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Published: June 15th 2007
Woke early to enjoy the onsen before breakfast! I met an Australian lady at the onsen. It’s her 2nd time staying at this traditional Ryokan which has charmed her and left wonderful memories when she 1st visited it years ago with her husband. Now, they are back with their daughters who are about my age! She had actually woken at 5am to come to the onsen and this made us lazy bums who only managed to crawl out of bed at 7am. Haha… What a relaxing way to start the day!
We would love to stay longer in the onsen but we have arranged for breakfast to be served at 8am. Ryokan breakfast was an interesting affair once again! Though not as WOW as the dinner, the dishes were yummy too! Especially the half-boiled egg, soft and silky like tofu with a tinge of fragrant! Miso soup with fresh seaweed was fantastic too! But one thing, I’m still not used to having rice for breakfast… haha… Then again, people who know me well will question if I like plain rice in the 1st place. Haha… But you can ask my dear! I do enjoy Japanese rice, haha, I think
their texture is better and more tasty…
Instead of taking the bus or train to Shimoda, we have decided to walk there! Though dear could navigate the route well, without a map, just based on pure memory, the walk took us 30mins! Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to tire our legs at the beginning of the day…
From Shimoda, we took a bus to the white sandy beach at Shirahama. Beautiful! The sand was so soft and comfortable to walk on! The sea water was crystal clear and there was hardly any rubbish on the beach! We are impressed! Nice beach to chill… There were not too many beach-goers on a Friday, so we practically had the beach to ourselves, apart from some surfers. Despite the cold waters, dear took a Splash in the oncoming waves!
As there wasn’t much to explore in Shirahama other than the beach, we headed back to Shimoda for lunch. Chanced upon this excellent lunch deal while shopping for local specialties to buy home. This restaurant specializes in dishes made from the Red Fish. Dear ordered the sashimi set which was complete with yellow rice, huge bowl of crab soup,
appetizer and dessert. There were two different types of sashimi served but we aren’t sure if both were from the same kind of fish but they were both yummy! In place of sashimi, my set was comprised of steam red fish in a special broth. The cooked fish was still so soft and juicy! It almost melts the moment I sent it into my mouth! Heavenly! The sauce was very tasty too, not too salty or overpowering, just nice. Dear even poured the sauce over his rice! Satisfying meal completed with excellent service, all at a reasonable price at a restaurant just located opposite Shimoda train station!
After lunch, we followed the recommended route to explore the rest of Shimoda town. Some of the most significant sights include Perry Road and Daianji Temple. Compared to yesterday, the town was coming alive as it was dressed up for the 68th Blackship Festival which will kick off this evening! It was here where we 1st experienced Japanese’s festival bazaar which is much more larger scale and more interesting than Singapore’s pasar malam! Apart from games stall which were crowded with kids, the variety of snack and food was amazing too! I
would love to try all of them but we just had lunch! The cotton candy was packed in large bags printed with cartoons characters! There were okonomiyaki and yakisoba stalls too! Some unique snacks which we have never seen before include Fried Pasta sticks (the school girls loved them) and Banana coated with chocolate and decorated with choco rice or icings. We also saw a group of young girls painting a bigger-than-palm-size-cracker, what an excellent business idea! Simple yet entertaining! I finally found my Japanese pancake! I love pancakes, from Chinese’s Min Jiang Kueh to Japanese pancakes! I pointed to one with red bean fillings but when I bite into it, light yellow fillings oozed out! Though disappointed, I must admit this custard-like fillings is quite nice too. It doesn’t taste like cheese nor custard… Maybe I’m fated to move away from my all-time-favourite Japanese red bean and try something new…
Satisfied with my pancake, I have energy to carry on exploring… haha… We explored the bay side area which was very beautiful when the setting sun shines on the water surface. We almost circled the main town area and our legs were breaking. But my energy level rose
when I saw another bazaar! Stall owners were setting up their stalls and getting ready for tonight’s crowd! I dragged dear to almost every stall to check out what exciting stuff they have to offer! Grilled Mochi, tempura, whale meat canned food, etc… I was attracted to this stall whose owner was busy making the cute snack made from flour and egg, similar to “ji dan gao” which reminded me of my childhood days! The owner was so nice that he offered me one fresh out from the grill! I’m so touched!!
Next stop, supermarket! We love going to the supermarket to check out what they have to offer! Tried some fruity milky drink. I love fruits but I cant stand artifical flavourings, haha, so it’s back to dear who thought it’s not bad, so he gladly finished it! Whahaha… This supermarket is super considerate and has set up a small area for shoppers to rest their feet and there’s free green tea too! Perfect place after a long long walk… On our way back to the town center to hunt for dinner, we bought okonomiyaki from the 1st bazaar. It wasn’t too bad, but we would have preferred
it with less BBQ sauce. As we weren’t too hungry and wanted to check out MOS burger in the home country where it originated from, we decided to settle dinner there. The menu was slightly different from Singapore’s and surprisingly, there were more bun burgers than rice burgers. Dear’s beef-topped-with-curry-and-onion bun burger was a new addition and it was quite nice, though a bit messy to eat. I had my favourite assorted seafood rice burger. Comparatively, the sauce for my burger was more salty than those in Singapore’s MOS burger. As expected, they don’t have chilli sauce to go with the fries…
Next, we slowly made our way to Bay Stage Shimoda where dear believed would provide an excellent view of the fireworks! One of the highlight of the Blackship Festival is the 30mins firework display by the bay! This event has attracted many locals and tourists who were all heading towards the same direction as us. We felt as though we were part of some parade, jamming up the roads where cars had to stop and give way to us! Haha… Upon reaching Bay Stage Shimoda, we were greeted by traditional Japanese drum and flute performance. Pretty nice
music! Unlike Singapore where we had to jostle and fight for a spot to watch fireworks, we actually had the chance to choose the location where we deem most comfortable. Many people turned up but the area was so big that everyone had their own space! Perfect! Although the fireworks display wasn’t the most magnificent, it was very beautiful against the pitch-dark backdrop!
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