We had a travel day to where my grandma used to live and my aunt and cousin still live. We came to see my elderly aunt, but unfortunately my aunt is in a care facility because she needs more help at 94 than my cousin can give her. You have to schedule time to see people and even then it’s like visiting a prison where you see people through a glass over a phone (I guess, I’ve only seen that in a movie.
Anyway, my sister got us a fancy hotel room and my cousin and her husband decided to join us.
Oh, first I should mention breakfast. My sister said we should ship one of the suitcases to the airport (actually a giant duffel filled with clothes we bought) and they couldn’t figure that out. I shipped it to my Tokyo hotel instead. Then we went to get a combini breakfast and I realized I had very little time to pack and eat the sando and bread. I ended up downing some coffee and shoving the sando in my face and leaving a juice smoothie box and corn/mayo bread in my bag for the Shinkansen ride.
Our cousin came to get us and we went to lunch at a hotel on a nearby island. It was an interesting buffet and pretty tasty and the views were great.
This coffee cup is tiny btw. 4 oz?
There’s a ship repair facility nearby.
And a giant ferry anchored in the waters.
We went to check in at the fancy hotel (it’s an onsen hotel that unfortunately has a couple of families with kids visiting too) but very near where my aunt used to live. Here’s her last house. Someone bought it and made it even fancier.
I watch YouTube videos from TokyoLens and he’s so amazed at some of the small towns he tears through. Well, he never had to stay in them for weeks or months at a time visiting relatives. There’s nothing to do. It’s fun to visit though and I might even end up moving to one of these places (a fantasy of mine is to move to Japan, probably somewhere not Tokyo).
There are at least a half-dozen small shops that weren’t here before. Boutiques, coffee shops, bakeries, etc. I should make a couple of those singular. I think there’s one new bakery.
Anyway, Another fantasy is to come out here and fish off the dock every day. Seems better than pachinko.
We got back, hit the onsen (little kids were running rampant in part of it and I didn’t want them to give me the ‘rona) and waited for dinner. The dinner was great.
Appetizers and great sashimi. (It pays to visit fishing towns.)
I was complaining to my cousins about ankou nabe (monkfish) and of course it was part of dinner. There’s “Sterno” underneath and the nabe cooks while you wait.
Yeah, I can’t remember what this was. Simmered fish at the top and some soup with yuba wrapped something. It was good, but I can’t remember what it was.
Here’s the Matsumoto beef plate. Some roasted vegetables and four slices of roasted and chilled steak. I made an instagram post about why I wasn’t an influencer. I’m more interested in eating the food than taking pictures of it.
Instead of just rice, we had lightly grilled omosubi ochazuke. Put the sliced shiso in the bowl and pour the tea on top. It was very flavorful because of the miso on the rice.
And finally a small fruit plate. Persimmon, apples, and melon. I ate that before I remembered to take a picture as well.
And there you go. This is basically the area my family is from. My mother’s parents had rice paddies here and my dad’s family is from the mountains nearby. Not sure what they did. Not much going on here but then again there’s a Komatsu (tractor) factory, a Hitachi plant that makes Shinkansen trains, and old chemical plants that are supposedly shut down but I saw flames coming out of the refinery so some of it is still going.