Sunday, October 11, 2009

Taketa day trip

Yet again we are blessed with another 3 day weekend, oh how we love all their public holidays (at least 17 a year)! We had planned to venture to Nagasaki but unfortunately the timing was all wrong; their biggest festival of the year meant we couldn't find any accommodation.

Instead we headed to Taketa, a small town about 1.15hr drive from us. Thanks to the well positioned toll road we were able to speed past Oita city, avoiding the headache causing traffic and stupid Japanese traffic light systems (no sensor systems, just timers= a lot of time sitting at red lights for no reason).
With our keen sense of adventure and my unique ability to understand maps better than anything else I found us a short cut through the forests. Only once along this narrow, windy and deserted road did we question my decision....thankfully paying off when we arrived well ahead of schedule.
We have a couple of friends in Taketa who are also JETs so after picking them up we headed out to explore the area. Our first stop was at Oka castle, built in 1593. It is an understatement to say Japan has a lot of castles because there are probably as many of them as dairies in NZ. This one turned out to be one of the best I've seen and probably one of the best in Japan. It has been left reasonably intact thanks to the fact it was never defeated by any samurai army and due to its amazing positioning on a hill has some stunning views. After running around like a day dreaming child, pretending I was an invading samurai and drawing on my vast knowledge of Kendo, we reluctantly moved on to our next stop.
Taketa seems to be known for 2 things; it's waterfalls and ice creams. Since I like both it is a good place to spend time! Next we headed for Harajiri and Shiramizu waterfalls. You've all seen a waterfall so no need to elaborate on these. However the ice creams in this area are a little more unique, you can choose from tomato, tulip, soy sauce, spinach, azuki bean, seaweed and many others! I braved it out and tried the tulip flavour....amazing! Meg stayed with the tried and true; chocolate.
Another good day over and capped off with a stop at California pizza on the way home!


fergies said...

Two ice creams Megan??!! or was one nathan's?!What would spinach taste like?- spinach??!!
Sorry I lost link earler-bit challenged!lol

Anonymous said...

Test run Nathan hope this works ok Mum

Anonymous said...

What yukky names, guys at work here want to know if the flavour matches the name?? Dont blame you Megan sticking with chocolate. Others sound disgusting. No wonder they import so much NZ icecream eh !! LJW