I realise that every time I start a new blog entry, I apologise for being late and not up keeping it… I mean what’s new? the epitome of procrastination is still herself… well not really so this time. I kinda deserted my entire family during the Chinese New year holidays and flew to my second home, so here’s your long awaited post fresh from the sushi bar…
Two years back I visited Nasu Kogen during the summer time. Two weeks ago I was back there and boy was it a transformation! It’s Fuyu (winter) time in Nippon and I was ecstatic to see snow! Yes yes there’s no snow in sunny sizzling Singapore…
Anyway it was quite an adventure just getting into gear itself! In an instance, one miraculously transforms into a dumpling being wrapped in layers and layers of clothes. Despite the ball of fabric that I am, I was surprised that I could still scale some snow covered mini cliffs that leads to the Otome Waterfall. Pretty slippery if you ask me and I couldn’t even make out where the steps were.
The long exposures were quite a challenge because yours truly here is too cold and lazy to set up her tripod. Most shots turned out brrrr. . . i mean blur.
Gotta have lunch. Went back to the same soba place last summer. No difference between how soba looks during summer & winter though. LOL
After the meal, we headed to Onsen Shrine and then to Sesshouseki – 殺生石. (oooh i love the ring to it) The first stop’s feet onsen!
In summer, everyone wants to soak their feet
Sesshouseki is an area filled with noxious volcanic gas (sulpur) that kills most small animals approaching and there’s where its name came from. The place is also known for the legend of Fox with Nine Tails (No we’re not talking about Naruto here)..
Anyhoos, the story was set about 3500 years ago. After devastating China and India, a fox with nine tails arrived in Japan by JAL and transformed itself into a beautiful woman named “Tamamo no Mae” and I have no idea what it means. Although she succeeded in winning the emperor’s favour, her aim was to take over Japan (not the world???) after killing him. But after having its true form discovered by feng shui master Yin-Yang diviner Aberno Yasunari, she ran into Nasunohara forest, and was killed by a military tank commanded by Kazuanosuke Hirotsuna and Miuranosuke Yoshizumi (who were nominees in the longest name award).
So then the monstrous fox turned its figure into a big stone after death; however, the grudge remained as poisonous gas and killed everything approaching it.
After reading the story posted up on Wikipedia, great priest Gennou visited the place. He yelled out and banged the stone with his stick, breaking it into three pieces. It is said that one of the pieces flew to Aizu (Fukushima Prefrecture which I’ll blog about in the next post and yes that means aeons later haha) the other went to Bingo in Hiroshima and the last piece remains at Sesshouseki as the Killing Rock. So there you have it.
Just a day before re-exploring Nasu, I stayed over at this really nice inn called the Cosy Inn Antique. Old french cottage styled ambiance warms your heart the moment you stepped in but…
… it’s what warms your stomach that really matters.
The last Choux pastry’s from Rindarou cafe some where in the middle of no-where. Sells a cup of coffee and a slice of chocolate cake or a Choux pastry for 500 Yen respectively and pottery made by the owner (thou shall not divulge the heavenly pricesssss….
I heard that the imperial family visits Nasu every year…For those feeling adventurous, one could drive up to Nasu via the Tohoku highway. Takes about 2 to 3 hours in a speeding car.