This is a common pose for photos: Oh, a pokemon has a move like that! Yeah, sumo are made into so many characters! We’re going to go down the river now… [chichibu: Two Days in the Countryside] Hey guys! Today we are in Chichibu, just north of Tokyo. I bought the ticket at Ikebukuro’s Seibu Tourist Information Center “Here’s the 2-day pass and the limited express…” “and we have some information and maps of Chichibu.” Thank you so much! So today I planned a little trip in the countryside, just 2 hours north of Tokyo. The pass I’m using is called the Chichibu 2-day pass which gives you perks around the area and discounted fare on the Red Arrow Limited Express. Who do we have here?! POTEKUMA-KUN! One of the specialities you can get here in Chichibu are these miso-covered potatoes. That’s how you know you’re in Chichibu! So one of the big reasons people come to Chichibu area is to see the huge festival that happens at Chichibu shrine. If you look around the city you can see they’re starting to get ready for it in the next few days The festival has been recognized as a UNESCO intangible cultural asset first of all, the festival is huge they have many mikoshi shrines, the kind carried on one’s shoulders it’s so gorgeous and decorated, they really go all out for this festival. So a lot of people come to see Chichibu Shrine at this time of year. From the pictures I thought this’d be a much rougher ride. it’s really calm and smooth. So here’s a rare site that you don’t normally see. This Hodo-san Jinja is a shrine but unlike the normal red, tori-i gates, this one’s white. Welcome! If you could please check in here. Tonight I’m staying at miyamoto-ke, a historic farmhouse where you can stay overnight and recharge with healthy food. The current owner is a former sumo wrestler, which means that in addition to good stories, we are in for a REAL feast! This truly is a gorgeous spread! We pride ourselves in our fire-pit and traditional Japanese kaiseki menu. The hot pot is chanko-nabe, the same that sumo wrestlers eat everyday. I love chanko nabe! It was the first hot pot I ever tried. Since this is a farmhouse, ours is much healthier than standard sumo hot pot. The broth has been simmered for many hours We’ve served a big helping that you probably won’t be able to finish! I accept the challenge!
Do your best! Please enjoy your stay with us. You guys ready for something ridiculous? Here at the Matsuri no Yu, a building directly connected to the station actually when you get off at Seibu Chichibu Station, there’s a building just off to your left it’s called Matsuri no Yu. It sells local souvenirs but if you go in a little bit further there’s kind of like a food court area which has something absolutely ridiculous. Ta-daaaa! Ready for lunch today? We have a choice of two! WARAJI KATSUDON, local deep-fried pork cutlet with extra sauce ABURI BUTA MISO-DON There’s something else about this
place I’m going to tell you. If you go all the way to the back of the food court area there’s a public bath/springs that you can use. The name here means like a festival of springs There are a lot of people who look like they’re coming from work or maybe they just came down from a hike on the mountain If you were tired after a long day and just want to relax and just kind of reset before you got back on the train this would be a great place because it has food, relaxation and little gift options that you can get on the way out. ENOUGH TALK! Let’s see how it tastes… I’m going to start with this one… That’s REALLY crispy! It’s already flavored so you don’t need to add sauce or anything. It’s perfect as it is. Oh yeah. We can get down with this. Let’s try the miso! Mmm! That one’s really good too! This one’s lighter, more like a chargrilled, miso umami type of thing going on. These are both really good! So we made it to Metsa. There’s an illuminated lake there’s also a Moomin Village for those of you who are Moomin fans. Let’s go check out inside and get a better idea of what’s going on. On the website there’s a description saying that Metsa was designed after the Nordic style of relaxing. That can be anything, from rolling around on the couch hanging out with your kids, walking your dog sitting in a wide-open space and just
breathing in the open air or maybe even get in a boat on a lake! You’re just supposed to relax, so that”s what we’re doing! You can visit Metsa as a relaxing detour before heading back to Tokyo on the Chichibu 2-Day Pass. If you’d like to hear more about where I went, let me know in a comment below! In the meantime, I’m going to take my time here in Hanno But I’ve got one more trip to show you! So until next time, bye!