Tuesday, September 16, 2014

hikone plus plus

Sunday, we woke up early because we wanted to head out to Hikone.

It had been several years since we had been there and even more since we paid our respects to MIL's family graves.

We stopped at Umeda to buy tickets for JR. When Satoshi walked up to the counter he asked the guy if they had any discount tickets, the guy replied no...then he checked a manual and voila!

An all day pass to travel anywhere listed on the ticket in Kansai.

One way to Hikone would be 1940 yen, for this ticket 3600 yen, it would be a little less than a round-trip ticket (3880 yen)...Satoshi felt like he hit the jackpot with this.

As we rode JR to Hikone, Satoshi looked at different travel guides and decided that he wanted to check out some places on the JR line.

Since this ticket allowed us to get off and on the train this was perfect. Usually in Japan, when you buy a ticket they only allow you to get off at the specified destination.

When we arrived at Hikone, we bought some flowers for MIL's family graves. And then we made the trek to Soanji, which is located on the Yume-Kyobashi Castle Road.

Over the years I think this road has become a bit more touristy. But, I like the way they make all the buildings look like you are in an Edo time period.

After calling MIL to reconfirm the exact location of the graves, we said a few prayers and then decided to look for something for lunch.

We stopped into Lu Pan, a tiny burger shop serving Omi Beef Burgers. Omi Beef is the brand beef of the area.

I ordered their standard which is shoyu based. Satoshi went with their burger with curry sauce. We also shared a half order of their fries and shared a coke.

Total 1560 yen tax included.

The burgers were very moist and the buns very airy. Even though the guy running this place had absolutely no personality, the food was delicious.

Then we were off to Yogo.

When I asked Satoshi what was there, he said, "a lake".

Before hopping on the train though, we got some dorayaki from Kotetsu. Sweet bean paste for Satoshi and walnut sweet bean paste for me.

A nice snack and a nice place to rest our feet.

From Hikone it was 9 stations to Yogo. When you get off the train, you'll know that the only thing to see here is "the lake".

There are no shops near the train station, just a walk to "the lake".

It was beautiful to see Lake Yogo.

Since there weren't many trains running, we hopped back on the next train and headed to Torahime.

This is where Satoshi's grandma used to live. He was in awe at how small the river (stream) he used to play in was and how close the walk was from the train station to his grandma's house was.

Apparently the house that Satoshi's grandma used to live in is no longer there, but it was nice for him to re-connect with the area.

Since we had some time before the next train, we popped into a new bakery that is in the JR Torahime station and bought some snacks.

I had this blueberry cream cheese walnut bread, super soft. Just the right amount of sweet from the blueberry preserves, a little tartness from the cream cheese and some crunch from the walnuts.

A nice thing about this bakery is that everything was 108 yen! A bargain if you've ever been to bakeries in Japan.

Then it took us some time from Torahime to get to Omi Hachiman, so by the time we arrived in Omi Hachiman it was 17:30.

The place we had wanted to have dinner at was fully booked so we jumped on the train and went to Yasu (2 stations over from Omi Hachiman).

Kurogama is a restaurant in a 100 year old house.

Satoshi and I both ordered the luxurious Omi beef course. He had 5 different cuts while I had 3 different cuts of beef.

Dinner started out with this beef shabu salad. The dressing was citrusy and really brightened the flavors. The meat was thinly sliced and super tender.

Next came the slightly seared beef sushi...talk about melt in your mouth!

Here are the 3 cuts that I ordered, sorry I can't remember what the waiter said they were!

To cook them they heat up a ceramic disk and you add a little nub of butter. You can cook it as rare or as well done as you wish.

Rice is cooked on a very old stove and is served with pickles and their shigure-ni.

I've made shigure-ni in the past. And we both agreed they didn't need to serve the pickles, just the shigure-ni with the rice was perfect!

To end the meal they served us some yuzu (citron) sherbet with fruits. I loved that there were bits of yuzu in this!

What a wonderful meal! we raved on and on about how soft the meat was. At 5800 yen and 7000 yen plus tax, it wasn't a cheap meal, but we agreed it was worth every penny!

A very long day, but we got to do so much. We were really happy with that train pass because it allowed us to see more than we would've had we got just the regular fare.

Hope you enjoyed this adventure too!

Lu Pan
located along Yume-Kyobashi Castle Road
Hikone, Shiga

1-2 Tachibana
Hikone, Shiga
Phone: 0749.26.3838
Hours: 9:30-17:30

JR Torahime Station
Phone: 0749.73.8066
Closed Thursdays
Hours: 10:00-18:00

2343-1 Koshinohara Takeda
Yasu, Shiga
Phone: 077.587.3191
Closed Mondays
Lunch 11:30-14:30
Dinner (weekdays) 18:00-22:00, (weekends) 17:30-22:00


jalna said...

I loved this. I found myself smiling throughout the whole trip.

Kalin's Mommy said...

Oh the Omi beef dinner looked really good! Thanks for sharing!

KirkK said...

Really nice, beef-a-licious dinner Kat!

K said...

Looks like you made great use of the special ticket!

Rowena said...

I can't recall any other time where you really had to dish out some serious moola for a meal, but this one definitely makes the cut. Ho da BEEFS!

Anonymous said...

A long productive day, filled with good food. :-)

K and S said...

glad I brought you a smile, Jalna :)

you are welcome, Mich :)

indeed Kirk!

definitely made good use of that ticket, K!

yeah it has definitely been awhile since we ate fancy, Rowena :)

indeed Paz :)

Take care everyone!