Drive in Shikoku (Pt 1, Sept 17)
It was a public holiday on 19 Sept, a Monday. So, we had 3 days of rest day (17-19 Sept) from school. Fish Fish, with another 4 friends - mmulibra, nightraveller, Choo and Yuko, decided to travel the whole Shikoku by car.
So, today, I'm going to start my series on Drive in Shikoku. All about the things we have done in the island, with 4 prefectures - Kagawa, Tokushima, Ehime and Kochi.
Sorry ar, my traveling partners, post so late. Have to study come first mar~ :P
Btw, go here to see the Shikoku report by mmulibra. Heee... seem like he just posted it yesterday. (Eh... Mr. mmulibra, how come you also so late?)
On a sunny Saturday morning, we woke up very early. Departed before 6 am...
Fish Fish couldn't survive with an empty stomach, so I requested to stop at a combini to cari makan. ^_^
There we were, standing outside the combi... *chomp chomp chomp* *burp~*
Energy charged back.
Without any rest, I drove all the way from Uji until big Seto Bridge. The highway was not crowded as we departed early.
Picture by mmulibra.
The scene on the bridge was splendid. Too bad, I couldn't stop to take any picture. But thanks to mmulibra, at least I could have some nice shots from him.
It was an enjoyable moment to drive across the big bridge. Greatly felt the advanced Japan's technology along the drive.
Finally, we could stop by for a while at one of the service area to rest for a while. We didn't eat anything here as we wanted to look for something more delicious.
Saw many Hatada shops in Shikoku. Hmm... seem to be a famous shop in this island. So, decided to stop by to buy something from there.
I bought a chou cream and a sweet potato tart. Disappointedly, not as yummy as it looked. Only taste so so I would say. Ah well, think I got the wrong choice for the try.
The road was quite jam once we got out from highway. Urgh~ so much trucks, so much traffic lights... it took a loooong time before we finally reached our first main destination.
The famous Dogo Onsen town in Ehime prefecture. One of the oldest historic place in Japan.
The 1st thing we saw was this cute little Botchan Train. Nope, this is not an exhibition item. It was still in service until today. For a 300yen, you can ride on this train to go around Matsuyama city.
Here is some facts about Botchan Trains.
The Iyo Railway Company was established on September 14th, 1887. This was the twentieth year of the Meiji Era. On October 28th of the Following year, 1888, they began transportation services between Matsuyama and Mitsu for first time in Japanese history.
This was the first small-sized locomotive in Japan and it was imported from Kraus & Company of Germany. This locomotive with four jointed driving wheels and a water tank ran on the Matsuyama Plains for 67 years through the Meiji, the Taisho and the Showa Eras. The first locomotive finally became a Tangible Cultual Property of Ehime Prefecture on March 8th, 1968 or Showa 43.
The world-renowned Japanese novelist, Soseki Natsume, was transferred to Matsuyama as a senior high school teacher in the 28th year of the Meiji Era(1895). He loved taking a bath in the famous Dogo Hot Spring, and often used the railway to commute to there.
His famous novel "Botchan" published in the 39th year of the Meiji Era(1906) uniquely depicted both the Dogo Hot Spring and the railway services of those days. For this reason, these trains run by the Iyo Railway Company have enjoyed popularity under the nickname of"Botchan Trains". (Source from here.)
Geee... the Dogo Hot Spring station is another nice spot. Nothing big city... just the very pure and warm village way of design. I like.
We were too hungry that time. So went to the tourist information center to look for place to eat, as it was around 1.30pm already.
While we were busy asking for a nice place to eat... Yuko was busy picking up nice card of the shops at that area. A unique way to promote the shops in the town. :)
Heee... nice pose huh. Maybe they should consider Yuko to be their promoting model. :P
Anyway, we past the nice old clock with a quote "Welome to Dogo Hot Spring". The name of this clock is called Karakuri Clock.
Next to this clock, you can have a pool of hot spring water to soak your leg. In general, it is called Ashiyu (Leg's hot water).
We didn't bring any towel with us, so we gave up on giving our legs a nice soak. :(
Hungry!!... until stars started to come out from my head liao...
Phew!! Finally we found a nice place to eat. A place that next to one of the suggested restaurants, as we think this one looked better.
Oidenka. We felt so lucky it still open as the time was almost over lunch time.
Once we went in, the shop design kind of convinced me this might be a nice place.
I saw many signed card on the wall. Hmm... seem like a lot of famous people have came here before, though I only know one or two of them. :P
Anyway, we placed our order.
After about 20 min waiting, which seem like a very long time, the fastest order finally came.
It was nightraveller's set menu with udon. Well, the udon just tasted so so. I guess it was not a hand-made version.
But the sashimi was very fresh, and therefore very sweet and yummy (according to nightraveller).
The price was a good deal, I think it was for about 1000yen. Well, no way we gonna get this kind of price in Kyoto, I would be double the price.
Then, a few minutes after that, it was Yuko's order. She ordered for a Seafood Rice set.
The main focus of the set. This nice bowl of raw seafood rice. But you don't eat it just like that...
First, you beat the egg with grated Japanese yam and pour on it. Then, add in chopped green onion and grated wasabi. Then pour soysauce according to one's like. Finally put the seaweed on top as decoration.
Tralala!! Doesn't this look much more attractive? No?
In fact, I tried the rice with the yam and egg mixture. Very nice. Mmm~~~ I just love sticky healthy foodie.
After another 10 minutes, finally our rice were getting ready when the candle started to dim away. mmulibra, choo and me were ordering the same set.
When this happened, the staff started to bring other things of our set. It is a Japanese way to bring the food to you at the most appropriate timing.
A very nice hot pot of sea bream's rice laid in front of me when I opened the wooden lid. Only that the sea bream size was very small. Anyway, I just wanted the rice, and gave the sea bream to other members. :P
I had the same set of thing as the 2 guys... except that...
A plate of vegetarian version tempura for me, as requested.
The rice was very nice. Just imagine the hot and soft rice blended with this crunchy outside juicy inside tempura. Ah~ almost melted my tongue.
All of us were very full after this nice meal.
Then, we went to see the oldest hot spring in Japan... the very famous Dogo Onsen.
Well, we only "see" the outside... as it would take a long time if we want to take a bath there.
In fact, to just go in and see, you need to pay 250yen for that.
So, fish fish just tried to spring her neck as long as possible to peep inside as much as possible...
All I saw was a counter with a lot of shoe boxes. -_-""" My Kung Fu not deep enough.
To be cont.