Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fuji Safari Park (Part 1) / 富士サファリパーク (パート1)

On our way to the Fuji Safari Park. This is a wildlife park where you get a chance to see the animals up close. For Pacific Northwesterners, it's like going on a Northwest Trek tour with your own vehicle. You can opt for a tram tour and for an additional price, you can feed the animals (we're talking feeding lions and bears here). There is also a walking tour as well but you wouldn't be able to see the carnivores up close. The park is divided into two zones, the safari zone and the fureai zone which includes an animal village where you can see lemurs, and other small animals. There is also a petting zoo and a dog and cat pavilion (which costs extra 500yen, the petting zoo is free). Of course, we started our tour with driving through the safari zone.

富士サファリパークに向かいました。 何年か前に姫路にあるサファリパークも行ったことがありましたが、富士サファリパークは初です。アメリカの実家の近くに似た様なネイチャーパークはありますけど(ノースウェスト・トレック)でもそこはトラムを載って野生の動物を見る形になってる。それとノースウェストに居る動物がメイン)。富士サファリパークは自分の車で動物を身近に見えるし。バスのオプションもあります。また別料金で猛獣に餌あげられる事も可能。猛獣ですよ!富士サファリパークに熊、ライオン、虎、チータなどの猛獣が飼育されてます。サファリゾーンにウォーキングコースもありますが、さすがに猛獣にそんなに近づきません。サファリゾーン他にふれいあいゾーンもあります。ふれあいゾーンにとうぶつ村、ふれあい牧場、ネコの館、イヌの館等もあります。最初はもちろんサファリゾーンを堪能しました!

Bear Zone / クマゾーン

Lion Zone / ライオンゾーン

Tiger Zone / トラゾーン

Cheetah Zone / チータゾーン

To be continued...


Monday, November 22, 2010

Shiroito Waterfalls / 白糸滝

After spending the night in Nishifujinomiya, we were going to head to the Fuji Safari Park. But the park doesn't open until 10:00am. So first, we headed to an area called the Shiroito Waterfalls. I didn't know what to expect, but I can tell you that shiroito translates to "white thread".


Entrance to the Shiroito Waterfall area / 白糸滝エリアの入り口

View from the bridge / 橋からの眺め

View of the other side of the bridge / 橋から逆の眺め

Nope, this is not the Shiroito Waterfall, this is the Otodome Waterfall. The name of the falls has an interesting history which you can read about in the following picture.


Another view of the Otodome Waterfall / 音止滝

Old style rice cooker / 釜戸

Bottles of ramune chilling in mountain spring water / わきみずで冷えてるラムネ

Shizuoka Prefecture is famous for tea, but it's also known for its wasabi!


You enjoy some wasabi ice cream as well / わさびソフトもありますよ

And now for the Shiroito Waterfall. This being the fall, the surrounding autumn colors gives us a breathless view.


Shiroito Waterfall / 白糸滝

The above pictures may give you an idea of how large the waterfall actually is.


Yes, we are tourists! / はい、観光客です!

It was about time to leave for the Fuji Safari Park, so we headed back to the parking lot.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kita Sakaba [Tetsu] / 北酒場 「哲(てつ)」

Continuing my post about our recent trip to Lake Kawaguchi and the Fuji Safari Park, after leaving the Autumn Festival, we made it to our hotel in Nishi Fujinomiya without incident. It was another hour and a half drive or so. But you know, we wouldn't just check in and sleep. Of course we had to go out to the nearest izakaya which was located right across the street from our hotel.

小旅行のネタのつづきです。河口湖紅葉祭りを堪能したあと、そろそろ静岡県の富士宮を目指した。ホテルに到着したあと、そんな直ぐに寝るわけないでしょう。ホテルの近くの居酒屋に行きました。店の名前は北酒場 「哲」。

The stairway to the second floor is found behind this sign.


And now for the bar food.


Chicken Wing / 手羽先

Cucumbers with plum sauce / 梅キュウ

Shizuoka style oden / 静岡風おでん

Our oden assortment included some radish, an egg, rolled cabbage, konnyaku, and some other stuff.


Grilled garlic skewers with miso / にんんく串 味噌タレ

Cheese covered tomatoes / トマトのチーズ乗せ

Fujisan Nihon-shu / 富士山日本酒

Travel buds - Reiko and Yukio / 旅行仲間 ‐ レイコと幸男

Tomorrow will be heading to the Fuji Safari Park.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Japanese Microbrew Tour - Yamanashi Prefecture / 日本地ビールツアー ‐ 山梨県

I know it's been quite a while since I wrote about a Japanese microbrew, but that doesn't mean I've given up on my goal of trying a craft beer from all 47 Prefectures. As we were at Lake Kawaguchi, a small stand was advertising the first ever craft beer to be sold in Yamanashi Prefecture. I have no idea how I'm supposed to spell this in English, but in romaji it would be spelt kuraruherusu. Anyway, a nice light and fruity beer, close to a weizen style.

長い間日本の地ビールは紹介してなかったんですね。でもまだまだ47の都道府県の地ビールを飲む企画はつづいてますよ。先週は山梨県の河口湖で紅葉祭りを楽しみながら、一つの店の看板に「甲斐ドラフト生ビール クラールヘルス」を発見。どうやら山梨で一番最初に発売した地ビールも書いてあった。飲むしかないでしょう。軽くってちょっとフルーティな感じがする。ヴァイッツェンに近い味です。美味しい!

And how about some chicken livers to go with that beer?


Oh yeah, I did have another craft beer from Yamanashi Prefecture. That would have been the Fujizakura Heights Rauch beer that I had at the Furusato Shibuya Festival. I suppose I shall add that to this post as well.


Perhaps I will go in search of a few more craft beers over the weekend.