48 Waterfalls

Hiroshi-san wanted us to taste as much of the local cuisine as possible so on our last full day at his house he took us to eat lunch at one of his favorite restaurants. The entre was a fish called Ayu, but I prefer his name - "Queen of the River".

The fish is caught right outside the restaurant in this trap. Another way to catch the fish makes use of the fish's territorial instincts. One ayu is placed on a hook and manuvered near another ayu which then attacks it, hooking itself in the process.

The restaurant itself was a large room with a tatami mat covered floor. There were two rows of low tables with cushions. Sitting on the floor to eat is becoming more and more of a challenge, but we removed our shoes and did our best to fit into a Japanese-sized space. Unfortunately, we didn't take a picture of our meal, but it arrived looking something like this accompanied by miso soup, rice, pickles, and tea.

We had 2 fish prepared different ways, and, as Hiroshi-san had promised, they were both absolutely delicious.

These pictures were taken from the lanai outside the restaurant.

After lunch we drove to a park near Hiroshi-san's house called 48 Waterfalls where we admired the view of the snow-covered mountain peaks in the distance.

After a brief rest, Walt and I returned to the park for a hike up the mountain beside the waterfalls. The path climbs beside the cascading stream. It is paved in some places, but in other places it is not. In some spots, steps are cut into the rock, and occasionally there is a flight of metal stairs. It was a perfect autumn day, and people of all ages were making their way up the trail. At one point a man stopped us and showed us some sketches he had made.

I think we made it almost to the top of the trail. The sun was sinking low in the sky so we decided it would be best to begin our descent and return to the house for our last evening with Hiroshi-san and Iku-san.