Weekend Trip to Okayama! - Vikingess Voyages

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Weekend Trip to Okayama!

This Sunday some of my friends and I went on a short trip to Okayama and Hyogo-ken, where Ken's family has a cottage. Originally this was a trip intended only for the Japanese students who studied two years in America with the DUDP-program at Ritsumeikan, but since only a few of them were able to go Yuma decided to bring me along too!
We had rented a car in Kyoto, and after a couple of hours drive we arrived at the cottage where we basically just stopped to leave our luggage.
Group picture @ the terrace of Ken's cottage
 It was a very nice place up in the mountain where we had good view, and although we had expected it to be cold it turned out that it wasn't bad at all. We stopped to take a group photo before going down the hillside to visit the harbor.
The cottage seen from the road
A sign by the road to the cottage
 By the harbor there was a local fish market called 五味の市, or Gomi no Shi, where gomi can refer to the five flavors of sweet, bitter, sour, salty and spicy. Shi means market, fare or city, and thus Gomi no Shi can be translated to Market of the five flavors.
Inside Gomi no shi
Here they were selling all sorts of sea food; from octopus to squid, ordinary fishes and oysters.
A tank with a fish in it
Dried fish
In the market you can negotiate, and after a bit of talking we got a huuuge bag of oysters for just 2000 yen. 
Entrance to 五味の市
 After having looked around in the market and done some oyster-shopping we went to a place right across the street where they provided barbecue grills for 1000 yen/90 minutes. It was crammed with people and the line with people waiting was long, but luckily Ken knew one of the ladies working there so we got to skip the line..! Lucky! Further, Ken had brought some barbecue-sauce, and with the huge bag with oysters we had bought in the market there was plenty of food for all of us.
Grilling oysters!
The oysters tasted really good! However, it was almost a bit scary because some of them exploded so that both parts of the shell and the oysters themselves flew and hit our clothes.. Apparently we should not have brought nice clothes after all.. Haha.. Anyway, we all got happily stuffed after this meal.
Grilling oysters! 
Empty oyster-shells.. As you can see, this place was quite popular..!
Oyster-ice cream! Not everybody looks convinced that it looks good though :P
We went back to the market where Ryo tried a local speciality: Oyster-ice cream!! We all got to try, and it wasn't all too bad, but I don't think it is something I will actively try to get my hands on again, to put it that way.

After a short break at Ken's cottage it was time to check out a local onsen. It was in a hotel nearby, and since the onsen was situated in the 6th floor we had a great view of the nearby area. Even better, there was nobody else in the girl's onsen, so I could take a photo of how it looked like:)
 We had spent some time here when I started feeling bad. Turns out that I had gotten sick from eating the oysters earlier that day, and unfortunately Ryo got sick too.. So we had to go searching for some medicine instead of returning directly to the cottage. This part of the story is so long, I've decided to leave it out.. Anyway, when we got back to the cottage it was already quite late, and we were all pretty tired. Or perhaps exhausted is more fitting.
Back in the cottage, ready for karaoke
We decided to sing some karaoke, but since all of us already were half asleep we did not go on for too long. Unfortunately we never got quite the funny evening we had hoped for.
Ken singing karaoke, and Yuma sleeping.
Still, the trip was unforgettable in many ways, and I'm happy that I got to come along. Hopefully all of us can hang out again some time in the future too, but most of my friends starts working in April so it might not be possible anytime soon. I'm pretty sure I'll be back with new adventures soon though! But first comes rehabilitation of my arm.
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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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