Sunday, January 29, 2012

Shin Kanuma - 新鹿沼

Deciding to log my Japanese travels from now on.
This expedition, was out on the Tobu Nikko line. we travelled north, probably about half an hour before Nikko itself. Why? On  whim, following some amazing, mouth-watering pictures in a magazine, simple as that.

It's a little Japanese of us to be doing such a thing. It is so common to hear a great review of a restaurant and then travel for miles to find it. Well, it really is worth the journey.

Actually, there were many great little bistros advertised in this magazine, and we will be back to try them all, but for today, it was An riz-l'eau. And voilà  our 3 plate meal, which actually consisted of four, if you include the tasty cakes and fruits!
Oh, all the food here is vegetarian and grown fresh locally. This soup had some trusty renkon (lotus root) and konnyaku too. Heart warming and healthy.

                                                                                                         Deep fried daikon!

Coffee was served with a range of sugars - plain brown, dark brown, maple sugar, cinnamon and even a drop of brandy! The walnut cake was a surprise and a delectable treat!
We wondered around the town. I had read about a flower market that day, but got the days wrong. However, we encountered some great Taiko just outside the main souvenir shop which was stocked with fresh, fresh veggies!
Seeing these guys has inspired me to start playing once again so I have been hunting down local classes...
I guess as it is the start of the year, these Darumas are on sale. I have never partaken before, so now is my time to make a wish! The idea is that you paint one of his eyes on, make a wish and when it comes true, you can paint the other eye on as well. 
Let's see if my wish will come true!

 Hello Kitty candy floss!

The food at the fairs is always so good. Even though, they are all the same types of stalls and the same greasy food, I love it! This is an okonomiyaki stand. Actually, we failed to eat this day, given that we had just stuffed our bellies full!
How to use your Daruma!

The different colours are for different areas in the house, depending on what you are wishing for.

I just got a small red one

Shin Kanuma is located in the valley of some hills and you can see lovely bamboo forests around the small town. It was an old swamp land back in the day, but is a much more built up area now.

They have a few lively looking festivals throughout the year, including one on March 1th this year (one year since the earthquake.) I may go along and see what it is all about.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

INDO DIARIES 2010 - The last days

In our final days in Bali, we found our pure Zen. Walks along the quiet beach of Sanur turned into the pleasurable hunt for more avocado juices and not a desperate hunt for an escape route.

Still in love with these bikes!

We thoroughly enjoyed hanging out at the apartment, but eating out is so cheap and varied too that it is almost not worth stocking up the fridge!
The kitchen in the garden apartment

The veranda

Back in Ubud - More music
The owner of the hotel even took us back to Ubud with so much less hassle than the previous  journey. 
Travelling in style? Slightly overweight!!
 We left Bali with a lot of extra luggage! But we now have most of a gamelan orchestra here at home! Indonesia is a fascinating discovery each time. We have already been back to Bali once since this blog and are planning the next trip for 2012¬!

Endless travels!

INDO DIARIES 2010 - 28th July

Pool side aggression never made any sense to me. Yet, you see it all over. I was sat next to an empty chair and as someone went to sit down, I pointed out it was already taken. They responded with attitude 'I don't see anything there'. As we swam, some people hovered over what must have been not enough empty chairs for their group. Perhaps I had ruined their plan to take over the side of the pool. Who cares? We enjoyed the swim and moved on pretty quickly. New villas today.

By the time we moved the luggage out of the room, the group had taken the corner over - shame the sun was no longer shining there for them.

At the Ari Puri villas we would have access to two peaceful pools, a private garden and our own outdoor bathroom and kitchen. Time to stock up on goodies and enjoy the quiet life.