Japan Part 3 – Onsen, Yakitori and a Ninja Temple

We explored another country town that day and the weather was really kind to us, bright sunshine and blue sky’s making for some great views and photography. The village, although it was touristy was still an active small farming community that grew a lot of their own crops.

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In the early evening we arrived at the mid sized city of Kanazawa, where we were set to spend two nights in town at the highly recommended Hatchi hostel. This super modern hostel really had anything you could need whilst on the road, fast wi-fi, laundry and good coffee and beer in the ground floor restaurant. It was kind of “capsule style” so that we each had our little space with a reading light, locker and charging ports.

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Kanazawa itself is a great place place to spend a few days exploring the numerous local shrines and temples. Kanzawa has an “old town” in the traditional Japanese style, although the Geisha Parlors have mostly been replaced by gift shops and restaurants. Well worth a few hours of your time though.

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We ate an old school local place famous for it’s Yakitori and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The food comes slowly and I think it’s definitely the Japanese way to sit on the floor, chat with friends and take your time with the food. Something I appreciate.

In town we visited a naturally heated Onsen (think indoor hot springs). It was definitely a slight culture shock at first being nude around older Japanese men and not really understanding what was going on. Fortunately Isao was along to show us the ropes and the hot water felt really good to weary bones. They had various different bubbling hot pools, sauna and an icy cold plunge pool, I came out of there feeling refreshed and oh so sleepy. Great experience.

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On the day we headed back to Tokyo we stopped of at the Myoryuji Temple or “Ninja Temple” which I personally think is a way cooler name. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photos but the building was straight out of an old movie, you could just picture the stern samurai guarding their feudal lord. The house was designed to be one big maze with built in tricks and booby traps to slow down attackers. The tour through the temple was a little rushed and was delivered in Japanese although we had a pretty good english pamphlet explaining the various areas. I’d like to have had more time to just wander around and to be able to shoot some photography. Understandably they don’t want a bunch of unsupervised tourists wandering around in such a well preserved site.

Tokyo fish market

A six hour car ride saw us back in the bright lights of Tokyo where we would spend our final few nights exploring more of this great city before flying onto Nepal. The highlight being the Famous Tsukiji fish market.

We had plans to wake up and see the 5am Tuna auction but the thought of being up all night and registering at 2am only to sit in a waiting room until the auction was a bit much. When the suggestion of skipping the early morning came up everybody in the group collapsed like a house of cards, myself being the catalyst.

We did however get to the wholesale fish area at 10am when they open to tourists for one hour before packing up, this was totally enough to scratch my fish market itch.

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The array of weird, wonderful and huge fish on display was pretty amazing and totally worth the trip. Supposedly the market is set to move later in the year and they may not let tourists in at the new location so I’m glad we saw it when we did.

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And that be that! Japan was done and onto Nepal. After two separate lay-overs in China we arrived in Kathmandu to chill and sightsee for a few days before starting the Annapurna Trail.

PS – I have some footage of those crazy toilets so when I get home and get to editing, you make sure to watch! You know you want to


One thought on “Japan Part 3 – Onsen, Yakitori and a Ninja Temple

  1. […] Sleeping on the floor of a building surrounded by hiking friends, only to pack up that very morning ... pieonthetrail.com/2016/10/27/japan-part-2-sleeping-in-a-400-year-old-japanese-house

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