This morning it was raining!!! The kind of rain that needs several exclamation marks. Breakfast was beautifully served at tables overlooking the koi carp lake. I never realised how big koi were. At least twice the size of a large salmon.
Because we are very high here we are seeing quite a lot of cherry blossoms. The season had finished in Tokyo.
Disregarding the rain, our guide took us to see some of this area. Clearly it rains here often. The hotels and tourist places all have umbrellas at the door for visitors to take as needed.
Several of them also have this gadget at the front door. You simply place your closed umbrella in it and it automatically rolls it and puts it in a plastic cover so you dont drip all over their carpet!
After a brief history lesson in which we learned that the most important thing that happened here was a visit from John Lennon we were taken to a small hotel/bakery and were taught how to make soba noodles part of the staple diet here.
No it isnt a challah bake but the technique is like that of making lokshen. My mother had a long rolling pin similar to the one I am using here.
I coveted the knife I am using here!
Shortly after we were served our own noodles with tempura vegetables!
We were then taken to the Magma Stone Park. It is the area thatsurrounds Mt Asama which is a still occasionally active volcano. The original eruption which blew the entire top off the mountain flung magma out over a large area and the magma landed in some really weird shapes.
We walked up through this strange landscape to a temple partway up the mountain.
Our last stop was at the Shiraito Falls. We walked up alongside a fast running stream and eventually arrived at the Falls. The top of the Falls is the strangest sight as the water comes strait out of a wall of rock! This is the source of the river, the water has come from several miles away. It began its life as rain that landed on Mt Asama 6 years ago. It has been filtering down through the rock ever since until it comes splashing out at these Falls.
How cool is that?