Friday, 15 August 2014

Travel: Japan 2014 Day 8 // Magome // Stay: Tajimaya // Eat: Fujioto, Tajimaya

We woke up a bit later than planned :(. After asking Sumiyoshi Ryokan for their help sending our big luggages via Takkyubin to Kyoto (for our destination tomorrow), we headed on our way (by the way, we paid JPY 1404 for each big luggage to send them from Uji to Takayama, then another JPY 1404 from Takayama to Kyoto).
We initially planned to hit the morning market again by the Miyagawa river, but finally decided against it as we had to take train to our next destination, Nagiso - and this route is pretty scarce). But no sweat - ekiben to the rescue. This one was kinda interesting - you have to pull the yellow string at the side of the box and the heat pouch inside the box would heat up your meal.

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Multiple train tickets 0_o for this journey: I got three tickets: Takayama to Gifu (by Ltd Express Hida train), then we have to change train at Gifu to reach Nakatsugawa (by Ltd Express Shinano), then a local train from Nakatsugawa to Nagiso.

Anyways, all of them costed JPY 8410 each, and about 4 hours later and changing trains - we did reach Nagiso. From then on we had to take the bus bound for Tsumago (and Magome), but we opted to stop at Tsumago and made our way to Magome from there.

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Tsumago and Magome were post towns - serving people of the old who travelled the Nakasendo trail - the walking trail between Tokyo and Kyoto during the Edo period. 
Yeah - no dice walking that distance in this era.

Tsumago is a beautifully preserved old town - with historical buildings so well cared for.

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For lunch we stopped by Fujioto, which is an inn but also a restaurant in one of the old buildings. Beautiful surroundings, garden, and great food. 


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We ordered the Local Trout Sashimi (JPY 720 - small), Zarusoba & Gohei Mochi Set (JPY 1000), and Iwana (fish) Set (JPY 1100).

Sashimi was quite good - sweet and firm and fresh. This was made from local trout apparently.

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Have to say that the best grilled iwana I have eaten so far was from Ainokura's Yomoshiro

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**--**

Initially we wanted to send our day luggage from Tsumago to Magome, using their luggage forwarding service as I wanted to live the days of the old and feel how it was to walk just a bit of the Nakasendo trail.
But as we arrived at Tsumago at around 1 p.m., the bagagge forwarding service was not available anymore T_T, meaning we had to lug our day bags along the walking trail - a good 5 kgs additional baggage on our back.

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Honestly, trust me - if you want to try the hiking - save yourself and walk from Magome to Tsumago, not from Tsumago to Magome. If you decided to stay the night at Magome (like me), you can always take the bus to take you to Magome again. The trail is beautiful, so if you have time, do give it a go. Remember! Do the walk from Magome to Tsumago! Don't be like us (well, unless if you want the extra exercise).
I could feel the Hida beef I ate last night seeping out of my pores as I walked and sweat.

Along the trail, you would find a number of bells - travellers are encouraged to ring them to deter nearby bears to not come close... . Urh,, really?

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The walking trail from Tsumago to Magome is mostly uphill and a good more than three hours later by the end of it... .
My legs... my legs... couldn't feel my legs... T_T


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When we arrived in Magome, it was already quiet (when we left Tsumago, Tsumago was packed as) and was very charming. I have to say, the cluster of the old houses felt more 'authentic' in Tsumago), but I actually enjoyed Magome better as there were less people around.

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**--**

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For tonight, we are staying at Tajimaya in Magome. Tariff quoted was JPY 18360 for two people (including dinner and breakfast)
There is no private toilet and bath. The public bath is separated between men and women (no, cannot book for private use), I didn't get to take any pictures though as it was always occupied.

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Refreshment when we arrived

The interesting thing about our room is - the 'lounge' room - where we put our luggages and where the low table is - is separated from the bedroom. So it is actually quite spacious.

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Dinner was great - particularly as we were famished from the hiking.

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trout sashimi and soba sushi

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selection of broiled and grilled dish - rainbow trout, chicken, and tofu

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tempura. already cold :(

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some steamed vegetables & tofu
Charming Magome at night...

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The host sang along with some guests around the hearth at the reception area after dinner - dancing and singing about some people of the old walking the mountains in the Nakasendo trail (well, that is if my very rusty Japanese serves me well. I could only make out a few words)

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