1. There's more to this forum than meets the eye!

    We have a vibrant community here conversing about all sorts of non-snow topics such as music, sport, politics and technology. Simply register to reveal all our Après topics or continue browsing and reading as a guest.

    NOTE: This notice may be closed.

    Dismiss Notice

Trip Report Lady P’s return to Honshu: Shiga Kogen and Nozawa Onsen

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Lady Penelope, Dec 25, 2018.

  1. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
    Yes. We have been to the fire festival before and I have multiple ski bags to pack :mad: - our last day in Nozawa tomorrow. So will probably give the festival a miss this year.
     
  2. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    15,138
    Likes Received:
    23,842
    Location:
    Blue Mtns, 1100M.
    @Lady Penelope , has Parker had a nice holiday? Gentlemen deserve such.
     
  3. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
    Mmm. Skiing isn’t his favourite pastime :whistle:. At least he wasn’t required to drive!
     
    Untele-whippet likes this.
  4. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Messages:
    16,488
    Likes Received:
    16,686
    Location:
    Canberra
    Whats for lunch L P ?
     
    JoeKing likes this.
  5. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
    Just for a change ... noodles, rice, beef, and a lucky dip vego option :D. Wind hold today, Nagasaka Gondola and Uenotaira chair closed (at least). Long lunch ...

     
    LMB, Snowy Joey, Jellybeans and 6 others like this.
  6. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Messages:
    2,806
    Likes Received:
    2,598
    Location:
    Brisbane
    May I enquire what he was required to do?? :cool:
     
    JoeKing likes this.
  7. rikedwards

    rikedwards Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    62
    Location:
    Adelaide, SA
    If you get a chance I highly recommend trying some of that Yamazaki whiskey!
     
    Tanuki and Lady Penelope like this.
  8. JoeKing

    JoeKing Old n' Thrusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    24,319
    Likes Received:
    11,600
    Location:
    a galaxy far, far away.
    :nono:
     
  9. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
    @JoeKing - the moral arbiter :p
     
    LMB, skifree, Untele-whippet and 2 others like this.
  10. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
    “Other duties as required”.
     
    Beerman, Untele-whippet and JoeKing like this.
  11. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
    Just back from our final day of skiing in Japan this trip :(. As mentioned earlier (and you can see the queue for the Hikage gondola through the window of the restaurant where we had lunch in my earlier photo) it was very windy this morning with the Nagasaka Gondola and one or two other chairs on hold. The wind did ease off mid-afternoon resulting in the chairs re-opening. The sky was a rather ominous colour ...



    Tonight is the night of the Fire Festival. Last night (after eating at the excellent Wakagiri) we wandered down to the site where the tower was being built, passing assorted Daruma on the way:







    I attended the festival during our last visit three years ago and will be doing an awful lot of packing tonight so may not attend (plus I’m fighting off a resurgent chest infection that has been bugging me for the past 10 days or so). A few more reflections on local Japanese cuisine:



    The onsen egg (above). You can eat it or drink it :cool:.



    Dinner last night at Wakagiri ...

    Farewell to Nozawa for now. I’ve felt my confidence increasing over the past couple of weeks to the point that I’ve started to enjoy black runs (shhhh, don’t tell my children!). Miss 15, despite stating prior to being forced to come along that she “hates skiing” had a ball, and was more often than not the leader of the pack of speed demons. We leave tomorrow for Kyoto and sightseeing ....
     
    LMB, Snowy Joey, dawooduck and 11 others like this.
  12. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    30,713
    Likes Received:
    26,156
    Location:
    woonona
    Hire bikes in Kyoto.
     
  13. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
    Hmm, good suggestion. Children already suffering anticipatory boredom at the thought of sightseeing ....
     
  14. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    7,876
    Likes Received:
    13,976
    Location:
    Canberra, ACT
    Just channel the great sage Homer Simpson.

    Kids: "This is the worst day of my life!"
    You: "This is the worst day of your life so far" ;)
     
    Rush, skifree, Froff Life and 2 others like this.
  15. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    30,713
    Likes Received:
    26,156
    Location:
    woonona
    Kyoto is just right for bikes. Like Canberra
     
    Lady Penelope likes this.
  16. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
    Transit day today. We left Nozawaonsen as we arrived: with heavy snow falling. The boys in our group were seething (“why do we have to leave now?”).


    Note to anyone planning to catch the bus to Iiyama station: it can be very busy, particularly after the Fire Festival. Get there early and purchase your tickets from the ticket machine. Four large buses departed at 9.30 this morning .... all full. Snow continued to fall heavily around Iiyama station:



    Some confusion reigned at this station when I inserted the required 3 tickets into the machine at the gates (for Kyoto via Kanazawa) but it only gave me two back :eek:. The guard eventually just told me to show the other tickets at Kanazawa and Kyoto stations, which fortunately worked. A few pics from the window of the appropriately titled “Thunderbird Express” from Kanazawa to Kyoto:







    The latter photograph is of a very large inland lake, the name of which escapes me at the moment. Sadly, we farewell Miss 15 who is heading home tonight to undertake a two week intensive dance workshop (and catch up with her myriad friends). A late night for me as I will be accompanying her to Kansai airport for her 1130pm flight then back to Kyoto. Yawn.
     
    LMB, Froff Life, Kletterer and 8 others like this.
  17. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    30,713
    Likes Received:
    26,156
    Location:
    woonona
    That's lake Biwa

    Awesome spot to visit with a car.
     
  18. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
    I knew it began with ‘B’!
     
  19. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    30,713
    Likes Received:
    26,156
    Location:
    woonona
    That part of Japan.. Tsuruga included. Liked alot.
     
  20. Rush

    Rush Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2000
    Messages:
    45,287
    Likes Received:
    13,645
    I say that to my kids about once a month.
     
  21. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
    Time to play TR catch-up, so apologies for the multitude of photos here.

    We are staying in a rather swish hotel (the Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto) near Shijo subway station close to the Kyoto CBD. The breakfast buffet is breathtaking, and so are the sake prices (as Miss T and I found out to our cost on the first night - 2500 yen for a 180ml flask of sake :eek:). Mr 9 was impressed by the lobby chandelier and fountain:





    Yesterday we went to Nara where we blended in with crowds and were accosted by numerous food-seeking deer. Mr 9 learned to bow to them ...



    Then off to the Pontocho eating area, characterised by its narrow alleyways and lanterns, where we were fortunate enough to find a reasonably priced okonomiyaki restaurant (not as good as the one we frequented in Osaka, but still very nice).



    Today, Miss T and I worked out a full itinerary involving lots of sightseeing. Just what the children (minus Miss 15, now safely back in Canberra) wanted :D. Firstly, Arashiyama with its tall bamboo forest and hordes of tourists ...



    Women sporting kimonos could be spotted walking around this area; it is possible to hire this traditional dress for the day, but with the temperature hovering around 7C, I felt more comfortable with my polartec and ski jacket. Not that I’m complaining ... rather this than the 40C temps Canberra has been having.



    Then onto another train and bus en route to Ryoanji temple with its famous stone garden and more tranquil surrounds.





    By this stage, complaints from the boys were becoming more frequent; we stopped for pork buns and soft serve ice cream (plentiful in this part of the world). A wall of vending machines also faced us:



    Next stop: Kinkakuji temple (the gold temple). Not a well-kept secret; hundreds were present. Some lovely views of the temple from various aspects throughout the grounds.





    By now complaints were reaching a crescendo from the boys and we hopped on a bus back to Kyoto Station, having mastered the bus payment system. After a brief respite and iPad time in the room for the boys, Miss T, Miss 16, and I decided Daimaru was the place to be. They have an array of restaurants on the 8th floor where we enjoyed a quick meal prior to wandering around the amazing food court area. Surprisingly, the males in our group were unenthuasiatic about this window shopping and quickly located the nearest Apple store. The food court is a sight to behold ... If you want melon or strawberries, be prepared to pay big bucks (last two photos). Over $50 for a punnet of strawberries. No wonder they’re not in the breakfast buffet :eek:









     

    Attached Files:

    LMB, Snowy Joey, Jonathan_P and 11 others like this.
  22. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
    Another full day of sightseeing today. After a hearty breakfast at the hotel buffet (they know how to cook omelettes and Eggs Benedict ... and don’t mention ice cream for breakfast :eek:) we headed out for Fushimi Imari-Taisha, the “1000 torii gates”. I don’t know if there were actually 1000, but it certainly seemed like it. This series of shrines dedicated to the gods of rice is spread over a 4km uphill walk through a forest. While the crowds were very much in evidence at the bottom, they certainly thinned out as the climb to the top progressed.







    We were rewarded with fantastic views over Kyoto from the top.



    However, as has become common in Japan, the cats stole the show. A local man appeared with a tray of cat biscuits, and - voila - felines appeared from everywhere on the walk back down to the bottom.





    Following a quick snack of fried chicken on sticks and takoyaki, we jumped on a bus to our next destination, Ginkakuji temple (or the silver temple). While it didn’t look very silver, it was certainly an impressive sight as was the beautiful Philospher’s Walk through the grounds.







    Another bus ride later, and we were at Nishiki markets. I managed to locate a bottle of “high quality” sake, according to the vendor (high price, too) which I will bring home. The boys quickly worked out that we were near the Apple store and made a beeline for that location. My Apple Watch tells me that I’ve done 19,569 steps today and walked 13.18 km so I feel justified in having a large dinner tonight :)
     
  23. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
    Gotta love Japanese cuisine ... (minus the chips confiscated from squabbling children):



     
    LMB, Snowy Joey, whether and 8 others like this.
  24. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
    A fairly relaxed day today after the hectic pace Miss T and I have set since arriving in Kyoto. First, a leisurely breakfast after a bit of a sleep-in. I don’t know where else one can get ice cream and sprinkles for brekkie (seriously, this buffet has everything):



    Sadly, it was also Miss T’s last day as she headed back to Brisbane with her two teens this afternoon. So we spent this morning wandering around the shops (minus the boys who went to the tech store Yodobashi). Some of the T shirts looked interesting .... be careful what you buy if the writing is in another language :whistle:



    As it was a bit of damp, miserable day outside, we chose to head to the Kyoto Science Museum (aka Kyoto Municipal Science Centre for Youth), a bit of a hike from Takeda subway station on the Karasuma line. It wasn’t as large as say Questacon or the Powerhouse, but it had the usual interactive exhibits and an animatronic dinosaur. While the instructions and information were in Japanese, my two had no trouble working out how to operate various exhibits and had a ball.





    The good news is ... more sightseeing tomorrow and the day after :D.
     
    LMB, Snowy Joey, Jonathan_P and 4 others like this.
  25. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
    Second last day in Japan. More Kyoto sightseeing. Today, I thought we would do something different and travel out to Kurama-dera (the collection of shrines on Mt Kurama, a little way out from Kyoto). It was a bit of an adventure getting there, taking the subway, walking, then the local electric railway (we returned via bus to the Karasuma line). This is a rural enclave, peaceful and uncrowded. We wended our way up a steep mountain past various temples and enjoyed the peace and serenity. Thank heavens - no noisy tour groups!











    All that walking clearly wasn’t enough, so I plotted a trip to Gion via various subway stations. We wandered around for a while before stumbling across Kennoji temple - we explored the grounds, then headed back to Shijo via the Apple Store. The Gion area is a taste of traditional Kyoto, replete with young women dressed in Kimonos ....











    Kennoji temple ... By this stage the boys were getting very tired ....



    After extracting Mr 9 from the Apple store, we headed to a local tempura restaurant recommended highly in Lonely Planet (with good reason, it turned out). Ooishi desu ....





    My Apple Watch tells me that we’ve taken 26,220 steps today over 18.26km ... and it can’t be wrong, can it? ;)
     

    Attached Files:

    LMB, Snowy Joey, shepski and 11 others like this.
  26. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
    Last trip report, barring disaster at the airport. A bit of a cruise day today. After a leisurely breakfast and packing (at least I didn’t have to worry about the ski bags, hopefully waiting for us at Kansai Airport) we headed for Nijo-jo Castle and the Imperial Palace. We are not having much luck with things being open. Today, the palace inside the Nijo-jo Castle grounds was closed for some reason (not a regular ‘closed’ day). Oh well ... the exterior and grounds were still very impressive. We bought some food to feed to the very large coy, but I think the wily ducks got most of it :whistle:













    We then headed off to the Imperial Palace, wandering through Kyoto gardens on the way. The gardens inside were rather lovely, too, although the areas in which one can walk are quite limited.











    We had an early dinner (pizza, just for something different) at the excellent Goichi restaurant near our hotel. The young guys in there were lovely, with one having worked in my home state of Tassie for six months.



    We now have a rather tedious flight home: a 7 hour overnight leg from Osaka to Singapore, then after 90 minutes at Changi an 8 hour flight to Sydney. 3 hours of stuffing around there with customs, etc, before we finally get home to Canberra around 10.20 tomorrow night. I don’t sleep on planes. Ever. So in-flight movies, here I come .... Mata ne, Japan - hope to see you again in the not-too-distant future (but perhaps some other places to explore before then ;)).
     
    LMB, Snowy Joey, Sage Oya and 14 others like this.
  27. SnowRabbit

    SnowRabbit Addicted

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2017
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    140
    Thanks for another informative and enjoyable trip report. Enjoyed last years also.
    Hope the trip home wasn't too much of a drag. Always seems a lot longer coming home when there isn't the excitement of the coming holiday to look forward to.
     
    Lady Penelope likes this.
  28. Sage Oya

    Sage Oya Like the herb, lover of Pabst, cup ramen devotee Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2017
    Messages:
    663
    Likes Received:
    1,572
    Location:
    Sydney
    Awesome trip report @Lady Penelope , thoroughly enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing :D
     
    Lady Penelope likes this.
  29. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
    Thank you both for your comments - glad you enjoyed it! The flight home was pretty tedious with Singapore Airlines - Osaka-Singapore-Sydney-Canberra. We could have done without the 4 hour stop in transit in Sydney!
     
    elSpike likes this.
  30. hipo

    hipo One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Messages:
    2,652
    Likes Received:
    3,924
    Location:
    Here & there
    Been known to enjoy a dessert or cheese cake but there's soo much jelly set over here it's gonna need more than a few buckets of ice cream to digest......
    PS. Well done Lady P. :)
     
    Lady Penelope likes this.
  31. gettingtooold

    gettingtooold One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    4,025
    Likes Received:
    2,572
    Location:
    geelong
    Great TR. and followed you all the way. Well done and thanks for taking the time and sharing.:thumbs:
     
    Lady Penelope likes this.
  32. shabu_shabu

    shabu_shabu One of Us

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2013
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    586
  33. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    30,713
    Likes Received:
    26,156
    Location:
    woonona
  34. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
  35. skivet

    skivet Addicted

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    149
    Location:
    Gold coast
    Thanks for your great trip report Lady P, thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it!
     
    Lady Penelope likes this.
  36. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    26,535
    Likes Received:
    16,520
    Location:
    Perth
    Great TR
    Thanks for sharing.

    I laughed every time you said the boys were in the Apple store. LOL
     
  37. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
    Thanks, @LMB . Ask them what the highlights of Japan were, and they would probably say 1) the skiing, and 2) the Apple store. Somehow they were less enamoured of the sightseeing LOL. Perhaps next Japan trip should be to Hokkaido ....
     
  38. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    26,535
    Likes Received:
    16,520
    Location:
    Perth
    Sapporo Apple store is closed down apparently...will they cope?!
     
  39. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
    Only if they can ski :D
     
    LMB likes this.
  40. Hagle

    Hagle Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2018
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Red Hill, Qld
    Lady P, I enjoyed following your trip report. We left Shigakogen yesterday after 7 wonderful days of skiing. Compared with previous years we were not the only gaijin in the village! Loads more Westerners this year. Did you find the same? Also, lots more English signage and advertising. Met quite a few Aussie Shigakogen first timers this year.
     
  41. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,122
    Likes Received:
    7,781
    Location:
    Canberra
    Glad you enjoyed it (the TR and Shiga Kogen!). There were very few Westerners when we were there early in January. If you think there is a lot of English language signage now, it must have been non-existent previously! I hope the lack of nightlife and village atmosphere discourages some of the less desirable overseas visitors ...