Aki’s Birthday and Mino

Last week was Aki’s birthday, but as we were both working on the actual day, we celebrated over our 2 day weekend (Thurs, Fri).

This started with a trip to our favourite (and a bit expensive) sushi restaurant. Fantastic sushi! The most expensive one is Toro, which is the very fatty tuna, at 1200Y, but the rest are around 600Y I think and well worth the money. Really, really good, and Koizumisan (the ex-prime minister, the one that looks like Richard
Gere), works behind the counter, which is nice.

Then we headed off to Mino, which is up in the forests and mountains and famous for 3 things. A waterfall – which everyone treks up to see, wild monkeys (which strut around eating garbage, and generally ignoring people unless they have food), and Moji tempura (??) which is essentially deep fried leaves.
More on that later.

One thing I like about Japan is at cherry blossom time and at Autumn time (when the leaves change colours) you can find guides at train stations as to where are the good places to go this week and they mark them how beautiful they are (at the moment it’s marks out of 3 leaves).

Leaf Guide

Leaf Guide



It was a beautiful day, and a nice walk up to the waterfall, although we didn’t see any monkeys.
Mino Waterfall

Mino Waterfall

Mino

Mino

Autumn Leaves at Mino

Autumn Leaves at Mino


Got to the top, had a beer, and wandered down again. Then the monkeys came out!

Pretty scary to be honest, seeing as in England we don’t have wild monkeys, just squirrels and foxes. So having monkeys climbing above my head, or running across the path in front was a bit worrying at first. Still, they were vastly uninterested in us, and were pretty cute.

Mino Monkey

Mino Monkey


Then back at the bottom I bought some tempura leaves – which admittedly don’t sound very delicious and seeing as the place is littered with fallen leaves, is a pretty good scam by the locals to get tourists to pay for rubbish, but they were really, really good 🙂 Mainly because of the batter I think, pretty sure the leaves didn’t have much taste but the batter was very sweet and delicious. Very moreish!
Tempura Leaves

Tempura Leaves


The evening was spent in Petit Emilion drinking champagne (ah, what a life 😉 ).

The next day we went to Sannomiya for Kobe steak (again…delicious!) and 3 hours of karaoke.
A very good weekend.


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