So last week, while Satoshi was at the DMV, I staggered my departure and arrived in Nagaokakyo so that by the time Satoshi finished his renewal, we could have lunch together.
I occupied myself by walking to the Tenmangu, which is about 5 minutes from the Hankyu Nagaoka-Tenjin station.
The large torii (stone gate) towers over the entrance. There are huge azalea bushes near the torii too, which are said to be over 150 years old!
To the left is a large pond, with many tea houses, probably used for tea ceremony. To the right is a long wooden path to a hexagonal hut.
The property is very large and along the edge of the ponds are lots of sakura (cherry trees), it must be very beautiful in Spring.
Satoshi met me at the Tenmangu and after walking around the property, we had lunch at Cafe Fleur. This cafe is located in front of the station and is what the Japanese call "jun-kissa" or true coffee house. The interior is 60's or 70's, vinyl walls, low tables. Their food is so-so, and the atmosphere was pretty interesting. I think there was velour on the ceiling...
Satoshi had the Fleur lunch, this came with a lot of fried items---croquette, fried shrimp and cream croquette. I had the meat sauce spaghetti, this actually tasted REALLY different from the meat sauce I know, I think they had put either demi-glace or okonomiyaki sauce into this (or both!)...It was my first time to try this coffee shop and I am glad I did.
Also near the Hankyu Nagaoka-Tenjin station is a tiny bakery called Levure. I bought some anpan for our snack. Matcha anpan 105 yen (about US$1.05) & yomogi anpan 105 yen (about US$1.05)
The matcha (green tea) anpan was filled with white bean paste mixed with green tea. The yomogi anpan was filled with adzuki bean paste and the outer dough had yomogi (mugwort) mixed into it. Both were delicious especially after being toasted.
Open 10:00-22:00 Closed Mondays
1-1-10 Nagaoka, Nagaoka Plaza 1F
Open everyday, 7:00-20:00
more photos on Flickr.