We got out on the slopes early today for a few runs. It was so warm, people were skiing in t shirts! Pretty crazy this Spring skiing business. After a couple of hours we headed back down the mountain. We had our morning tea in the gondola.
We had a grand plan to head to Nagano for the afternoon to see a temple that we have been wanting to see for a while. After waiting for nearly an hour at the bus stop, we almost thought this may not eventuate.
Eventually the bus did turn up, and it took us to Iiyama. Then we caught the shiny new Shinkansen to Nagano.
Once in Nagano, we caught a local train a few stops to Zenkoji Temple. It was worth the effort.
Inside the main hall, you go down some stairs, then you have to walk in pitch blackness through a tunnel. It’s actually quite scary. You touch the wall on your right side as you walk – you are meant to find a key, if you do then you gain enlightenment, or something. We both found the key, so let’s see what happens. Some Sakura were in bloom, the gardens were very lovely.
We also got to go up in to the gate. There were some seriously steep steps to get up there.
Then we wandered down the shopping street all the way back to Nagano Station. There was lots of interesting shops and we actually ended up buying a few things.
We stopped for a dinner at a ramen place. It was empty when we walked in, then as we were deciding which ramen to get at the pay machine, a whole lot of people came in and suddenly the place was full. I mean, the place could only seat about 8 people, but it was still funny how quickly everyone turned up. And suddenly the ramen chef (all on his own) went from an empty store to being run off his feet. He made good ramen though.
Then we headed back to station, looked around a bit and caught the Shinkansen and bus back to our accomodation in Nozawa Onsen. We were home in about 40 minutes which was pretty sweet.
Then an onsen and beer (for Blainie)
Ok, I’ve done it again. I’ve posted in the wrong blog. Sorry! Here’s today’s update – https://blainie.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/eat-ski-onsen-part-ii/