Sunday, March 14, 2010


We've visited this area several times in past years, but I have never written about the ume (apricot) trees at Nakayama-dera. This temple has a bairin (the literal translation is apricot forest, but I think apricot orchard is a little more appropriate for this particular area), which we've visited pre-blog.

On Thursday, the sun was "in and out". The whole hillside was covered with light and dark ume, I particularly liked the darker pink flowers, as they stood out. There was also a little path in which you could walk through the orchard.

Since the past couple of days had been rainy, it was nice just to get out of the house. (Probably everyone that was there felt the same way.)

We had lunch at a nearby cafe called Effet (sorry no photos, was too hungry).

Satoshi had their seafood pasta set which came with lots of seafood, a salad, soup, coffee and all-you-can-eat assorted bread...1400 yen (about US$14).

I chose the steak donburi (steak bowl). This was a piece of sirloin grilled and served with lettuce, tsukemono (pickled veggies) and dollops of wasabi (Japanese horseradish) and oroshi (grated daikon). It also came with some shoyu (soy sauce) lunch only came with some miso soup...1500 yen (about US$15). Filling but delicious.

The dining area located at the back of the shop seats about 20 with a couple of seats out on the terrace area. They also sell cakes and baked items at the front of the shop.

After lunch, we went to the market across the street and bought some groceries.

Walking back to the station, we noticed a Japanese warehouse. It turned out that it was a coffee shop called Lamp.

Even though Satoshi had some coffee with his lunch, we decided to go inside to have a cup of coffee.

The inside was quite dark. Of course, since we were having coffee, we decided to check out their desserts. The desserts served at Lamp are made by a local patisserie called Kazu. We enjoyed their pudding roll (an eggy cake filled with cream and topped with custard) & napoleon (a puff pastry sweet with strawberries and cream). The cappuccino I ordered was different from the kind I normally have. This one had a lot of whipped cream on top and was served with a cinnamon stick.

The only thing I didn't care for was that they had a smoking area at the front of the shop which you needed to walk through to get to the non-smoking area. Other than that, their coffee and sweets were delicious.

I'm glad we were able to get out to see some ume (apricot). It was a great Thursday.

5-15-1 Nakasugi
Takarazuka, Hyogo
Phone: 0797.88.3030
Open: 10:00-23:00

5-18-1 Nakasugi
Takarazuka, Hyogo
Phone: 0797.88.8853
Open: 7:00-23:00

p.s. it is White Day today, Happy White Day!


Dennis K. said...

Thanks for the video! Was nice and relaxing..

KirkK said...

Those flowers sure are pretty Kat.

jalna said...

I've been to Japan twice about 30 years ago, both times in the summer. Your photos make me want to go back again . . . in the springtime.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Looks like a fun and relaxing day. Love the desserts.

K and S said...

Thanks Dennis!

Thanks Kirk!

Ugh, I am not looking forward to summer in Japan Jalna...just too hot. Hope you get a chance to visit here in Spring!

Thanks Debinhawaii, the desserts made the day better :)

Take care everyone!

Rowena said...

Gorgeous setting and the idea of an apricot forest (even if it was more like an orchard) makes me think of when all those trees will be bearing fruit. Adore apricot...fresh, dried, in jams, baked and served with gelato! Your desserts are wicked-looking too.

K and S said...

I think most temples have ume (apricot) trees so that they can preserve them (to eat them like we eat ume boshi).

Take care.

yUSiyE said...

quick question:

Which software you used to create the collage in this post? I really like it.

K and S said...

yusiye,, used their mosaic feature, sign up and use their programs for free.

Take care.