Tokyo November 2006

Izu Peninsula - Tokyo November 2006

Izu Peninsula

Tuesday 21st November 2006

First day of a short midweek break to the Izu Peninsula to visit an onsen.

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11:56:03 Here we are on the train just as it is getting ready to leave Tokyo station (you can see the sign on the platform in the background).

13:47:34 On the train, I think I'm putting on this facial expression - it was actually a very pleasant journey.

14:25:21 We can see the sea! Almost looks like we're on a boat here - the train line ran very close to the coast.

14:25:27 The waves lapping on the shore.

14:49:52 We've arrived at our destination now - Shimoda.

14:51:14 Chie with the train that brought us here.

14:56:58 So Shimoda is famous for being the landing point of Commodore Perry - and this is a replica of his ship.

15:43:26 At our room in the ryokan now - the best bit of which being the outdoor bath (onsen water of course) on the balcony.

15:47:16 One of my dreams in life was to sit in an onsen and have a little jug of sake floated out to me... Bliss!

15:52:53 A view of our balcony, the roten buro (outdoor bath) and beyond to the bay.

16:07:48 Having a bit of a wander around the rest of the ryokan.

16:10:37 We sat in the bath watching the sunset...

16:37:50 ...not the most glorious sunset I've ever seen, but possibly the most pleasant place I've ever sat whilst watching one!

16:43:18 The little sake jug is still happilly bobbing along.

16:43:52 Same again without the flash.

16:57:27 One more picture of the sunset.

18:33:39 Dinner, ryokan style, was a real feast and to my surprise they managed an entirely vegetarian menu for me. Excellent!

18:34:25 Here's me looking a bit silly in my yutaka, and proudly holding up the specially created menu that the chef had put together for me.

18:35:10 Amongst some of the highlights - Tofu with mushrooms (enoki?), garnished with willow leaves - very seasonal!

18:43:42 ...nice perspective in this shot of Chie filling up my glass. Cheers!

18:55:33 Another tofu dish - this time a tofu steak with a sort of chargrilled flavour, served with some asparagus. Definitely a hint of sesame oil in here.

19:01:03 Some tempura, with an ssortment of unusual Japanese vegetables.

19:25:00 The final course was shabu shabu...

19:25:20 ...and look - matsutake! This is a really expensive Japanese mushroom.

19:25:52 Chie enjoying the shabu shabu.

19:33:54 My little shabu shabu pot bubbling away.

19:34:01 A close-up - clearly I was somewhat fascinated by this!

20:47:07 After dinner, while Chie went off to visit the communal bath (I wasn't too bothered, given that we had our own) I passed the time playing with this simple puzzle...

20:48:14 ...I found it oddly compelling.

20:51:06 It took me a while but I managed to get most of the shapes listed on the little card.

20:51:55 The T.

21:46:41 After one last dip in our bath, I came back to the puzzle and managed the previously elusive house shape. :)