Sunday, February 1, 2015

Back in Japan (Jan 2015)...Onsen time in Snowy Myoko, Niigata

Locally caught Nodoguro fish shabu shabu

Just a few days after coming back from Hawaii to LA, I packed again to go back to Japan. I've been traveling so much that I'm losing sense of time now.

 photo IMG_7774_zpsxs4k6s7c.jpg
The next day, I was already on my way to Myoko, Niigata. My friend, Akiko, and I traveled together to Nagaoka, Niigata, last year together. This year, we decided to come to Myoko, another heavy snowy region. After a shinkansen and local train rides, we were there. We checked in at a historic hotel there. Our room had a great view of ski slope right in front of us! It was fun to watch the experienced skiers and snow boarders from the room.

 photo IMG_7783_zpsqiqgemzx.jpg  photo IMG_7779_zpsrq5hien4.jpg  photo IMG_7781_zpshxmbmhqj.jpg
I instantly fell in love with this resort. The hotel was originally built in 1937. After several remodelings, they still maintain the beautiful classic style.

 photo IMG_7787_zpsm0hfrdm9.jpg  photo IMG_7785_zpsb5hidzro.jpg
Their classic fruit cakes are very famous. They also bake artisan bread and pastries every day on the premises.

 photo IMG_7793_zpsujpyadmd.jpg  photo IMG_7805_zpsrp4uvlto.jpg  photo IMG_7806_zpsnxtm0pam.jpg  photo IMG_7815_zpsihmt2j2u.jpg  photo IMG_7823_zps06kks413.jpg
The snow was falling non-stop. We enjoyed relaxing onsen (hot spring) time outdoor. After the onsen, Fino Sherry tasted very nice at the bar.

 photo IMG_7828_zpsjra5ezf1.jpg
Dinner was a kaiseki (traditional Japanese seasonal course meal) with local ingredients.

 photo IMG_7829_zpswdbb8uq8.jpg  photo IMG_7830_zpsp8spyu9l.jpg  photo IMG_7832_zpsww2pbsip.jpg  photo IMG_7833_zpspokn54ce.jpg  photo IMG_7835_zpsdmq0tsl9.jpg
Myoko is a short drive from the Sea of Japan coast, so the dinner was full of fresh catches of the winter seafood from there.

 photo IMG_7836_zpsqb5ekjug.jpg  photo IMG_7839_zpshwiekggz.jpg
Nodoguro fish shabu shabu was amazing!! The fish was perfectly fatty and I cooked it to rare to enjoy.

 photo IMG_7841_zpsnqhwz8jm.jpg  photo IMG_7843_zps6erljukb.jpg  photo IMG_7844_zpsa6qdffhd.jpg
And, of course, local Koshihikari rice and a lot of local sake! It was such an outstanding meal.

 photo IMG_7846_zpsygvefitj.jpg  photo IMG_7847_zpsrs7e6cdw.jpg
The next day, as soon as we woke up, we enjoyed morning onsen. The view from the outdoor bath was breathtaking. It was another very snowy day.

 photo IMG_7852_zpspq4hi1vu.jpg  photo IMG_7858_zpsrbhiysyc.jpg  photo IMG_7860_zpsrhalrre2.jpg
Then, we had breakfast with the great snow view. I loved the yuba (tofu skin) hot pot with soy milk, and local koshihikari porridge.