This past weekend was a 3-day weekend, unfortunately, Satoshi had to work on Saturday.
On Sunday, the weather was sunny and clear, so we headed out to Banshu-Ako.
From Osaka it took us about 2 hours by train to get there.
The rice fields looked really pretty from the train.
Satoshi has been on a history kick as of late and has been checking out all sorts of historical places and watching all sorts of movies.
Anyway, Banshu-Ako is one of these historical places.
At Kagakuji, you can see this huge matsu (pine) it is actually the 2nd one, the first generation's trunk is displayed in the rest area of the temple and it was so huge, it was cut in half!
About a 5 minute walk from this temple, is the ruins of the Ako castle and Ako-Ooishi Shrine.
If I understood things correctly, the family of the leader of the 47-ronin, Ooishi, built this shrine.
From here we caught a shuttle called the Kurachan-go for 100 yen which took us to see the fishing village near Sakoshi Bay.
FYI: you will get carsick on the ride, the road goes through the mountains and is very winding...blah!
We explored the Sakoshi Bay area for an hour, until the next shuttle came. (Actually, we should've gotten off a couple stops earlier to check out the seafood market, there were apparently a lot of eateries there...)
There were many old homes and I was amazed at how narrow their alleyways were.
The local temple was also preparing for a festival to pray for a good fishing season.
Because we missed the seafood market, lunch was super late (like 4-ish?!).
And being that it was a Sunday (and a 3-day weekend), not much in town was open.
We were happy that Kinugasa was.
I ordered their Tako Tendon...850 yen.
This came with a generous amount of tako (octopus) tempura. The octopus was caught in the Ako area.
There was also some veggies--shishito (Japanese pepper), eggplant, renkon (lotus root).
The tako was really chewy but delicious.
Satoshi went with the Ako Shio Negi Soba...650 yen this was a soba with a shio (salt) broth and topped with negi (green onion).
Both the salt & negi were local items.
He really enjoyed this.
Satoshi also tried the yaki-anago (grilled conger eel)...680 yen. This was grilled right in front of us and he enjoyed this also.
The eel was also a local item too.
The other thing I liked about this shop was that they used 90% local and "made in Japan" items.
And then it was time to head back to Osaka.
It was kind of a long day, but I'm glad Satoshi got to see some areas that he had been interested in seeing.