26 January, 2007

Ice skating @Nikko Kanaya Hotel / Tochigi pref

My daughter and I went to Nikko to go ice skating with friends,,, strictly speaking, with my parent's friends and their kids or grandkids. We stayed at Nikko Kanaya Hotel where one of the oldest resort hotel in Japan. There are many interesting interiors. I'll show you some of them.

The ceiling of the old dining room.

This kind of ceiling art is often found in Japanese shrine or temple. You can also see it in the main dining room of the Hakone Fujiya Hotel.

The "real" art deco lamp which was made in Meiji era.

We stayed at annex. This is the front door of annex. Cool carving, isn't it?

There were old photos(around 1900) of the hotel. It seemed the exterior was almost the same as the present Kanaya Hotel.

We enjoyed skating in the hotel rink. It's an open air natural rink. It was sunny, the air was crisp and the ice condition was great. I'm not a professional skater and don't have any knowledge of ice condition, but I feel more comfortable when I'm skating there, rather than the machine controled indoor skate rinks in Tokyo.

There is a cozy cottage in the rink side. Grannies see their grandkids skating through the window, or have a tea around the fireplace,

but the cottage was used as a photo gallery this winter, so the grannies were waiting in here.

From the rink, you can see the Nantaisan mountain; one of the "Nihon 100 mei-san (best 100 mountains in Japan)".

I really regret that I didn't take any photos of dinner/breakfast/lunch, although dining was the highlight of our trip. I should've taken them but I had forgotten about photos until I ate up them all because they were so wonderful.
If you have a chance to visit Nikko, I strongly recommend you to have a lunch or dinner at the main dining room in this hotel. Especially, the trout is best! Actually, it's a little bit expensive (for me who have a 500yen-lunch-box everyday), but I believe it's worth more than the price. Don't miss it.

Nikko Kanaya Hotel
Nikko Kanaya Hotel -Dining room- (including breakfast, lunch and dinner menu)

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17 January, 2007

New Year days

Yeah, I know it's toooo late to post such topic, but I'd like to start this 2007's posting with the Oshogatsu photos. Please allow me to introduce our New Year scene.

Let me start with food.
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There are variety of Ozoni in Japan, white miso-based soup, red miso-based soup, chicken-based soup or bonito-based soup / round-shaped Mochi or square-shaped Mochi / baked or not baked. My wife is from Osaka, a white miso-based soup with round-shaped Mochi(not baked) is popular there. Meanwhile, I was raised with Ozoni with chicken soup and baked squre-shaped Mochi. Of course I love both.
I heard that the Ozoni of Shikoku-area(southwest Japan) include Mochi with Anko(sweet bean paste). I've never had that and I cannot imagine the taste. Does anyone know the taste?

Janualy 2nd, we visited my parents in the suburbs of Yokohama.
BTW, do you know the Hakone Ekiden race? This is the intercollegiate marathon relay race which held on 2nd and 3rd Janualy. 10 runners of 20 teams from Kanto-area relay the Tasuki baton between Tokyo and Hakone. This race began in 1920. It has become a signature event of New Year.
Our parents house is located near the Ekiden course and I went out to see the live race.

During the Ekiden, the Route #1 is occupied by runners, staffs and broadcasters.


Hakone Ekiden has produced lots of great runners, including Olympic medalist.
I reckon some of guys who entered this year's race will perform great run at the Beijin Olympic game 2008.

Let me introduce the guests who visited my parents house.
My father put a cut orange on the tree for birds. Two Mejiro came to the yard.

Please click the photo to enlarge. You'll can see 2 Mejiro in this pic.

I took these photos from behind the window. Not bad, is it?

I hope this year 2007 will be a happy and successful one for you all!

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