Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Japan 2015 - A Truly Excellent Lunch on the Road

After three days based in Nagoya visiting ceramic artists in Gifu and Aichi Prefectures, our tour headed north to the mountain town of Takayama by the scenic route, passing some lovely fall scenery,

On the road to Takayama
with a stop at Arimatsu Harumi, known for its intricate traditional tie dying,

Arimatsu Harumi main street
and Gero Onsen, known for its hot springs. More to the point, we stopped at a local Gero restaurant, Hinokiya, and had an outstanding and gargantuan lunch.

The meal began with a seasonal vegetable appetizer and an amazing, soul-satisfying wild mushroom soup. This was one of the best soups I have ever eaten, earthy and redolent of the old wood that is so present in Japan, with each type of mushroom providing a separate layer of tast. Lke most of the tour members, I had multiple bowls, which made it difficult (but not impossible for me) to finish the subsequent dishes.

Seasonal (chestnut, potato, maple leaf) vegetable plate at Hinokiya
Japanese comfort food: Hinokiya's wild mushroom soup
The soup was followed by a sequence of excellent dishes, the best of which was the beef salad.

Chawan mushi, a pumpkin egg custard
Steak salad, seasonal presentation
Fried fish filets
Soba noodles with tofu and nori (dried seaweed)
Then, more than sated, we moved on to Wanosato ryokan, a rustic but luxurious inn, for the night. But that's another story.

Bobby Jay

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