Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

The Other Japan - Amami & Kikaijima (+ Fujinomiya)


Recommended Posts

Not much happening on our final 2 days here. We only wanted to go swim in the coral lagoon and walk.

Covers on Kikaijima. Fish, corals, seaweeds etc.

Every single day on Amami island and here, 24/7, you'll hear this super loud, skull-piercing racket. O.M.G.! Once your brain gets used to the noise it ignores it. Their lifespan is the length of summer. Finally, saw one cicada in the open where I could easily make a photo of it. If somebody has never seen one... it's huge.

Fun with macro photos of some tiny, teeny corals at the beach.

Then I dropped a pinch of sand on the "craters". The grains of sand are barely visible and now in super macro mode you can actually see individual grains.


All the tourist attractions on this island: Sugarcane road (only sugarcane fields in this area), huge banyan tree, butterflies, and flora. There are butterfly colonies in the woods at highest elevations.

Found a good photo online taken using a drone. This is the natural coral lagoon we came to swim every day. Kikaijima is a 100% coral island. The second fastest growing. The "fastest" is somewhere in the Bahamas.

Typical citrus tree common in people's gardens. Thick-skinned and green.


In Japan you put household waste in this cage to be collected (on a certain day of the week). No tall containers with wheels. Japan has strict and complicated rubbish disposal rules. If you don't separate your rubbish correctly it won't be collected and you might be fined. Has to be in (semi) transparent bags (rubbish collectors and your neighbours should be able to see the contents!).

Sooner or later we had to hit the supermarket for beer and new snacks. Fried chicken wing flavour and "4 cheeses". Can't you really taste Gouda, Cheddar, mozzarella and Camembert at the same time, though.

"Fried chicken" and Takoyaki (octopus balls)


Interesting that on this small island far away Mutti tomotoes cost so little ($0.87), at home it's $2.70.

Suggestions for eggs. But in the photos they are fried and topped various bowls.

Snacks at the beach (brought with us). No taste of spicy roe.

The mochi on skewers were a mistake. I finally got over texture of mochi but it's the small balls like these trigger my sensitive gag reflex and bring back childhood trauma. The small balls have no filling, just pure dough. The partner ate all of it, I ate the big balls with bean paste filling.


And breakfast earlier today. I wanted to try the hotel's "Western breakfast", the partner said I would regret it.

Back to Japanese breakfast again tomorrow.

Partner's breakfast. I like to make photos of the side dishes. They are quite fascinating. There are established standard side dishes and there are ones that you only see/eat if staying at a private guesthouse. (Home)cooks combine any ingredients and flavours they find tasty. FYI, there are small shops that sell only side dishes. Supermarkets have a big section for just side dishes and condiments with which to eat alongside.  


Dinner at a restaurant just a few minutes on foot from the hotel. Had to check and check again on 2 maps to make sure it's the right place. Looks like a house in this residential neighbourhood. Well, it is a house that's also a restaurant.


We had a reservation and were the first to arrive. Lone diners and pairs sit at the long counter.

2 straw mat rooms for families or groups.


Directly in front of me. Behind the curtains is the kitchen.

Some type of big shellfish. Very good and meaty.

Big clam sashimi. after 3 days it's clear this clam sashimi is typical on Kikaijima, whereas on Amami it's strawberry conch.


People usually order both big clam and assorted sashimi so they serve it on the same plate. The big clam shell makes even middle-aged males pull out their phones and snap some photos.

Besides fresh (shell)fish, Kikaijima also has a goat cuisine. This restaurant is one of the few that are goat sashimi specialists. Islanders go to a specialist they trust. This restaurant is popular with locals and tourists alike, in high season it's harder to get a seat but in October it's quiet again. Anyway, first time goat sashimi for us. As sashimi it's always sliced from frozen.. All the tourists order the big clam sashimi and this goat plate.

We actually ordered 2 plates.


The daughter of the owners showed us the "island cuisine" section on the menu. Our phone translated one of the items called "mountain yam somen". When it came out we looked at the bowl in silence, thinking wow, nice, and where's the yam or somen? The "somen" was the shredded yam. They must have a very good mandoline to shred the yam so perfectly and finely. This yam is notoriously slimy.

A simple dish beautifully presented. Daughter behind the counter told us the broth is dashi. We absolutely loved this dish.

Rolled omelette in dashi. Another nice one. So fluffy and moist. No wonder Japanese food taste good to me, I think it comes down to dashi (and bonito flakes) and seaweed. In many cuisines, before you start cooking anything you slice/fry onions (and garlic, too). Here you probably get the dashi prepared/ready and then whatever else comes next.


Amami-style somen. It's different at every restaurant. I may also contain more vegetables and/or tiny dried fish. The somen is nicely al dente. Half submerged in liquid that's dashi again. This restaurant makes exquisite dashi. Btw, every dish comes with its specific dipping sauce or condiment and they insist that you use which sauce for which dish. The counter was soon full of small dishes of sauces.

When we were not eating we answered questions or asked questions. It's easy to them to speak into their phones and get instant English translation. They said something into the phone and then showed the translation to us. Only possible when online, though. We had to type using a translation app. The restaurant phone rang constantly. It's a popular restaurant. Daughter and mother run front of the house, father is the cook. He came out to say hi to us and bowed. Lots of smiling and more bowing on our way out. Kikaijima is small and has only a few restaurants. We picked a good one. What a nice experience this was.

Thank you for not having a tipping system.

Many businesses still have these landline coin operated phones. Maybe some people still use them. They take up space and everyone has a cell phone nowadays.

Still can't forget the yamaimo/mountain yam "somen" dish!



Liuzhou, thanks!

There's another type of stilt house on these islands. I shall get to that very soon.


Also thanks to OkanaganCook and LindaG.


The bikes are old and wobbly. We tried to change the speed when going up or down but they made some bad sound so we didn't touch it again.


Have never used good bikes on Japanese islands. Ones on Okinawan islands were even worse.





I have been to "only" a little more than 40 countries (some multiple times). Most European countries no longer give me visa stamps. Japan issues a beautiful visa sticker with Mt. Fuji on it.




Edited by BonVivant (log)
  • Like 7
  • Thanks 3
  • Delicious 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Duvel, not sure. These are big.

I'm reading about citrus cultivars on Kikaijima. The five major citrus cultivars are ‘Shiiku’ (C. sp.), ‘Keraji’ (C. Keraji hort. ex Tanaka), ‘Kunenbo’ (C. nobilis Lour.), ‘Fusuu’ (C. rokugatsu hort. ex Y. Tanaka), and ‘Kuriha’ (C. Keraji hort. ex Tanaka var. Kabuchii.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you once again @BonVivantfor allowing me a glimpse into places that I will likely not visit in my lifetime. I really appreciate your laid back and "open to anything foodwise" style of travelling - it's very similar to the way I traveled when I was younger, before I met my husband. He is not a terribly adventurous eater (I was shocked when he ordred octopus!) but we usually find a way to compromise.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Braised meatball with root vegetables. No problem at all getting more vegetables. They start eating them already at breakfast.

Duck breast (surprisingly, but not the first time eating it so early in the morning)


Love these savoury breakfasts in Japan.


Finally, the nice weather returned.


A paradise for butterflies


Some snacks at the beach later, where we spent the whole afternoon, for the last time.


Had to look very hard to find any. Not many of these hermit crabs on Amami islands, which is a stark contrast to Okinawan islands.


Back to the same restaurant, for the last time.


1 of the 2 private low-table rooms for families or groups.


Crockery shelves behind the counter. The mother and daughter who run the front of the house also get other parts of the dishes ready. The father does the cooking behind the curtains.


Not sure what this was. To me, it tasted like meat or tuna escabeche.


Must have the super fresh big clam and assorted sashimi again.


Fluffy tempura of chomeiso. A type of plant, only the tender young tips are used for tempura.


Our favourite. It went fast so we had to order another plate.


Goat sashimi, again.


Prawn tempura


And the excellent somen in dashi


Goats on Kikaijima. They are kept in the garden and usually tethered. I couldn't find anything about the milk being used for drinking or making cheese, though. Besides, they don't exist on an industrial scale so maybe that's why. Islanders like to eat it in various dishes, soups and of course sashimi.


Also, I noticed "mainland" Japanese tourists ate the same dishes and more, all alone. We were full splitting the dishes right down the middle.


@MaryIsobel: it's an adventure in eating on the islands. Menus don't have photos like in most places in Japan, and the phone app translates funny things into English. Our MO is never pass an opportunity to indulge in local fare!

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
  • Delicious 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last breakfast at the hotel. An employee was surprised to see us again. Everybody gasped "huh, so many days? There's nothing here". (Well, exactly why we liked it.)


For the last look... wonderful island for a quiet holiday. We'll miss it. Nothing happens here, small enough to bike, a tiny population, nobody wants the hustle and bustle of Okinawa or elsewhere in Japan, most islanders are farmers. Welcoming and friendly, too.


Picnic table we liked to occupy at the coral lagoon beach.


The last goodbye


This is the style of earlier type of stilt house in the archipelago. Nowadays they use this design for many things. Here at Kikaijima airport it's a place where you wait or pick up/see off family/friends. It's big. The actual stilt house is much smaller and has a thatched roof.

Have landed back on Amami-Oshima island after a very short flight (10 minutes?). There's that stilt house again. One can rest or shelter from the sun. I call it a gazebo.

Finally had to try this fast food restaurant in the centre. First time trying Japanese-style "hamburger". There's cheese inside.

Without cheese


Check out the knife handle. Felt very odd holding it at first.

There were servers but also this robot server zooming round, all the while making loud sounds, too.

Just for fun I looked at the children's menu:


It's a nice fast food restaurant. Price-quality ratio is good. Lots of locals take their time eating, drinking coffee, meeting up with friends/family. First time eating Japanese fast food. We plan to do more of that on future trips.


Kikaijima was very nice but it's also good to be back here on Amami-Oshima. Spent the afternoon walking and checking out supermarkets to make an assessment so I could decide what to buy to take home, and how much room left in my rucksack.

Dinner at a local place in the neighbourhood of my lodging. Strawberry conch again. I had missed them.

Another southern islands' favourite. Stir-fried bitter gourd with eggs and tofu.

Amami somen. Every cook make it to their taste.

Seaweed soup


A counter for lone diners and a few low tables for party of 2 or more.

Very small, very local. Mother cooks, son takes care of the front and takeaway. Daughter(-in-law?) works in the kitchen, too. Half an hour after we arrived the place was full, clientele of all ages. A good spot for home-style (island) food and to see the dishes local dinners order.  

Unfortunately, today was the craft beer bar's rest day so we had to get their beer in bottles. Good to put our feet up again after a long day.






  • Like 6
  • Thanks 4
  • Delicious 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fascinating look into your travels - thank you. I had a giggle to myself imagining our group of friends dining at one of those low tables. We would all need to be on our hands and knees with a grab rail near by in order to get up!

  • Like 1
  • Haha 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@BonVivant, thank you, as always.  Question about the low dining tables:  is there any accommodation for rickety old people, of which I understand Japan has more than a few?  Or does a lifetime of excruciating culinary contortion prepare little old ladies for pain traditionally reserved for Samuri seppuku?




  • Haha 1

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

Whatever you crave, there's a dumpling for you. -- Hsiao-Ching Chou

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

@BonVivant, thank you, as always.  Question about the low dining tables:  is there any accommodation for rickety old people, of which I understand Japan has more than a few?  Or does a lifetime of excruciating culinary contortion prepare little old ladies for pain traditionally reserved for Samuri seppuku?





I was wondering that myself.  I'm not yet rickety, but I sure don't fold or unfold  like I used to

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know about in this locale, but I've seen old people all over SE Asia comfortably squatting way lower than I ever could on my best day.  I think if you do certain movements continually throughout your life, it doesn't stiffen up like it does for us who do them only occasionally.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 minutes ago, KennethT said:

I don't know about in this locale, but I've seen old people all over SE Asia comfortably squatting way lower than I ever could on my best day.  I think if you do certain movements continually throughout your life, it doesn't stiffen up like it does for us who do them only occasionally.


A  lifetime squatting over Asian squat toilets develops the necessary muscles!



Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Haha 2

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.


"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
Mark Twain


The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, everyone. I'm only half way through the trip. 😆


Doing everything on the floor, without having been trained since childhood, is painful. Low tables with a recessed floor underneath for the legs are a bit better but those are not so prevalent. We watch in awe every time, how Japanese people of any age do it with SUCH ease. They can also sit on their calves for a long time.


They have shown us how it's done but we just couldn't do it! Might be easier if one isn't fat but we are not and still it's near impossible. They laugh so much at the partner's height (almost 2m/6.4f) and long legs that don't fit anywhere in Japan.


Hard to see the leg space but it's there. You can at least stretch your legs. Our table doesn't have leg room, the partner sits to one side to be able to stretch those super long legs all the way past the table.



Painful but so worth it and will do it all over again.





I saw more middle-aged and elderly people (and many are very elderly) than younger ones everywhere in Japan. And what else? They are healthy, and are still working, even past their retirement age. It's a wondrous thing to see.

  • Like 7
  • Delicious 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was in Japan a few yrs ago ...going to dinner at an old restaurant in a group. They filed through the door and I followed...until I got hit in my 6'2" forehead by the doorframe and got knocked down. 


When they were sure I was ok they thought it pretty funny...me too... (there had been a good deal of drink already).

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/17/2023 at 9:05 PM, gfweb said:

I was in Japan a few yrs ago ...going to dinner at an old restaurant in a group. They filed through the door and I followed...until I got hit in my 6'2" forehead by the doorframe and got knocked down. 


My partner is 6'5" and we have a running series of pictures from various doorways and similar in Asia that come to about nose height on them 🤣


@BonVivant, very much enjoying this series! We spent a week in Kyushu in April and it's remarkable how different these islands are despite being "nearby." 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

(Firstly, finally done uploading all the photos from this trip to a new image hosting site. I got a surprise last week when I was about to resume posting to this topic. Imgur photo storage site has changed owners and is now no longer supports albums, plus other new annoyances. So, here I am, starting all over again.)

We had wanted to visit the ethno museum but it was either not open so early or closed that day. We had fun checking out the stilt-houses outside. They are part of the museum exhibits. I regretted so much we never made it back to the museum.

The guesthouse where we stayed in the first week of the holiday whose owner/cook used to be a science teacher, he is adamant that the first people who came to Amami were tribal Indonesians. And that some styles of stilt-house are similar to those somewhere in Indonesia. However, officially, it's still unclear from where the first arrivals came.

This is a storehouse on stilts. For storing grains and food. High up away from rodents and the elements. Flow of air also prevents moisture accumulation thus excellent for storing foodstuffs. No nails are used in the construction of this type of stilt-house. They can be disassembled quickly in case of a fire or natural disaster. And of course, they must be able to withstand the frequent typhoons.


That's the floor with an entrance. A ladder is removed so you can't climb up.


This stilt-house is quite spacious consisting of multiple connecting rooms.


The kitchen


The interior


There was a bus stop nearby so we decided to go to a beach village a little farther up the coast. We killed a few minutes checking out this vegetable shop only steps from the bus stop. The owner wasn't there, if you bought something you just put the coins in a little piggy bank. Meanwhile, the supermarket self-checkouts here at home stealing is becoming a big problem.


I do like winged beans. Should eat them more often.



After riding the "bus" for 20 minutes or so we reached Yamato village. It's small but has a few important cultural events.


There's that stilt-house again, on every cover in the village.


Quiet village life



My quick snack. Shaved ice with green tea and adzuki bean paste.


The young owner couldn't stop laughing! She had never seen tourists from "the West" here. Pulled out her phone wanting to make a photo of us (but we politely declined). We chatted for a long time using a translation app. Encounters with friendly, warm islanders were one of the highlights of the trip.


Yamato village has a beach and just 1 place to eat. The informal beach shack is run by a friendly English speaking Japanese (bohemian) pair. The menu is very short and most simple. Chicken with home-made curry (only found out it was "curry" when the food was brought to us). Chicken is the only meat they cook and curry is the only spice they make themselves. Unfortunately, my system can't process curry and the spices in it (also no coconut milk/cream) so I had to scrape it all off (and eventually stopped eating, the partner ate my leftovers).


The shack has no door, rustic (very uncomfortable) furniture.


The open kitchen


They have many chickens. The problem is they crap everywhere and there's a smell.


We took the bus so this is where we got/on off. (Photos of beach another time.)



Back in Naze centre later. Many beers at the craft beer bar before heading back for dinner.


Pineapple NEIPA ("New England IPA) was more like an alcoholic juice rather than beer. Excellent.


IIRC, they didn't charge me for this second or third glass of the NEIPA because it was too foamy.


So thick


I was invited to look round the tiny brewery just on the other side of the glass wall. One of the employees acted as a translator. Actually, they had no idea about NEIPA until I mentioned the pineapple beer tasted like it. Asked if they had bottles but the beer was just ready to be tapped when I got to the bar. They filled 2 bottles directly from the tank for me to take away!


Dinner at a local restaurant again. Tuna sashimi.


Garlicky, spicy prawns.




Stir-fried pork (more onions, though). We enjoyed eating on these southern islands. Sometimes you forget that you are not somewhere in SE Asia because some of the dishes are similar. (FYI, Japan's southern islands had traded and had contact with China and other cultures in the region. The culture and food here is a blend of all of that.)


Found a restaurant supply shop in my neighbourhood. Very simple, the stuff sold there is not of very high quality or known brands.


Spotted very few of these smoking establishments on this trip. Smoking inside is one of the top reasons Japan is only my unofficial number one favourite country (to visit). Happy to say we didn't have any problem with indoor smoking on this trip. Japan is suddenly getting much, much closer to the number one spot on my list! (Maybe next trip it will be official...)


This clamp on the steering bar is probably for holding an umbrella.


About 98% of bikes on Kikaijima are unlocked. Here on Amami it's probably 50%. And elsewhere in Japan 0%.


  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

These last days on Amami were relaxing. Today we took a mini bus to a village and walked from there, for at least an hour, uphill and in the moist heat to Ohama beach. The trail down to the beach was well shaded and easy but I was afraid of snakes. These nasty creatures could attack you from a tree branch, a place you don't usually pay attention to.

These bulbs look a bit like onions, don't they.

We snacked on some assorted pastries purchased from a village shop before the walk to the beach.

Full of Japanese tourists in the summer but in October we had it to ourselves.



Golden hour back in Naze (Amami's biggest town).


This car park and its parking system.


A new use for old tins.


Taco rice kits. I tried taco rice on an island in Okinawa. Couldn't stand the smell of the jarred salsa.


A fishmonger in the neighbourhood. We bought dinner from them a few times on the way back from the beer bar.


In a restaurant you get a few slices of big clam sashimi.


Strawberry conch


Islanders eat kimchi but this version without chillies is also an option. Just wanted to try it for a change. Next time get kimchi again.


Squid sashimi





2 rounds of beer at the bar earlier.


And back in the room later. They called this pineapple beer sour ale but I think it's a very nice New England IPA.


  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We took the bus to the mangrove park about an hour away.
2 lone trees at high tide seen from the bus.

At the mangrove park now. We were the only 2 foreigners there and immediately they sent an English-speaking guide just for us. How nice of them.


Our kayaks.


I mentioned to the guide the mangrove on Iriomote island (an island closer to Okinawa than here) was quite different. The guide has been there too. He said Iriomote had a different kind of mangrove, indeed. So many small crabs running about on the mud here. The are so fast you see them then you don't.




After the kayaking tour we walked up to the observation platform for this view.


I was busy switching cameras for a moment and when I looked again something entered the frame. It was a lone wild boar. He crossed over to the other side of the mangrove. Showed some park employees the photos and they made them smile. They have never seen one themselves. There's a wild boar population in the mangrove.


We actually missed the tour by 5 minutes and had some time to kill. It was exactly lunch time. Top menu item at the mangrove's restaurant: local tuna sashimi bowl. Btw, bowl dishes are not "trendy" in Japan. There are many kinds of bowl food there, which usually have the word "don" in the name.


Stir-fried pork belly with vegetables.


Vinegared seaweed in a little aluminium dish and some other things.


This item is also popular: seaweed and onion tempura.




Some other photos back in Naze town.
Lots of these old land line phone still around. Some are still plugged in. The box below still has a phone directory in it.


Combi lock that turns left/right.


How I like it, too. (Saw this same sign on a drink trailer on Madeira.)


This scooter has 3 wheels and a cover. Probably belongs to a handicapped person.


Kabocha flavoured tofu.


Simply sea water, according to the translation app. Characters on the right side said something about usage.


A restaurant. (Most are open for lunch, then a mid afternoon break, and open again from 6pm.)


Another restaurant, also not open until 6pm.


Our dinner today. Mackerel.


An iceberg salad.


There's rice underneath the omelette. Gyoza and 2 pieces of fried chicken wings on the other plate.


Then we crossed over the other side of the street to the craft beer bar for a couple of rounds of IPAs before going back to our lodging.


  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2
  • Delicious 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back to Kuninao beach in Yamato village to swim for the last time. Sweeping vistas of the sea and mountains can be seen from this viewpoint, which was empty in October. There are more benches like these behind me, you have an idea just how busy it can get in high season (summer).


Below is Kuninao beach and Yamato village.



We did some light walking and spent the afternoon swimming.



Last meal on Amami.






This abura somen (oil somen) is the soupiest yet. Usually there's just a little dashi/broth.


Some snacks earlier


Interesting blooms by the roadside.


Hand-painted noodle shop sign (behind printed characters)


Brand new Honda DAX with custom built baggage rack. The DAX made a comeback last year after 4 decades or so. DAX was popular in the 70's and 80's.


Saying goodbye to the island's only craft beer bar and brewery.



After this trip we have decided to make the southern islands a priority from now on. Being here is like going back in time, nothing exciting ever happens, people are chill and friendly, food is nice and it's a lot more like the food in other Asian countries but also Japanese. Quiet streets and villages, most people are farmers and fishers. Islanders are healthy and still working way past their retirement age, even more (working) elderly people on southern islands than in "mainland Japan" that we have seen. The islands are sparsely populated, have own cultures and languages. It definitely feels different here. We enjoyed the holiday so much. And of course we have plans to visit other islands in this "other Japan" in the future.





  • Like 1
  • Thanks 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Final hours on Amami, now at the airport waiting for our departure.


The original idea (at the time of planning) was to head west to Taiwan (again), but the partner wanted to see Mt. Fuji. Something we have talked about for years. Let's hope someone does not decide to attack Taiwan any time soon cuz we still have many things to eat and see there.

After a connecting flight in Kagoshima we arrived at Haneda.


The employees at the train station were most efficient and helpful. An elderly employee came to each waiting person or group in the long queue asking questions and writing everything down on her printed notepad, speaking fluent English. She had an iPad with which she checked train timetables and connections. She tore off the sheet, which you would give to the ticket counter person, who also spoke fluently. Everything was fast and efficient. I'm always amazed every time, as if it's my first time visiting the country. Inefficiency, incompetence, uncleanliness are my top 3 arch nemesis. Japan is the place where we truly enjoy every moment and every thing as tourists.


On our first ever trip to Japan we got a 3 week first class rail pass. This time we needed to take a few short train rides so no pass and only second class seats. N700 is an older Shinkansen but still spacious and has lots of leg room.




We had our backs to Mt. Fuji side the entire ride. And when we exited the train.... Mt. Fuji was in my face! There were a few people waiting on the platform who immediately moved aside so this tourist could make a photo of Mt. Fuji!


Finally, this was our final place to visit on this trip, Fujinomiya. It's a small town, one of the small towns and villages closest to Mt. Fuji. Thing is, now we also want to visit all those small towns and villages in the future to see Fuji from all angles!


It's been a very long day travelling. Only had time to find somewhere to eat dinner and then rest. Restaurants were just starting to open now.


The server arrived later, but for now our food was brought by this robot.



The sink. Yeah, and...?


It had a built-in hand dryer. I've seen it a couple of times before, it's not so prevalent. I like it. Works very well and saves space, too.


The food.




Omelette in dashi.



  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of the breakfast items did change every day but I still brought my own stuff. Got a pair of roe sacs and this was the first half.


Push the nose to cross.


The biggest torii (a gate before the entrance of a Shinto shine) I have ever seen. A person passing directly under it for scale.


This temple in Fujinomiya is an important one. All the Fuji climbers come here right before starting their (spiritual) journey. The temple is also popular with wedding photo photographers. We encountered these photo sessions a bunch of times during our week long stay.


Fuji is visible from many spots in this small town.


And through buildings. This was seen from inside the informative Mt. Fuji World Heritage Centre.


Zoomed in all the way. Not much snow yet in October.


The symbol of Japan and one of my top favourite countries! Finally made this dream of seeing Fuji this close come true.


There's an area right across the street from the shrine where you can try the local yakisoba from different shops. All the tourists come here after visiting the shrine and of course we did the same. There are several different types of yakisoba in Japan but here it's officially called "Fujinomiya yakisoba". The noodles are nice and chewy. This noodle dish needs to meet certain criteria to be called Fujinomia-style, such as texture/how the noodles are made/water from Mt. Fuji/flavouring ingredients etc. The dish is only made in this town (Fujinomiya). We tried 2 versions from 2 shops. One had tiny dried shrimp in it.


Shaved ice and ice cream are also popular snacks.

Tinned (sea)food section in a good supermarket a short walk from our hotel.

It's near impossible to eat a terrible meal in this country but spam is still popular everywhere and not just in the far-flung southern archipelagos. (All yours!)

Interesting "burgers". Some kind of stir-fried meat and vegetable in the middle, the rice disks on top and bottom and to be held using sheets of nori.

This burger is more interesting. Prawn burgers with pollack roe in the mayo sauce. I would go for it, too bad there wasn't any other sauce with pollack roe (I just don't like mayo).

How about ramen in a tomato broth with grated cheese?

Speaking of ramen, that's what we ate.


Fujinomiya does have a craft brewery. Unfortunately, the tap room at their brew pub was closed (temporarily) so we couldn't drink any of their beers on tap. We got their IPA at a supermarket for daily drinking. On the first trip to Japan it was harder to find craft beers and quality was more misses than hits. But now things have changed a lot. Japanese craft beers are easier to find and quality seem to have improved as well.




  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My breakfast. Roe and natto.



This hotel's breakfasts didn't have any fruit. I guess because fruits are expensive here. I got my own apples and kakis (persimmons). I love fruits and need them. These apples were like 2 bucks each. Kaki cost minimum 4 bucks each.


The city has a transport service (vans) for non driving tourists so they can still visit other villages and tourist spots in the area. Perfect for us who don't drive. The vans have certain routes and fixed departures so it's not like a taxi kind of service. The tourist information office has brochures and one English speaking employee who could help us decide which excursions to take. Once again, the drivers were all elderly men. For today's excursion we visited Asagiri Kogen. This area is known for its dairy farms and nice views of Mt. Fuji. Heavily overcast when we arrived but the sun did come out briefly near the end.



Sweet potatoes are the most common kind grown here, specifically purple.


Purple sweet potato everything.


Small-scale production and home-grown produce for sale. People in small/remote towns and villages rely upon these (hobby) farmers.





There's a small simple restaurants in this tourist spot. We got meatball and pork stir-fry. Both came with cabbage (a popular vegetable in Japan, just like in Europe).




Other photos taken today:

Notice the hat? Traffic cones also look like Fuji here. Basically, anything cone shape is Fuji.


Fujinomia yakisoba. Fuji hat again.


This sign tells you when the kakis are at their sweetest. There are several types, one of which I have only seen for the first time (second photo below).





Information about the producer(s) and how you can order directly from them.


Dinner was shabu-shabu (savoury broth fondue). You choose a set of meat type and amount, all the vegetables and other bits are unlimited (get them yourselves at the buffet).




2 new beers today. The beer in a big metal bottle came from Fujiyoshida, where many iconic photos of Fuji are taken. Fujiyoshida is a lot more developed and crowded, with faster direct rail link from the capital. It also has its own udon soup that's only made and sold there. Fujiyoshida is on our list for future Japan visits.




  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, BonVivant said:



This is my favorite photo of yours.


I didn't know how much I missed yakisoba until I saw your photo. It was my go-to bar food when I lived in Japan (Hamamatsu and vicinity). I know I can get it here, too, but w/o the setting it's not the same.

  • Like 2

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1


"Imagine all the food you have eaten in your life and consider that you are simply some of that food, rearranged."  -Max Tegmark, physicist


Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."


"...in the mid-’90s when the internet was coming...there was a tendency to assume that when all the world’s knowledge comes online, everyone will flock to it. It turns out that if you give everyone access to the Library of Congress, what they do is watch videos on TikTok."  -Neil Stephenson, author, in The Atlantic


"In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual." -Galileo Galilei, physicist and astronomer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...