself! So I decided to stay in hostels during this trip. (I did not think about it in Japan, but from next time I think I will record and share what I cook with Japanese ingredients in a hostel!)

 

If you are looking for a reasonable hostel but still wants to enjoy Japanese cultures, I have great recommendation for you; Tokyo Guesthouse. toco .

 

The reason I recommend this hostel is that the price is very kind and the house is a very traditional Japanese building. The doors, windows and furniture… you can feel histories from them.

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They have a beautiful Japanese garden as well. A staff explained to me that the rocky mountain on the right in the second picture was made of rocks taken from Mt.Fuji. Staffs are very kind and nice. Of course they can speak English.

 

You can order small Japanese breakfast every morning for 300 yen. The menu is 2 onigiri (rice balls) and miso soup, and the flavour of onigiri and soup changes every morning. Every morning, we gathered in living room and have a nice chat about our lives. It was very lovely memory, actually.

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The access is quite good. There are two main stations which is 5-10 minutes walk away from the hostel so that you can easily get a train on Yamanote line or underground on Hibiya line. From Tokyo station, it takes only about 10 minutes to the nearest station. You can check the detail on their website https://backpackersjapan.co.jp/toco/english.html

 

There are a lot reasonable and traditional options in Tokyo. And I am still looking for better one, because I had been a Japanese residence for 25 years! As a traveler, I am a still beginner. I hope we can share my experience and this website gives you some useful information! xx