Day 2 of our adventure started with breakfast at our pension.
After that huge dinner the night before, this breakfast was perfect...actually, this post should be titled "kuidaore" (eat until you drop) because this is what happened after breakfast...
We checked-out and went to the Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park.
This is the area where the huge earthquake that hit Kobe in 1995 apparently originated. The purpose of this park is to preserve the memory of the earthquake and also to educate for larger earthquakes in the future.
There is a preserved house that sits on the fault. You can walk into the house and view the damage of the kitchen area and see the damage to the outer property wall when the property shifted.
There is a display area to educate you on topics such as active faults and earthquakes. There is also a video showing tsunami simulations.
The area that was the most freaky was the earthquake simulation room. For 40 seconds, you sit inside a "home" to experience a size 7 earthquake and then for another 10 seconds a size 4 aftershock.
Super scary experience but important to know about.
Since we had some time before the bus we needed to catch, we shared this...takopuri burger. Octopus and onions fried up like a croquette.
The onions were sweet and there were bits of octopus here and there, I think they could've put more octopus in it.
We then went to the Michi no Eki Awaji. This is actually a parking area. There are tons of these places all over Japan. If ever you see "michi no eki" you'll know this is a rest stop where you can eat and buy souvenirs...some of these rest stops even have hot spring facilities.
It was so cool to see the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge up close!
We had seen a poster for Awajishima Gyu-don (beef bowl)...can you believe there are 61 different bowls around Awajishima?!
They have some rules...in order to call it an Awajishima Gyu-don, the beef, onions & rice must be grown/raised in Awajishima.
And all other ingredients used should try to be from Awajishima.
From the list of 61, this was number 1...Awajishima Yakiniku Bowl...1280 yen.
Satoshi and I shared this. Garlicky tender beef with lots of green onions. They serve this with an onion potage and pickled onions.
This was so good!
After "lunch", we went up the mountain to Matsuho no Sato, an onsen (hot spring).
The view from the mountain is breathtaking!
This is where lunch #2 happened...Hitsumabushi-style Beef Bowl...950 yen.
Just like when you eat unagi (eel) hitsumabushi, you add some dashi to the gyu-don to eat this like "chazuke".
Of the two beef bowls, I liked the first one at the rest stop.
Satoshi had their nama-shirasu (raw whitebait) bowl...950 yen.
You can only get this during between April and November...they actually have 48 versions all over the island!
We then caught the ferry to Akashi.
It is only 13 minutes. The boat passes under the bridge so it is nice way to see the bridge "up close".
Once in Akashi, Satoshi said he wanted to check out Uontana shopping arcade. Akashi is known for tako (octopus) so there are lots of takoyaki places as well as vendors selling tako, raw and prepared.
Akashi has their own type of takoyaki called akashiyaki. We tried some at a place called Gallery Deai...10 for 500 yen (lunch #3)
I personally don't care for takoyaki. I find the insides to be a little to mushy/raw. After trying Akashiyaki though, I think I could like this version.
Akashiyaki doesn't use flour, just egg seasoned with dashi (stock)...so it is like eating a tiny dashimaki tamago (omelette made with stock and egg) with tako in it.
Put it into a bowl of dashi (stock) and add green onion and pickled ginger. Satoshi liked it with only the dashi and green onion. He thought adding the pickled ginger didn't match.
I thought it was delicious!
Satoshi mentioned that he has never been to Akashi, so we went to check out the park.
In this park are the remains of the Akashi castle. There is also a large pond where you can rent paddle boats and a large sports facility too. There were also some beautiful maple trees too.
Another day of beautiful weather, lots of walking and way too much eating.
I hope you enjoyed this adventure as much as we did. Satoshi is hooked and wants to go back to Awajishima in the Spring!
Hokudan Earthquake Memorial Park
Hours: 9:00-17:00 (closed during the end of the year, please check)
Michi no Eki Awaji
Matsuho no Sato
Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays