Photo Album

Wasabi Farm in Summer

I visited the Daio Wasabi Farm on August 15th.
The best season to visit there is spring because you can see wasabi flowers and there is no covering to protect wasabi against strong sunlight like the above photo (see this photo in spring).

But in summer, the watery stream with the green of trees and grasses are beautiful and cool. The water is a natural spring, so it is extremely clear. You can take a boat trip to peek at the water and fish through the boat’s transparent bottom.
Not only the picturesque field and stream, but also the Daio Wasabi Farm’s unique wasabi culinary delights are popular. Visitors can try wasabi ice-cream (the most popular), wasabi tempura, wasabi soba noodles, wasabi beer, wasabi wine, and so on.
This time, I tried wasabi croquette and wasabi juice.

Cherry Blossom and Ice Cream in Azumino

Cherry blossom season is over in Nagano. I think anywhere in Japan is beautiful when cherry blossoms are in flower.
This April I went to see the cherry blossoms in Misato. There are many cherry trees all along the banks of Kurosawa River. You can see a long array of the trees there. The banks of the river are not made of concrete and a lot of the trees have many flowers which was voluminous. Compared with the other areas, it is quite rustic, but tasteful. If the weather is fine, you can see the Northern Alps from the place. I thought the place was a good unknown place, but I saw some cars from other prefectures which is amazing. It takes about forty minutes to walk all along the trees. The time for cherry blossoms at their best is later than Matsumoto. It may be nice to see them after Matsumoto and then you will feel satisfied after seeing them in Misato. I can imagine that farmers must have enjoyed Hanami parties there in former times.
After I saw them, I went to an icecream shop called Misato Milk. They offer tasty ice cream cones which are famous in this area. I had two types of icecream which were Japanese orange called Buntan and corn. Buntan was refreshing and a bit bitter. Corn tasted very creamy. Cherry blossoms are like snow when they are in full bloom. They look soft and fluffy when you see them from a distance. Cherry blossom season is too short. It’s about one week. A lot of people are really looking forward to seeing them next season again, because one of the reasons is the season is very short.

Stagione – Italian restaurant selected in “Zagat Survey in Nagano”

I went to Stagione, which was listed as the second best Italian restaurant in the Zagat Survey in Nagano (published this March in Japanese).
It is located in a good place in the Hotaka area and you can see authentic rural Japanese scenery and a wonderful view of the Japan Alps from its wide window.
As Zagat reported, the restaurant is very neat (perhaps too “neat” for a place to eat), the dishes and desserts are tasty and stylish like the photo, and it’s not so expensive.
Zagat Survey is a guidebook (also called “American Michelin Guide”). It has a voting system that relies on locals. They ranked restaurants and hotels in Nagano using the result of 5,000 votes.