Friday, February 16, 2018


We woke up the next morning and the snow was slightly falling.

I didn't eat much breakfast (good thing it was buffet style) because I was actually still feeling a little full from the night before.

Of course, guess who ate like he hadn't eaten in days....sigh!

I was super impressed though that they had a guy hand pouring coffee!

After breakfast, we checked out and went to stand at the bus stop in front of the hotel.

Look at how much snow had accumulated over the last couple of weeks!

At least it was "sunny" and was forecast to be "warm" 4C (39F)...

We caught the bus from Nyuto Onsen to the Towadako Station where we rode the bullet train to Morioka in Iwate Prefecture.

The weird thing about this bullet train was that there were only 3 cars.

2 of which were reserved seats and 1 was the green car (which is super expensive seating).

Our tickets were non-reserved so we were supposed to stand (in the connecting areas between cars)...though if there was no one reserved for that leg of the trip, you could sit in the seat.

The guy that was checking all the tickets, knew which seats would be empty for each part of the trip, BUT didn't bother to tell many of us were standing for most of the trip...grr.

The reason we stopped in Morioka was to try reimen (cold noodles).

Not the best choice during winter...I think reimen is similar to Korean Naengmyeon.

Since the wind had picked up and it was snowing a little, we wanted to find a place close to the station, so we checked out Pyonpyonsha. (love saying the name!)

Luckily they had half sized reimen.

Choose your spiciness (they have 4 levels)...I chose the most mild (1), while Satoshi chose "a little spicy"(2).

With my bowl, the kim chee came separately, so that I could adjust the heat with the amount that I put into the soup.

While Satoshi's bowl, the kim chee was put into the soup already...I can only imagine how spicy (and red) 3 and 4 were...

I loved the chewiness of the noodles.

The piece of meat was on the hard side!

This version was served with asian pear but I have also seen photos of versions with watermelon in it.

Definitely a summery food but I'm glad we tried it and would love to try other places the next time we visit.

From Morioka, we caught the local train to Hiraizumi.

Satoshi wanted to check out Chusonji, an area with many temples.

We had actually visited this area in 2001 (pre-blog), but we were on a tour at the time.

The most impressive thing to see here is Konjikido, a golden structure that also holds the remains of 4 generations from the Fujiwara family.

It was a very tranquil place.

Another tranquil place is Motsuji (about a 10 minute walk from Hiraizumi station).

A temple and a huge garden area gives one a feel of the elaborate garden parties and lifestyle of the Heian period.

I could just imagine how beautiful this place must be during the other seasons.

About 15 minutes away and off the beaten path is Shizuka-tei, the tiny inn we would be staying at.

They only have 10 rooms and luckily, they have a pick-up service.

Our room had a massage chair which Satoshi and I took turns using.

Dinner was again huge and everything was delicious especially the steak that was served, so melt in the mouth tender.

Another busy day, but I'm glad we got to see the areas that Satoshi wanted to check out.

Morioka Station
9-3 Morioka eki-mae-dori
Morioka, Iwate
Phone: 019.606.1067

10-5 Hiraizumi Nagakura
Nishiiwaigun Hirazumi-cho, Iwate


Kalin's Mommy said...

So much snow! I remember the Snow Festival in Hokkaido, we were slipping all over the place even with the snow pick rubber thingys on our shoes. Be careful! Mich

KirkK said...

Love the snow shots! Great adventure!

jalna said...

Beautiful snowy photos!!

K and S said...

Mich, when we went to the Snow Festival, we didn't even have those rubber thingies, and were really slipping and sliding...eep!

Glad you enjoyed this Kirk :)

Thanks Jalna!

Take care everyone.

Rowena said...

I'm imagining Satoshi in front of that breakfast buffet spread...his stomach must've been so happy! I think you've had enough of snow for now?

K and S said...

Rowena, as long as I don't have to shovel it, I'm happy to see it whenever :)

Take care.