Christmas hots prings in Izu, Japan 伊豆でクリスマス温泉

DSC_6533_1I guess you can tell from the view of Mount Fuji that I’m in Japan – finally. It’s weird, the last time I was here was 1,5 years ago and for the last 6 years I haven’t been in Japan for periods longer than 3 weeks. Still, the moment I set my feet at Japanese ground it feels like I’m back to the time when I lived here, and like nothing has changed. I feel more familiar to the years in Japan than my time at Swedish university for example, although that lasted for 5 years…
富士山の景色から日本にいることが分かるんだろ。やっと、着いた。おかしいけど、1,5ぶり来日、この六年間三週間以上の滞在なくても、やっぱり日本に着いた瞬間ここに住んだ時代に戻った感じがする。何も変わっていなくて普通の状況みたいに。日本に住んだ二年間はスウェーデンの5年間の大学時代より親しい。。。

DSC_6473Anyhow. The day after our arrival we took the train to Shusenji in Izu, Shizuoka prefecture to stay one night at a hot spring hotel. Since Japan is full of volcanoes it is also full of hot springs (onsen) and as a result full of Japanese traditional style hostels with hot springs (ryokan). Whenever you take the train for a longer trip in Japan you need a lunch box (bento). There are so many good things to buy and sometimes the simple stuff is the best. Some veggies and a rice ball and green tea was more than satisfactory for me.
とにかく、来日次の日静岡県、伊豆の修善寺に温泉旅に行った。電車に乗るとやっぱり弁当があったほうがいい。美味しいものがありすぎるけど、シンプルでいいと思って野菜とおにぎりにした。美味しかった!DSC_6490Watching the Japanese landscape passing by while eating is quite relaxing…
日本の景色を見ながら弁当食べるとリラックスできるね。DSC_6492When we reached Shusenji Station we needed to take a bus and then take a walk for 15 minutes to reach the hotel. The walk was through the typical Japanese country side with its crop fields, mountains and tinpot houses. Actually, most houses in Japan look quite miserable, but on the inside they are usually cozy and very nice. It’s interesting to see how different cultures value the appearance of objects differently.
修善寺駅に着いたら、旅館に行くのにバスに乗って15分の散歩が必要だった。粗悪な家、畑、山がある日本の一般田舎の中で散歩だった。実はスウェーデンの家と比べて日本の家は結構悲しい格好だ。中が心地がいいけど。国によって、ものの美しさを評価することが違うのは面白いな。
DSC_6496_1Halfway on our little walk we stumbled upon a cafe in a really nice building for a change. It was situated just next to a river with a nice terrace in the middle of the nature.
散歩の途中とてもいいカフェの建物があった。川と森のそばで最高のバルコニーもあった。DSC_6506We had great coffee and matcha tea and awesome strawberry daifuku. A daifuku is a traditional Japanese cake made of rice and bean paste. I love them! The name of the cafe is Chaki Chaki and it’s newly opened. Here is their website, totally worth a visit http://www.chakichaki.jp.
美味しいコーヒーと抹茶、最高のイチゴ大福をいただいた。カフェの名前は茶気茶気だった(www.chakichaki.jp)。機会があれば、行ってください!DSC_6501 And then we reached the hotel which was exactly what I had expected. An old building with little Japanese ladies in their 70’s running around serving the guests. And several hot springs from natural volcano water to relax in.
量感に着いたら思った通り古い建物のおばさんがやっている場所だった。温泉ももちろんいっぱいあった。
DSC_6514Our room had a really nice view over a traditional garden. 部屋から美しい庭の景色で。DSC_6508_1 After bathing in different hot springs around 3 times or so dinner came. Traditional Japanese hotel food is quite special. It consists of various small dishes, most of them containing some kind of seafood, and a lot of tofu, soy and rice related stuff.
温泉に入って来てから海鮮料理の時間だった。DSC_6549_1The food is served in your room and dinner takes around 2 hours to finish. Continuously a cute old lady comes with more and more dishes and the moment you think that this really has to be the last one she brings another one.  多かったのよ!本当に終わったかと思ったらまた出て着ちゃった。やばかった。DSC_6541_1 DSC_6542_1I ate so much, and was sooo full. At least, the Japanese food is fairly light and it doesn’t contain much fat or sugar so the feeling of being full is totally different to for example over eating pizza. This fullness is sort of pleasant🙂
食べ過ぎて本当におなかいっぱいだった。でも、和食には油と佐藤はあまり入っていないから気持ちいいいっぱいさだった。ピザとか食べ過ぎると全然違うね。DSC_6560_1Since the food is kind of healthy you would believe that loosing weight is bound to happen in Japan. That’s not really true though, since everything is so tasty and actually rather cheap. I tend to eat 3 times as much in Japan as in Sweden… Well well, at least it’s loaded with good vitamins and other stuff. All the fish, seaweed and soy is surely good for the body!
和食はヘルシーだからやせるんだろうかと思ってしまうかもしれないけど、美味しくて、結構安いからいっぱい食べるんだもん。まあ、せめて栄養がいっぱいあるね、魚、のり、野菜とかに。DSC_6568After eating dinner it was hot spring time again and then sleeping. Just to wake up to a breakfast that was almost as voluminous as the dinner…
ディナーを食べてからまた温泉に入って、寝た。そしてもちろん朝ごはんの量もいっぱい過ぎた。。。DSC_6569In the hotel area there was a bakery too. At the bakery’s terrace there was another hot spring, for your feet. So, at Christmas Eve we sat in the sunshine and 15 degrees awesome weather, drinking coffee, feet in hot spring and eating a caramel cake with a Santa on top. Kind of a weird feeling, a nice one though, and nothing like Christmas in Sweden.
量感の近くにパン屋さんがあった。そこに足湯があった。クリスマスイブに15度の晴れの天気で、足暖めながらコーヒー飲んで、サンタさんのケーキを食べた。微妙な感情だったね、スウェーデンのクリスマスとまったく違う。DSC_6576 DSC_6578Although the Japanese try to celebrate Christmas, by for example decorating a lot (like my cake) it is really nothing here. Their main holiday is New Years and at the closing of Christmas day all the decorations are torn down just to be replaced by New Years stuff. Also, the traditional way to celebrate Christmas here is to bring your boy or girlfriend for a date, or if you are a family to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken at home (for real!).
デコレーションとかがあるのに、日本のクリスマスは本当にあまり何もない。お正月はメインだから。クリスマスのデートとかケンタッキーで食べるとか、スウェーデンではありえない。DSC_6582But the way of spending Christmas is not the only factor that totally eliminates the Christmas feeling. The fact that it’s so bright and warm here totally changes everything too. In Sweden during this season we have around 4 hours of sun everyday, and then it’s dark. And during those few hours the sun doesn’t really make it to the top of the sky, it just peaks over the boarder to vanish after a little while. So, it’s not really bright, more like twilight ish. Here the sun is so bright during lunch and it feels like Swedish summer almost.
でも、クリスマスの過ごし方だけで変な雰囲気になるわけない。ここの眩しさや暖かさのおかげでまったく違うことになるね。スウェーデンでは4時間ぐらいしか明るくない、この季節は。明るいというか、薄明みたいなもん。日本ではスウェーデンの夏ほど明るい、昼間は。
DSC_6593So in a sense this vacation is like light therapy, which is really good because it totally brings the mood up. And so do all the good food and the cakes here. I am to be perfectly honest really enjoying my time here and I’m not too sad about missing Christmas. Sure, next year I’ll try to be in Sweden for the holidays but when I’m here I just realize how great it is to be able to eat all good stuff, meet old friends, experience a different way of living and just soaking impressions like a sponge. And, it’s also kind of cozy at my boyfriend’s home, where the old grandma (101 years!) always is available for a little chat. The next blog post will probably focus more on Tokyo city life. And probably food. Again. It’s soon lunch time – yay!
ということはここにいて光線療法になるみたい。それで元気になるからいいな。しかも、美味しい食べ物やケーキのおかげでも元気になるね!正直にいうと日本の滞在を凄く楽しんでる。だから、クリスマスをスウェーデンで過ごさないこと別に悲しくない。たぶん、来年スウェーデンで過ごそうとするけど、今日本にいると美味しい食べ物や昔からの友達と会うこと、違う文化を楽しむこと、色々なインスピレーションを受けるのは最高だと分かった。後、彼氏の実家で時間を101歳のおばあちゃんと時間をすごすも面白いし:)次のブログポストはたぶん東京の注目で、もちろんもっと食べ物!もう少しでランチだ、やった!DSC_6589_2

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