2019-10 Myoko-Nagano-Tokyo

04—14/10/19
11 days hiking Sasagamine to Mt Hiuchi 火打山, Naena waterfalls, the upper to lower shrines of Togakushi, Obuse the chestnut town. Endless good food and sakes along the way.
Singapore to Tokyo Arriving in Tokyo, straight off to the famous

Singapore to Tokyo

04/10/19
Arriving in Tokyo, straight off to the famous "Piss Alley" in Shinjuku for the best Robatayaki. Complete the travel day with a beer at Hitachino Brewing Lab at Tokyo station.
Tokyo to Nagano to Myoko Kogen Journey on from Tokyo to Nagano to Myoko Kogen. Having eki bento is a culture I always look forward to on trains.

Tokyo to Nagano to Myoko Kogen

04—05/10/19
Journey on from Tokyo to Nagano to Myoko Kogen. Having eki bento is a culture I always look forward to on trains.
Check-in Ikenotiara onsen yado shin 池の平温泉 温泉宿 進 A nice moden ryokan hotel setting. While they spoke only a little english, we felt very welcome and at home.

Check-in Ikenotiara onsen yado shin 池の平温泉 温泉宿 進

05/10/19
A nice moden ryokan hotel setting. While they spoke only a little english, we felt very welcome and at home.
Imori Pond A quick walk around imori pond. On a good day, this would be a good place to see Mt Myoko reflected off the pond

Imori Pond

05/10/19
A quick walk around imori pond. On a good day, this would be a good place to see Mt Myoko reflected off the pond
Dinner at Onsen Yado Shin Dinner at Ikenotaira Onsen yado Shin 温泉宿 進. The chef does a modern fusion to Japanese food.

Dinner at Onsen Yado Shin

05/10/19
Dinner at Ikenotaira Onsen yado Shin 温泉宿 進. The chef does a modern fusion to Japanese food.

Sasagamine 笹ヶ峰 to Koyaike 高谷池

05—06/10/19
From Sasagamine (笹ヶ峰) to Koya Ike (高谷池), we had a slow climb of 6.5 hours instead of 4-5 hours. After 6.5 hours in the rain, no one wanted to leave the warn and dry hut to try for Hiuchi Peak.

Koyaike 高谷池

06/10/19
The marsh in Koyaike was already in its autumn colors. As I sat there waiting for the sun to show its true colors, it dawn upon me the mysterious beauty of the lake in the mist.

Koyaike Hut

06—07/10/19
Our stay for the night, bunk bed in a "hut" with an awesone view of koyaike. Curry rice and whisky, the best cure for hunger and cold.

Tengu-no-niwa marsh 天狗ノ庭

07/10/19
20 mins from Koyaike Hut towards Mt Hiuchi peak was this nice apline marshland area. The weather decided to light up the place with 15 mins of sunshine.

Koyaike 高谷池 to Sasagamine 笹ヶ峰

07/10/19
The descent from Koyaike to Sasagamine.

山小屋 明星荘

07/10/19
A nice little soba shop at the Sasagamine exit. All ingredients (山菜) are harvested from the area. Nice hot soba while the very helpful owner called us a taxi since no one was interested in hking another 15km back to the ryokan :P

Mushrooms and Flora

05—10/10/19
There are about 300 species of mushroom around Myoko area. The moss scape and mushroom has always intrigue me.

Trail Maps and Info

05—09/10/19
Some info that I wish I had before making the hike.

Back to Onsen yado Shin 温泉宿 進

07/10/19
Back to Onsen yado Shin 温泉宿 進. Onsen and dinner was especially good after spending 2 days out in the rain.

Bye Bye Onsen Yado Shin

07—08/10/19
All good things must come to an end. After another fancy breakfast, we bid farewall and continue on with our journey.

Hike from Imori Pond to Naena Waterfalls 苗名滝

08/10/19
Instead of taking a bus, we decided to hike 7km from imori pond to the waterfall, passing scenic paddy fields and quiet onsen towns

A rainy day at Naena Waterfall 苗名滝

08/10/19
Was pouring very heavily, so we ended up eating ice cream while waiting for the rain to clear.

Lunch at Oyado-furuya 苗名滝苑

08/10/19
Lunch at this restaurant at the enterance of Naena Falls. Free braised rainbow trouts caught from the river.
Restaurant staff to helped get us a taxi to Tsubame.

Tsubame Highland Lodge 燕温泉 燕ハイランドロッジ

08—09/10/19
The foggy ride up to the lodge, it serves as a ski lodge during winter. Such a nice warm cosy ambience expecially in cold foggy weather.

Tsubame Onsen Kogane-no-yu 燕温泉 黄金の湯

08/10/19
We got a ride from the lodge to the Tsubame onsen town. From there it is an uphill 500m to this natural free outdoor hotspring. Relax and soak in blue silky sulphur water in the mids of a misty forest.

Dinner at Tsubame Highland Lodge

08/10/19
Western styled dinner served at the Highland Lodge.

Tsubame to Nagano

09/10/19
A leisurely breakfast at the lodge before setting off to Myoko Kogen Station for Nagano. The owner drove us to the train station with a mini tour of a viewpoint for a waterfall.

Misoya Ramen

09/10/19
Our first meal in Nagano. Nagano is famous for miso, this tiny ramen stall is famous for miso ramen, we cannot go too wrong. They wok-fried the bean spourts and veg, giving the ramen a very wok hey taste.

Nagano and Around

09/10/19
Spent the afternoon roaming the temple and shops around the Zenkoji area.

Tokyu REI Nagano Hotel

09/10/19
We loved this hotel, 1 min across the road from the bus and trains, 1 min to the miso ramen stall and 5 mins walk to all the major eating spots.

Rokukata Izakaya 六方はちべい

09/10/19
Selecting an izakaya was diffiult as there were so many and their menu as quite simliar.

James Nagano Beer Market

09/10/19
Great place to end off the day with Japanese Craft Beer. They charge a cover of 300yen. Otoshi was macadamia nuts.

Togakushi Shrine Okusha 戸隠神社 奥社

10/10/19
The famous cypress lined trail to the upper shrine, the scared power spot.

Togakushi Kagami ike

10/10/19
We were blessed with perfect weather to see the mirror reflection of the Togashi mountain range.

Togakushi Juwari Soba 十割そば

10/10/19
The Juwari Soba (十割そば) here is rated as top 3 soba across japan.
We hiked to a recommned shop in front of kagami pond bus stop but it was closed! Had to hike down to the middle shrine area to find other soba shops.

Togakushi Chusha 戸隠中社

10/10/19
The 800 year old cedar tree stands at the entrance of the middle shrine.

Togakushi Hokosha 戸隠宝光社

10/10/19
The intricate carvings of the lower shrine.

Daidara Bocchi だいだらぼっち

09—10/10/19
I liked the quality of food at this izakaya. A modern version of the typical izakaya. Very small shop so we made a reservation 1 day prior.

Day Trip to Obuse 小布施

11/10/19
Hike to Gasho-in to view the famous phoenix painting of Hokusai, passing by fruit farms along the way and back to the Hokusai Museum.

Eating in Obuse

11/10/19
Chestnut Melon Bun, Chestnut Ice Cream and a great lunch at Kakuri, rice cooked char with seabream

Masuichi-Ichimura Sake Brewery 桝一市村酒造場

11/10/19
A very posh bar area for paid tasting. For a reasonable price, we tasted the Hakkin, Heikken, Kozhan which were all impressive. Our group ended up buying 9 bottles in total.

Yamazato (山里) Izakaya

11/10/19
We could not decide what to eat, so just took a chance with this izakaya which turned out quite good, besides the standard nagano fried chicked, we had the fried baby bee, fried soba noodles.

Typhoon 19 in Tokyo

10—12/10/19
We caught the Shinkansen from Nagano to Tokyo before train services got suspended due to Typhoon 19.
Stocked up food and drink before we check-in to the hotel to monitor the typhoon on TV.
So lucky to be in Japan where self-heating bento boxes exist. Went to 7-11 and stocked up Ippudo instant noodles, onsen eggs and suntory premium malts.

Ebisu and Around

13—14/10/19
A bright and sunny the morning after the typhoon in tokyo city. Guessing that most shops would still be closed, we were on our way to Shinjuku when we stumpled upon a beer festival in Ebisu.

Tsuru Kame 食堂つるかめ 恵比寿店

13/10/19
While the beer street festival was quite a non-event, walked in to this unassuming unagi restaurant in a semi-residential like environment and had the best unagi meal to-date.
https://goo.gl/maps/66kR5icCREV9VQZMA

Spring Valley Brewing

13/10/19
From Ebisu to Shinjuku, we detoured to this brewery. Having just finish lunch less than an hour ago, we struggled to finish the taster flight of 14 x 100ml to try all their beers.

Tokyo Pokemon Center DX

14/10/19
After an Instant noodles breakfast (to clear the additional stock from the typhoon), we took a walk to takashimaya nihonbashi, discovered that the pokemon center was there ... Catch Them All !

Narita Airport

14/10/19
We went to the airport 4 hours early in case there was chaos there as this is the first day that the airport re-open after the typhoon.
What a pleasant surprise that they serve 十四代 at one of the cafes by Tatsu.