Maigo 迷途

Kanto Maigo – Day 7

Hakone day.

 

箱根日。

 

This morning was to see one of the toughest challenges. Getting from Shinbashi to Hakone-Yumoto in just an hour.

 

今天早上將會是一場嚴峻挑戰。從新橋在一小時內到箱根湯本。

 

To backtrack a little.

 

說一下原由。

 

A day trip to Hakone was quite pressed for time, more so that it was imperative that we arrive at Moto-Hakone by the lakeside before at least 10 am if we wished to have a chance at seeing Mount Fuji.

 

箱根要一天來回算趕的,尤其是我們若想看到富士山的話必須在10點前到湖畔的元箱根。

 

Mount Fuji is also called the shy mountain because its peak is often shrouded by clouds. The best time to have a clear view of it is during the early morning or evening when the temperature is cool, during the day clouds often form and like a hat obscure it from view. Studying the live cameras over several days it appears clouds most often start to form after 10am.

 

富士山被稱作害羞的山,因為山頂常被雲霧圍繞。要清楚看到山景最好是一大早或是傍晚天氣涼爽的時候。白天山上容易起雲像戴帽子般把山頂遮住。研究幾天web cam影像,大多是10點後開始起雲的。

 

There’s also a bottleneck crossing Lake Ashinoko from Motohakone on the south side to Togendai in the north, with one boat every 40-50 minutes, catching just one boat earlier can make a huge difference in the schedule down the road. This means getting to Hakone as early as possible. Even half an hour can make a lot of difference.

 

另外是跨越芦之湖,從南岸元箱根到北邊桃源台的海盜船是個瓶頸,每40-50分鐘才一艘船,若能搭上早一班船對之後的行程有很大幫助。也就是說越早到箱根越好,就算只有半小時也差很多。

 

The earliest train from Shinjuku is an Odakyu express departing at 7am and takes an hour and 40 minutes, arriving at Hakone-Yumoto at 8:40.

 

從新宿最早的班車是小田急的特急列車,7點發車,車程約1小時40分,8:40到箱根湯本。

 

If one then first take the mountain railway to Kowakudani (since it may be dark by the time we descent, taking the railway in the morning ensures we get to enjoy the sights), then transfer onward to the bus, one should reach Moto-Hakone at 9:45.

 

若先搭登山鐵道到小涌谷(下山時可能天已黑了,先搭鐵道確保有欣賞到風景)再轉巴士,到元箱根是9.45。

 

7am is quite early especially for a station as large as Shinjuku. Assuming one’s hotel is at Shinjuku, accounting for walking time and navigating the station, this means leaving the hotel at latest around 6:30~6:40. Earlier if one did not stay at Shinjuku.

 

早上7點的車很早,尤其是如新宿這樣大的車站。假設旅館在新宿,考慮走路和車站內上下樓移動的時間,至少要在6.30~6.40離開旅館。若不住在新宿的話要更早。

 

The next express out of Shinjuku is 7:27 and arrives at Hakone-Yumoto at 9:01, which gets to Moto-Hakone at 10.

 

新宿晚一班車是7.27發,到箱根湯本9.01,到元箱根約10點。

 

This was a source of headache when choosing where to stay. 7am train is really early and there’s a risk of oversleeping it. If it’s the next train then arrival in Hakone will be a bit late.

 

在決定住哪裡時為這點煩惱了很久。7點的車挺早的,很容易睡過頭。若搭晚一班到箱根時又會太晚。

 

Until I found an alternative. Before that though it’s worth looking into why departing from Odakyu is considered the default.

 

後來找到了另外一個選項。不過在說是怎樣的選項時要先解釋一下為何小田急是一般認知的標準方案。

 

Transport around Hakone is dominated by the Odakyu group. Odakyu is one of the major private railways in the Kanto region, its main line connects Shinjuku to Kamakura and Odawara, Hakone. In addition, the group also owns the Hakone Mountain Railway, Hakone Cable Car, Hakone Ropeway, Hakone Sightseeing Cruise and most of the local bus in Hakone region.

 

箱根地區交通基本上是小田急集團一手包辦。小田急是關東地區的大手私鐵之一,主幹線從新宿連結鎌倉和小田原,箱根。另外集團也擁有箱根登山鐵道,箱根空中纜車,箱根登山纜車,箱根海盜船和大部分的地方巴士路線。

 

The Hakone Pass issued by Odakyu allowed tourists unlimited access to all transports in the Hakone region for just 4000Y, and for another 1140Y also included a single regular return ticket from Shinjuku.

 

小田急發售的箱根周遊卷只要4000Y就可無限搭乘箱根區的交通工具,再加1140Y附一張新宿來回車票。

 

A small trap with the pass is that the return ticket is only valid for non-express trains which required transfers and takes about 2 hours. To take the express trains one has to purchase another 890Y to get an express ticket, 890×2 (1780) for return. All up this means 2920 extra or about 1460 each way.

 

有一個小陷阱,那就是來回車票只包含區間車,車程需2小時。若要搭特急需要另外加890Y買特級卷,也就是來回1780Y。加起來等於多2920或單程1460。

 

Going to Hakone effective means having to get a Hakone pass, the natural outcome is to also get the return from Shinjuku as one single simple solution. Since most people chooses this way, various guides and blogs also discusses only this way when concerning how to get to Hakone.

 

既然去箱根一定會要買箱根周遊卷,很自然的也就加價新宿來回了,省事方便。既然大多人都是這樣買,導覽和部落格在介紹箱根交通時也只解說小田急這選項。

 

But while Odakyu is the only choice within the Hakone region, it is not the only choice getting from and to Hakone from Tokyo. There is also JR East whose local train (there are no expresses) takes about 70~80 minutes between Tokyo and Odawara, and the shinkansen which can cover that distance in just 35 minutes. From Odawara one can use the basic Hakone pass up to Hakone-Yumoto (another 20 minutes) and onward.

 

但是呢,雖然小田急是箱根區域內唯一選擇,他並不是東京來往箱根唯一選擇。另外有JR東日本的區間車(沒有特急)從東京到小田原大約70~80分鐘。還有新幹線,只需35分鐘。到小田原後就可用箱根周遊卷上到箱根湯本(20分鐘)和其他地點。

 

The JR East train costs 1490 one way, which is actually comparable to Odakyu.

 

JR東日本的車是單程1490,跟小田急差不多。

 

The shinkansen on other hand while being extremely fast, costs 3220 each way.

 

新幹線則快很多,但單程就要3220。

 

The JR East train can be an alternative but did not solve my problem of getting to Hakone early enough.

 

JR東日本是另外選項但並沒有解決我想早點到箱根的問題。

 

The shinkansen was too expensive, until I found that JR Central sold a special outing ticket called Shinkansen Odekake-Kippu, where one can purchase returns to Odawara for 2 people travelling together for just 4630 per person, or effectively 2315 each way. It’s still >800Y more each way compared to Odakyu but brings it into the bounds of reasonable trade-off worth considering.

 

新幹線則太貴了。直到我發覺JR東海有賣一種おでかけ(出遊)的特別套票,雙人一起出遊時小田原來回一人只要4630,也就是單程2315。比小田急貴800多但落入值得考慮取捨的範圍。

 

Once I discovered this possibility I started charting out possible timetables. Catching the shinkansen from Shinagawa was the best choice since compared to Tokyo station it would shave ~10 minutes off again from the time one has to leave the hotel in the morning. That left any stations close to Shinagawa (there are very few hotels around Shinagawa), such as Shinbashi.

 

發現這可能性後,我開始計算可能的時刻表。從品川上新幹線是最佳選擇,可比東京站上車更晚10分鐘離開旅館。也就是任何接近品川的車站(品川附近沒什麼住宿),如新橋。

 

I charted out every train for each segment of the transfers. Shinbashi>Shinagawa, Shingawaga>Odawara, Odawara>Hakone-Yumoto, Hakone-Yumoto>Kowakudani, Kowakudani>Moto-Hakone. From the table a precise transfer could be worked out. Based on the station layouts it was very tight but definitely doable.

 

我列出了到元箱根間每一段轉車的班次。新橋到品川,品川到小田原,小田原到箱根湯本,箱根湯本到小涌谷,小涌谷到元箱根。利用表格準確抓出了一個轉車方案,按照車站平面圖會有點緊湊但絕對可行。

 

7:15 Shinbashi departure, 10 minutes transfer at Shinagawa, 5 minutes at Odawara, arrive at Hakone-Yumoto at 8:21. Then 3 minutes to walk up the platform onto the mountain railway (once this transfer is made the trip is safe), with arrival at Moto-Hakone at 9:25. The transfers are too tight to show up on transfer apps like Jorudan or Ekitan, have to be worked out manually.

 

7.15新橋出發,在品川轉車10分鐘,小田原5分鐘,8.21到箱根湯本。然後有3分鐘朝月台另一頭走一點轉登山電車(只要搭上這個就安全了),到元箱根9.25。這轉車間距太緊湊了在轉乘app如jorudan,ekitan是不會顯示的,只能土法煉鋼手工排出來。

 

Compared to Shinjuku departure on the 7am Odakyu express, we can leave at least 15 minutes later (more since Shinbashi station is small, only need to account for time from the hotel) but will end up at the lakeside actually 20 minutes earlier.

 

與新宿7點出發的小田急特急比,我們可晚至少15分鐘出發(新橋車站很小,只用考路旅館間走的時間)但至少早20分鐘到湖邊。

 

Now back to the trip.

 

回到旅遊上。

 

The day began with Super Hotel’s breakfast. Breakfast here started at 6.30, I went down right on the minute. We had agreed to meet in the lobby at 7, until then it’s up to each when to have breakfast and anything else to do.

 

一天從Super Hotel的早餐開始。早餐6.30開始,我很準時的下樓。我們約好7點在大廳碰面,在那之前各自決定何時吃早餐和其他想做的事。

 

One thing I love about Super Hotel is that their breakfast is always familiar but never the same. The food is very consistent no matter which location, one knows exactly what to expect yet won’t know what one might get.

 

我喜歡Super Hotel的一點就是他的早餐總是令人很熟悉但從不一樣。菜色種類不論地點有一致性,知道可期待什麼但仍不知道會有什麼。

 

There’s a few things that are certain. Selection of coffee from the machine, organic salad with range of Super Hotel’s signature sauces, yoghurt, fruit, bread, rice and sides that go with it such as nato, pickles, miso soup.

 

有幾樣是絕對的。咖啡機供應的各種咖啡,有機沙拉配上Super Hotel自家口味的醬料,優格,水果,麵包,白飯和配飯的小菜如納豆,醬菜,味噌湯。

 

There will be a fish dish. The fish may not be the same nor may it be cooked the same way. I don’t know whether it’s company policy but I have yet to have one without fish.

 

會有一道魚。不一定是同一種魚,料理方式也不一定相同。我不知道這是不是公司規則但我還沒一次沒吃到魚的。

 

There will be an egg dish. The egg also may not be cooked the same way but there will be eggs.

 

會有一道蛋料理。料理方式也不一定相同但一定有蛋。

 

Then there will be a meat dish. Plus one or two other dishes that varied.

 

然後一道肉。另外一兩道變化菜色。

 

Many branches tend to also have a “local” dish, a dish unique to that Super Hotel or Super Hotels in that region. It could be curry, miso topping…etc. The specialty of this Super Hotel was Fukagawa-Meshi, a clam rice stew.

 

許多分店還有一道地方特色菜,那家Super Hotel或那地區Super Hotel才有的菜色。可能是咖哩,味增醬之類。這家的是深川飯,一種貝類煮粥。

 

Super Hotel’s breakfast leaned on traditional Japanese breakfast, this requires comparatively more effort. Other business hotel usually provided just scrambled eggs, weiners and maybe hashbrown or potato, items that can be much easily prepared. It’s one reason why I chose Super Hotel since Y is not used to western style bread or sandwiches.

 

Super Hotel的早餐偏傳統日式。準備上比較費事。其他商務旅館通常是提供炒蛋,熱狗,然後薯餅或馬鈴薯,這種比較好弄的菜色。選Super Hotel的原因之一,Y比較不習慣西式的麵包或三明治。

Super Hotel Breakfast

Super Hotel Breakfast

The transfer went smoother than planned. At Shinagawa we had to wait for the Nozomi currently on the platform to clear out first before the Kodama showed up. I had already checked the best car number for transfer and we boarded car number 7.

 

轉車比預期的順利。在品川還必須等月台上的Nozomi班車開出後等Kodama進月台。我已經查過轉程位置,坐第7節車廂。

Shinkansen

The tightest transfer was Odawara, with just 5 minutes to go up the platform, exit the Shinkansen gate, up the main concourse then through the Odakyu gate and down to the platform and board the train. It’s my first time to Odawara, though I had checked the station layout on youtube things could look different on arrival.

 

最緊湊的是小田原轉車,只有5分鐘從月台上樓,出新幹線閘口,上樓到車站大廳,入小田急閘口下月台上車。這是我第一次到小田原站,雖然youtube上看過車站內走法但實際到了後長什麼樣子很難說。

 

We made it with about a minute to go. Had no need to run. But would not have made it if I had not purchased ticket beforehand.

 

上車時剩大約一分鐘。還沒需要跑的程度,但若沒預先買好票的話是趕不上的。

 

On the train from Odawara to Hakone-Yumoto we met a pair of Chinese old couple who came from the States. They seemed to have bought the Hakone mountain railway+bus pass at a whim and had not yet looked at what to see and do at Hakone. So they asked us what was our plan and whether we had any suggestions.

 

在小田原到箱根湯本的車上遇到一對從美國來的華裔老夫妻。他們似乎臨時買了箱根鐵道+巴士卷,還沒考慮太多過在箱根要玩什麼。他們問我們打算怎麼玩,有沒有什麼建議。

 

I outlined our plan of taking the railway up to Kowakudani and transferring to the bus, doing a clockwise loop around the area. They seemed to like the idea and followed us up till Moto-Hakone.

 

我大略說了一下要搭電車到小涌谷轉巴士,順時鐘繞箱根一圈。他們對這主意似乎覺得不錯,一路跟我們一起坐到元箱根。

 

Once we got on the mountain train at Hakone-Yumoto we no longer had to worry about transfers and the sightseeing begins.

 

在箱根湯本上了登山鐵道後就不用擔心轉車了,放輕鬆開始遊玩欣賞風景。

Hakone Yumoto

The Hakone Mountain railway is the Japan’s oldest mountain railway and the steepest railway in Japan without a rack rail. In less than 10km it climbs from Hakone-Yumoto at 108m to Gora at 556m.

 

箱根登山鐵道是日本最古老的登山鐵道,也是日本沒有齒軌的普通鐵道中坡度最陡的。從箱根到強羅不到10km的軌道從108m爬升到556m。

 

The leaves close to Hakone-Yumoto was still green, which I took to be a good sign that there were bound to be red leaves along the way up.

 

靠近箱根湯本的樹葉還是綠的,這算是好事吧,代表一路往上總會遇到紅葉。

Hakone

Along the tracks there are 3 turnbacks to navigate the steepest inclines.The turnbacks also doubled as a passing stop for trains coming the other direction, there was plenty of time to take in the view as we waited for the descending train or for the poor driver to run to the other end to drive the train in the other direction.

 

沿途有3個Z字反折攀爬最陡的山側。反折點同時也是電車會車處,讓反方向的車輛通過。在等下山的車輛或是駕駛跑去電車另一端開車時有充足時間看外頭山色。

Switchback

Hakone

The train winded through narrow tunnels and bridges over steep valleys. Only in the old days could a railway be built through terrain as difficult as this only for access to tourist destination.

 

電車穿過窄小的隧道和陡峭的溪谷。只有在從前才有可能為了一個觀光地如此翻山越水興建一條鐵道。

 

Two stops from Gora we got off at Kowakudani. This was the station where the railway and the bus route headed for Moto-Hakone diverged.

 

我們在到強羅兩站前的小涌谷下車。這裡是鐵道和往元箱根巴士路線分道揚鑣之處。

Kowakudani

Originally the bus was not due for another 12 minutes and Y had begun to wander off when a H route bus turned around the corner. Is the bus early or the previous one late? No matter, I hurriedly called Y back.

 

原本巴士應該要等12分鐘,Y正要附近晃晃時一輛H路線的巴士就轉過彎來。是早到還是上一班晚到?管他的。我連忙把Y叫回來。

 

Since the bus came early we now had time to go to Onshihakone park instead of just Moto-Hakone. Onshihakone was about 500m further down the Lake Ashinoko south bank and used to be the Emperial family’s vacation palace. It’s a small peninsula jutting out into the lake and from its higher elevation offered a fantastic view of Mount Fuji and Lake Ashinoko.

 

巴士早到,時間也就多了一些,可以去恩賜公園而不只是元箱根。恩賜公園在芦之湖南岸再走500m處,曾是皇室的渡假宮殿。是個突出湖面的小半島,從公園內高處是看富士山和芦之湖的最佳地點之一。

 

The poor weather over the last few days had cleared up, in the distance Mount Fuji loomed over the pristine lake. I had been very worried about whether we would be able to see Mount Fuji today and was very relieved.

 

前幾天的天氣轉好了,遠處的富士山聳立在潔淨的湖上。

 

Thanks the the early bus we were by the lakeside at 9:15.

 

感謝早來的巴士,我們9.15就在湖岸了。

 

The main structure in the palace grounds is a western style hall. There used to be an Japanese style Hall adjoining the western Hall but after destruction in multiple earthquakes had been reduced to a small wooden building.

 

離宮的主建築是個西式宅邸。從前旁邊也連著一棟日式宅院但幾遭地震摧毀,現在只剩下一個小小的木造房。

Hakone Palace

 

From the 2nd floor balcony of the Hall one had a clear view of the lake and the far shores. A pirate cruise ship leaving Moto-Hakone glided into view before turning north toward Togendai.

 

從宅邸二樓陽台看出去,眼下湖面延伸到遠岸。一艘離開元箱根的海盜船滑入視野,在湖心轉往北方的桃源台。

Mount Fuji

There was another small viewing platform in the park where high magnification binoculars were installed. Through it we could see the smallest valley on Mount Fuji, the snowy slopes glistening in the sun.

 

公園內還有一個聊望台,有免費的高倍數望遠鏡。透過他們連富士山上最小的山坳也可看的一清二楚,還有在陽光下閃耀的雪坡。

Mount Fuji

Between Onshihakone and Moto-Hakone is a length of forest path which used to be the old Tokaido postal road. The ancient road is lined with 400 years old giant cedar trees. Hakone had long been a vital town due to its status as a major checkpoint controlling travellers heading in and out of Kanto.

 

恩賜公園到元箱根間有條曾是東海道驛道的林間小路。古道兩旁是400年的老杉樹。箱根從古就是驛道上的重要小鎮,作為掌控進出關東旅客的主要關卡。

 

The old checkpoint that had been reconstructed is at Hakonemachi, not far in fact from Onshihakone, unfortunately it was one of the many placed that had to be left out due to the tight schedule.

 

重建的箱根關所就在附近,離恩賜公園很近,因時間上的問題而被刪除的無數景點之一。

 

Cedar Avenue was actually less exciting than it sounded, being a stone throw away next to the main road with cars constantly whizzing by definitely took away its atmosphere.

 

杉樹道實際上不如導覽介紹上吹捧的壯觀,跟車道只有拋石之隔,來往車子的聲響把氣氛都吵不見了。

Cedar Avenue

We got back to Moto-Hakone and continued along the waterfront to Hakone shrine. The Hakone shrine used to be on the summit of Komagatake, related to mountain worship. It was later moved down to the foot of the mountain. The shrine is best know by its torii the stood in the lake at the bottom of the stairs.

 

我們回到元箱根,沿著湖岸往箱根神社前進。箱根神社原來是在駒岳山頂,與山神信仰有關。後來被移到了山腳下。神社出名在石階底端立於湖水中的鳥居。

Hakone Shrine

Hakone Shrine

 

Hakone Shrine

 

Hakone Shrine

 

Hakone Shrine

Hakone Shrine torii

The tourists were out in force now, plenty of traffic going to and from the shrine.

 

一般遊客們到上山了,往神社的路上人來人往。

Moto-Hakone

I had taken some measures to avoid the two main bottlenecks in Hakone. The cruise ship and the ropeway. The cruise ship departed to a fixed timetable and if there were more people than allowed it was a 40min wait for the next one. The ropeway similarly had limited capacity. It’s said that sometimes traffic gets so backed up it could take an hour just to get on the ropeway.

 

我在行程上做了些許措施,避開箱根的兩大瓶頸。海盜船和纜車。海盜船班次有限,若坐不下就需要等上40分鐘等下一艘。纜車的運量也很有限。傳說有什麼等纜車需要等上一小時。

 

Coming on a weekday avoided the most heavy traffic, and doing the Hakone circle in a clockwise direction (official recommendation is anti-clockwise) means we go against traffic and can manage time more effectively in the afternoon since we would already be past the bottlenecks. I’m actually not sure why the recommendation is anti-clockwise since Mount Fuji is best viewed in the morning.

 

選平常日來避開大部分的人潮,然後走順時鐘(官方推薦逆時鐘)與人潮反方向,在下午已經過了瓶頸路段,時間上必較好掌握可有效利用。我不知道為什麼官方推薦逆時鐘,看富士山最好是在早上不是。

 

We had to hurry for a bit on the way back to catch the 10:50 cruise ship. At first I was a little worried as there were already quite a few packed on the pier. I needed not worried, the ship was maybe 1 /2 full, based on the licensing plaque the boat had a capacity of over 500 people, not sure if they would actually pack that many people onto it in peak season, the boat already a little crowded today.

 

回頭時稍微快走了一段,趕10.50的船。一開始看到滿滿的碼頭還有點擔心上不去的。結果多慮了,船大概只有半滿,依照船上的證照牌子載客量是500人,不過不知道實際在旺季會不會真塞上500人。光今天的遊客量船上已經有一點感覺擠了。

Pirate Cruise ship

The boat had 2 levels plus an open top deck and also partitioned into front and back. The front was the first class section which required an extra 500Y one way. From the photos it didn’t look like it was much of an improvement other than the front view. In peak season it may be a way to get away from the crowd in the back.

 

船有兩層座艙加一甲板,另外又分前後半。前半是頭等艙,單程需要令花500Y升等。照片上看起來沒什麼特別,只有可看前頭景色這點。旺季時大概可不用在後頭人擠人吧。

Deck

Pirate ship interior

Shrine from ship

The journey from Moto-Hakone on the south bank to Togendai on the north takes about 30 minutes. From the boat one could see all the sights around the lake, like Hakone shrine, the ropeway climbing up Komagatake and various hotels and resorts dotted along the banks.

 

從南邊元箱根到北邊桃源台要30分鐘。在船上可沿路欣賞湖兩側的景點,如箱根神社,往駒岳山頂的纜車,還有點綴岸上的各個旅館和度假村。

Ashinoko

By now the clouds had gathered on Mount Fuji and its peak had disappeared. Fortunate that we had come early. The autumn leaves had passed for the forests on either side of the lake, only a smattering of lingering red left amongst the brown barren woods.

 

這時富士山上已經消失在集結的雲霧後了。幸好有早來。兩岸的紅葉時期已經過了,一片光禿林間只剩零落點點紅。

 

On the open lake the wind blasted across the decks. I gripped onto the camera tightly for fear of it being blown overboard. Y had already retreated below to safety and warmth. Despite my struggles I too had to go downstairs.

 

開闊的湖面陣陣強風刮過甲板。我緊緊抓住相機,深怕一陣風颳洛水中。Y早就逃到下面尋求溫暖了。經過一番掙扎我也受不了,投降下樓。

 

Togendai is the western terminus of the Hakone ropeway. The ropeway goes from Togendai up to Owakudani, active geothermal area at the top of the crater.

 

桃源台是纜車西端的終點站。纜車從桃源台上到大涌谷,山頂地熱活躍的火山坑口。

 

The ropeway had one of the largest gondolas I’ve seen, able to seat 18 passengers at maximum. Since it’s not a particularly busy day the staff chose to fill each with only 10-11 people.

 

纜車的車廂是我看過最大的了,可坐18人。今天遊客不算特別多,站務人員每個車廂只分配大約10-11人而以。

 

The ropeway had a steep and exciting climb, rising quickly up into the air and gave great views of the lake. The ropeway also offered a majestic view of Mount Fuji on good days, today the mountain was shrouded and all we could see is the wide rolling foothills beneath the sea of clouds, which is also very impressive in its own ways.

 

纜車爬升的很快,像雲霄飛車似刺激,一下就升入半空,俯瞰湖色。好天時從纜車上可看到富士山全景,但今天山頭被壟罩,只能看到雲海下廣闊的山腳,以很壯觀。

Ropeway from Togendai

Mount Fuji from ropeway

We reached Owakudani and was immediately greeted by the cold and sulfuric air.

 

到大涌谷後撲面而來的是冷空氣中的硫磺味。

 

Owakudani was still under level 2 alert, meaning the area was experiencing more volcanic activity than usual and the geopark trails around Owakudani was off limits to tourists. A year ago the ropeway was even closed due to too much noxious gas spewing out the crater.

 

大涌谷還在二級警界,也就是這地區的火山活動異常活躍,大涌谷周遭的地熱教學步道禁止遊客進入。一年前因為坑口噴出的有毒氣體連纜車都被迫停駛呢。

 

Since it was nearing 12 we decided to have lunch. Food options in Hakone is fairly limited. Outside of cafe and eateries there were only 2 good places to eat around Gora and those usually had lines outside, so anywhere was as good as any. Having lunch here allowed the most flexibility overall, there was no need to backtrack and no pressure to eat quickly to get to the next spot.

 

快要12點了,趁這時先吃午餐。箱根吃的選項不多,除了咖啡店和食堂外只有強羅附近兩家比較可以吃的,那會需要排隊,所以基本上哪裡吃都沒有差。在這裡吃相對上比較有彈性,不用走回頭或趕著吃完去下個地點。

Owakudani eatery

The eatery attached to Owakudani ropeway station has a very simple menu, probably due to its hard to access location. Curry rice or chips and fried chickens. The price is on the expensive side like most places in Hakone. It’s still before proper lunchtime, we were able to pick a window seat overlooking the crater energetically spewing steam, a view worth the extra price (probably).

 

大涌谷纜車站的食堂的菜單很簡單,或許是不容易送太多材料上來吧。咖哩飯或薯條和炸雞。價錢跟這裡大部分地方一樣偏貴。還不到正式午餐時間,我們選了個窗戶邊的位子,可以看外頭很有精神分著煙的坑口,能有這景色貴一點也是值得(可能)。

View from table

 

Owakudani eatery

The crater is also where ryokan and hotels in the area make their onsen water.

 

這坑口也是旅館製造溫泉的地方。


Many of onsens in the Gora and Senseki area actually gets their onsen water via manufacturing. By directing water over/into the crater’s steam vents minerals are dissolve in the water, the infused water is then piped down to the ryokans. Whether these qualify as natural onsen is up for each. Just something nice to know.

 

Personally this makes it possible to control the mineral concentration which leave me a little wary.

 

Beitou onsen in Taiwan also uses the same method to produce onsen water.

 

許多強羅和仙石地區的旅館的溫泉水其實是人工製造的。將山泉水引到坑口內的噴口,讓其中的礦物溶解入水中,再將溶解水抽到山下的旅館。至於這樣還算不算真的溫泉見仁見智。多留意就是。

 

個人而言這樣可以控制溫泉的礦物濃度,讓我比較不放心。

 

題外話,台灣北投溫泉也是用同樣的方式製造溫泉。

Owakudani

Owakudani

When we left the restaurant there was at least 6-7 groups waiting, having wrote their name on a list and have to wait for the staff to call them.

 

當我們吃飽離開時餐廳外有6-7組人在等,只能在排隊列表上寫名字後在一旁慢慢等服務員來叫。

Owakudani

Owakudani

A specialty unique to Owakudani is the black eggs. They’re regular hard boiled onsen eggs but the egg shell reacts to the volcanic water and turns into a charcoal black. It’s said that eating one of the black egg will add seven years to your life.

 

大涌谷的一特產是黑蛋。其實是普通的白煮蛋,只是蛋殼與火山水起反應變成碳黑色。說是吃一個可延命7歲。

The black egg

They’re sold in bags and 5 and I am very glad Y is around since there’s no way I am going to eat 5 eggs by myself (we ended up eating it over 2 days).

 

他們一次賣就是一袋5個,幸好有Y在不然我怎麼樣也不可能一個人吃5個蛋(我們花了2天吃完)。

 

When the trails were open one could walk up to the original black egg shop and one can watch how they dip the eggs go into the water white and come out black. For now though just have to buy them at the store next to Owakudani station.

 

當步道還開放時可以走到黑蛋本店看他們把蛋白淨的放入水中,變黑的提上來。現在只能在大涌谷旁的店裡買。

Owakudani

I secretly hoped the clouds on Mount Fuji might move off during lunch time, alas no such luck.

 

我偷偷期待著吃午餐時富士山上的雲會散具,看來是無望了。

Fuji from Owakudani

Time to continue onward on the ropeway toward Sounzan. The station was packed with people. The line heading to Togendai/Lake Ashinoko had completely filled that side of the station, across the walkway and was spilling into the main station foyer.

 

該繼續坐纜車往早雲山。車站裡滿是人,往桃源台/芦之湖的隊伍已經把車站那一側填滿,跨過天橋溢入車站大廳了。

 

Goodness, thankfully we’re going the other way.

 

天啊,還好我們不是往那一側。

 

The ropeway to Souzan flew directly over the crater. For safety reasons they gave out medicinal towels to cover one’s mouth and nose incase people felt overwhelmed by the smell.

 

往早雲山的纜車將飛越坑口上方。安全起見站務人員給每個人發一個藥物濕巾,若感覺味道太濃不舒服時可用來遮住口鼻。

Ropeway down to Souzan

At Souzan there were even more people waiting to get on the ropeway toward Owakudani. I think people start to move toward Ashinoko after lunch to leave enough time to visit Hakone shrine.

 

在早雲山等著上車去大涌谷的人竟然更多。可能是大家當想午餐後往芦之湖移動,好預留時間去箱根神社。

 

Between Souzan and Gora is one of the core areas of Hakone. There are many hotels and ryoukans, and the bus routes connects out from here to nearby parks and museums.

 

在早雲山和強羅間是箱根的核心地帶。這裡有許多旅館,還有巴士路線通往附近的公園和美術館。

 

Despite just 1.2km as the crow flies between the two locations, there is an elevation difference of over 200m, requiring cable towed cars to climb the steep slope. Yet another reason to travel clockwise. It is possible to walk downhill in the direction of Gora, while going uphill from Gora is going to work up a sweat even in the cold winter.

 

雖然兩地間直線距離只有1.2km,但高低差有超過200m,需要靠登山纜車才能攀爬這陡坡。走順時鐘再多一個理由。往強羅下坡走是可行的,但反過來從強羅走上坡可會累死人。

 

The cable car is single tracked with a passing track in the middle. The towing cables runs down the middle of the track and I was very intrigued by how at the passing tracks the cables are directed down the respective sides without getting entangled.

 

登山纜車是單軌,中間有個會車處。托引的纜繩在軌道中間通過,讓我非常好奇在會車處纜繩是如何導入各自的軌道而不纏在一起。

 

On either side of the track lined autumn leaves in full bloom of red and orange.

 

鐵道兩側是旺盛的楓葉,鮮豔的紅橘色。

Hakone Mountain Cable Car


The main attraction for the afternoon was Hakone Museum of Art.

 

下午主景點是箱根美術館。

 

Hakone Museum of Art ironically was not most known by its collection but by its impeccably maintained moss garden. In autumn the red leaves in the moss garden is one of the most poster perfect scene of Hakone.

 

箱根美術館有名反而不是因他的收藏,而是精心整理的苔庭。在秋天苔庭的紅葉是箱根最常刊登上海報的完美景色之一。

 

The entrance was just across the road from Koen-Kami station. I had already bought the tickets electronically so we headed straight in.

 

入口就在公園上站前馬路對面。我已經買好了電子門票所以不用等直接入內。

 

The museum grounds consists of roughly 4 parts in a loop. Going anti-clockwise, the museum building overlooks the entire garden, followed by the rock garden, the tea house, and the moss garden.

 

美術館園內有4區,反時鐘分別是俯瞰整個庭園的美術館主樓,石園,茶庭,苔庭。

Hakone Museum of Art

Hakone Museum of Art

The moss garden was the main reason for scheduling the trip at this date and I had watched the online photos intently for the past few weeks, checking the progress of the autumn leaves. For a while it looked as though we might miss the autumn leaves, even when they proved much more resilient I worried they might be half barren.

 

苔庭是在將旅行定在這日期的主因,在出發前已經緊密跟隨網上照片幾個星期,確認楓葉的變化。有一陣子楓葉轉紅的情勢看來我們可能會錯過,即便楓葉比我預期的耐,還是很擔心見到的是散洛一半了的楓葉。

 

My eyes widened at the sight of the fiery tree tops. In rolling green seas winded stone paths like shallow reefs. Fallen maple leaves laid quietly on the soft carpet in tranquil sleep. The burning canopy contrasted with the green moss below formed a beautiful dreamlike landscape.

 

眼前烈火似的樹梢令我目不轉睛。和緩綠色波浪間的繞著如淺灘礁石的步道。掉落的楓葉安逸的躺在柔軟的地毯上沉睡著。火紅樹冠對比底下深綠的苔皮如夢如幻。

Hakone Museum of Art

Hakone Museum of Art

 

Hakone Museum of Art

Hakone Museum of Art

Hakone Museum of Art

Hakone Museum of Art

Hakone Museum of Art

Hakone Museum of Art

There was a constant stream of other admirers lost in the beautiful world like us. Just enough to not feel alone, not too many to be intruded.

 

庭園中魚貫走過同樣迷失在美景中的尋秋者。少不感寂寞,多不感煩心。

 

Since this place is ostensibly an art museum, one should definitely still check out its collections regardless of how mesmerized one is by its garden.

 

這地方總是個美術館,再怎麼被庭園著迷不去看看展出總說不過去。

There are 4 exhibition spaces, each about the size of a small auditorium room. The collection is quite varied, being the personal collection of the museum founder Okada Kimochi. Okada was the founder of a new Japanese religion in the early 20th century.

 

有4個展示廳,每個大概有一個小講堂的大小吧。展出物品項很多,原本是美術館創建者岡田茂吉的個人收藏。岡田是日本一個新興信仰的創教者。

 

On display were many ukiyo-e, traditional paintings. Part of the ukiyoe featured scenes of the tokaido which Hakone as mentioned before was an important checkpoint on it.

 

展示中有許多浮世繪和傳統墨筆畫。一部分浮世繪描繪的是箱根曾經是重要關口之一的東海道景色。

 

Funny painting of kappa fishing

Upstairs were the ceramic exhibitions displaying buddhist statues and bowls, plates, jars, including flame jars from the Jomon period.

 

樓上是瓷器展出,有佛像,碗,盤,壺,還有縄文時代的火焰壺。

Pottery collection

There was still light, though the sun had fallen behind the peak and we were in the shadows. Our next stop was the nearby Gora park, free entry with the Hakone pass. I got a little confused with the map, despite there being an entrance on the topside right next to the art museum we ended up going down to the bottom main entrance.

 

天還沒黑,但太陽落到山頂後,山背這側籠罩在陰影下。下一站是強羅公園,有箱根周遊卷免費入內。我地圖弄錯了,結果上頭美術館旁就有入口的,結果一直走到下側的主門。

 

The park was a western style garden best known by the giant fountain at its centre.

 

公園是個西式花園,中間的大噴水池很好認。

Gora park

It was hard to get a good judge of the gardens in the fading light. Other than the gardens, there was a restaurant/cafe overlooking the fountain and several craft houses where one could participate in glass blowing, dried flower arrangement, glass etching.

 

在陰暗光線中不太看得出花園好壞。除了花園外還有一家餐廳咖啡廳在噴水池旁,另有幾間手工體驗工作室,遊客可體驗吹玻璃,裝置乾燥花,或是玻璃刻畫。

Glass blowing

The craft activities takes from 30 min to an hour and a few thousand yen, though some have to be delivered to the hotel a few days later due to the need to either put it through the kiln or additional processing.

 

手工體驗需30分鐘到一小時,收費幾千,有些由於需要燒窯或另外處理加工需要幾天後才能快遞送到旅館。

 

The garden is better visited in spring and summer when flowers are in bloom.

 

花園大概要春夏花開時來會比較好。

 

Time starts to slip in the twilight. It was still about 3:30pm but was starting to feel like 5 or 6pm. We wandered down to Gora station.

 

日落時分,對時間感受有很大差異。雖然才3.30感覺已經5點還6點。我們晃下至強羅車站。

 

There was a tofu shop behind the station that was somewhat well known. I mulled over whether it’s worth the trouble going there. Y wasn’t that interested either so we only looked about the station front then lined up to head down to Hakone-Yumoto.

 

車站後有家豆腐店小有名氣。我猶豫著值不值得繞過去。Y也不是太有興趣於是我們看了看站前的店就排隊準備下去箱根湯本。

 

I had known that the trip down would be problematic. Normally the bus trip would be 20min faster than the mountain train but during the autumn leaves season the road gets backed up all the way from Odawara to Kowakudani. I however did not expect the train to be also so packed that we were not able to get on the first train and had to wait another 15min for the next one.

 

我原本就有預期下山會比較麻煩。一般來說搭巴士是最好比登山鐵道快20分鐘,但在楓葉季道路會從小田原一路塞到小涌谷。但我沒想到電車竟然也會擠到我們上不了第一輛車,必須再等15分鐘搭下一班。

 

Travelling in Hakone during peak season requires a lot of patience and lead times in the schedule, potentially queues everywhere.

 

在箱根旺季時移動需要耐心和在行程中預留空間,到處都可能需要排隊。

 

The street of Hakone-Yumoto was a little disappointing. The main issue was that the busy road was filled with cars and the sidewalks was too narrow for the number of people and became difficult to walk or to see the shops ahead. The street was not very long, maybe just a hundred metres, more of a shopping street than an onsen street, much less souvenir shops than would have thought. Part of it may be that Hakone isn’t known for any local specialties so the shops are more croquette shops, sweet shops, cake shops…etc.

 

箱根湯本大街有點令人失望。主要問題是主街上滿是車子來往,人行道對人潮來說太窄了,不好走也不容易看到前頭的店面。

 

主街沒很長,大概幾百公尺而以,要說溫泉街的話可能一般商店街比較貼切,沒有太多土產店。可能是箱根本身沒有什麼在地特產,店家主要是什麼炸肉餅,甜點,蛋糕之類的。

Hakone Yumoto

Hakone Yumoto

We tried to look for a place to eat but did not find anyplace too appetizing. There are eateries in the backstreets, though I was not keen on possibly wasting effort looking. I think both of us were getting a little tired.

 

我們沿路找地方吃晚餐,但沒看到什麼好吃的。後街有幾家食堂但我不是很想可能浪費時間的去找。我們兩人都有點累了。

 

The original dinner plan was Curry Cocoro, that only opened at 5:30pm, still some time to go. The alternative was to head back and see what we can get at Odawara or even back in Tokyo at Shinagawa.

 

原計劃是咖哩一心,要5.30才開,還要好一會。備用計畫是看小田原有什麼吃的或是乾脆回東京品川吃。

 

We ended up eating at Odawara station while waiting for the next shinkansen train.

 

結果是在小田原等新幹線時吃。

 

Inside the shopping arcade at Odawara station there’s a small foodcourt specializing in noodles. There’s ramen, udon, sobas. We ended up getting yakisoba.

 

小田原車站內的商店街有個麵街,有拉麵,烏龍,蕎麥麵。我們結果選了家炒蕎麥麵。

 

The portions was quite large, the taste a touch too salty though that was probably expected in Japan, otherwise quite happy with. (I regret not researching more, the same tofu tonkatsu shop in Gora has a branch here, so should have gone to that instead)

 

論份量很多,味道偏鹹但在日本而言可說是想當然爾,不然還算滿意。(我很後悔沒有多花點心思研究,強羅的豆腐豬排在這有家分店,真應該去那裡的)

Noodle street

Yakisoba

We whizzed back to Shinagawa in less than 30min. Along the way we decided since it was still early, we’d go to Shibuya to see the Blue Cave illumination there.

 

回到品川花不到30分鐘。路上我們決定既然還早,去澀谷看看那裡的燈飾青之洞窟。

 

And.. right into Yamanote line during the evening peak hour. Should have seen that coming and planned accordingly.

 

然後正好撞入下班尖峰時段的山手線。早該知道會這樣,做出調整的。

 

The carriage was packed tighter than sardine. People gripped the top of the doorframe to give themselves leverage to push onto the train. Just when one thought the train could possibly fit no more, somehow another five people would skillfully push themselves in.

 

車廂比沙丁魚罐頭還擠。上車的乘客借抓住門匡上方使力硬擠上車。當覺得不可能裝下更多時就會有另外五個人手法熟悉的幾上來。

 

At the intermediate stations I have no idea how people squeezed themselves off the trains. The train had to pause for extended periods while the station attendants asked for people to stop trying to get on and wait for the next train.

 

在中間幾個車站我真不知道下車的人是怎麼擠出人群的。電車被迫多停許久,站務人員不斷廣播請大家不要再試圖擠上車,等下一輛車。

 

Thankfully we were getting off at Shibuya which was not too many stops away and plenty of people would be getting off that we only needed to go with the flow.

 

感謝我們是在澀谷下,不用太多站且大多人會在這裡下,我們隨波逐流就好。

 

It was an experience, though one me and Y both agreed best to never have again.

 

很獨特的經驗,我和Y同意這經驗無需再度體驗。

 

The Blue Cave was at Yoyogi park, where the trees along the main walk were strung up with blue christmas lights, and the pavement was covered with reflective boards to create a scene of mirrored lights.

 

青之洞窟在佐佐木公園,步道兩側的樹上掛滿藍色聖誕燈,步道則鋪上反光板,塑造倒影般景色。

 

The streets between the station to the park was also decorated with blue lights, creating a guideway through the busy shopping district.

 

車站到公園間的街道也掛出藍色小燈,導引人們穿過繁忙的市區。

Hachiko statue

Shibuya crossing

 

 

The Blue Cave area was filled with people basking in the luminescence. A little hard for the reflection to be seen in its full elegance.

 

青之洞窟的人好多,藍色的光澤暈染每個人身上。人有點多不好欣賞作品整體美感。                                                     

Blue cave

Blue cave

Blue cave

At the end of the Blue Cave was a food event called Oedo Japanese Feast, some 30 stores selling all kind of nightmarket foods like grills oysters, crabs, steaks, skewers..etc. Despite being sponsored by the Japanese Sake association there was no stalls selling sake in sight.

 

在青之洞窟底端有個大江戶和宴的活動,大概30幾家夜市攤販在賣烤生蠔,螃蟹,肉排,烤串的。雖然活動是由日本酒協會贊助現場沒看到賣酒的。

Oedo feast

Oedo feast

Time to head back to Shinbashi. Shibuya is connected to Shinbashi directly via the Ginza line, it also won’t be as crowded as the Yamanote line. The Ginza line station at Shibuya was under re-construction and we were led into climbing up 3 storey tall flight of stairs to reach the platforms. Tokyo stations is known to be terrible with accessibility but this was the first time I’ve thought things to be ridiculous. The least they could have done was show a map pointing to the elevator or escalators.

 

該回新橋。澀谷到新橋搭銀座線可直到,也不會如山手線班擁擠。澀谷的銀座線車站在重建中,結果我們跟著牌子爬了三樓高的階梯才到月台。東京的車站無障礙設計不好沒錯,但這是我第一次覺得太誇張了。至少貼個地圖說手扶梯或電梯在哪吧。

 

Still not very late, I suggested we go to Don Quijote nearby. I had alway heard a lot about the discount variety store but never did go to one, in part because of my habit of going to rural areas and also because I’m not big on shopping and saw no need to go to one specifically.

 

還沒有太晚,我建議去附近唐吉柯德逛逛。我久聞這家折價連鎖商店的名聲但從未去過,一半是我喜歡跑鄉下,一半是因為我不是很愛買東西,感覺沒必要特地去逛某家店。

 

The store, turned out to be nothing like what I had seen before.

 

這次才發現唐吉柯德是一種我從未見過的店。

Donquijote

It sold everything, from the expected sweets and cookies to some downright bizarre items like second hand Burberry bags.

 

Cosmetics, small electronics to appliances like rice cookers and the ever in demand hairdryers, strange toys, stationary, cameras.

 

這裡什麼都賣,從可預期的糖果餅乾到一些不知道為什麼會出現在這的東西,如二手Burberry包。

 

化妝品,小家電如電子飯鍋和仍很受歡迎的吹風機,奇怪的小玩具,文具,相機等。

 

While Y went to do some pricing research on alcohols, I lost myself in a strange world of exotic cookies, 10 different flavors of kit kat (sake kit kat??) and the unseen flavors of white pepsi and cherry coke.

 

當Y去研究酒品價格時我則迷失在奇異的零食世界,10種Kit Kat(日本酒口味?)和白百事和櫻桃可樂這種沒見過的口味。

Lots of flavors

Donquijote

Second hand bags

Couldn’t tell whether things here are good bargains or not like it’s said on the net, it’s very fun to just see what craziness gets concocted.

 

這裡不知道是不是真的如網上說的東西便宜,不過看各種莫名其妙的東西很有意思。

 

I ended up getting two cans of strange flavoured cokes (they were terrible), a bottle of juice cocktail (this one is okay) and a pack of mochi sweets to bring to work (surprisingly good).

 

結果買了兩罐奇怪口味的可樂(不好喝)一罐水果調酒(還算好)和一包要帶去公司的麻糬甜點(意外的好吃)。

 

All in all a very filled and exciting day. Could have spent a little longer at Gora, maybe even allocated some time to do some handicrafts. Got to saw Mount Fuji and the autumn leaves, very happy with that.

 

總結來說很滿足的一天。在強羅可以多待一會,會許可多安排一點時間去做手工藝。有看到富士山和楓葉就很滿足了。

Kanto Maigo – Day 6

Buzzing sounds at 4:35am. It’s the alarm.

 

清晨4.35嗡嗡作響。是鬧鐘。

 

I leapt out of bed and quickly got changed.

 

我跳起床連忙換上外衣。

 

The first monorail leaves at 4:59am.

 

單軌電車首發4.59。

 

Hamamatsucho station where the monorail terminates on the Tokyo end is just 800m from the hotel. This was one of the major considerations in choosing the location, to catch the very first train to Haneda Airport.

 

單軌電車東京側終點的浜松町站離旅館只有800公尺。這是選這地點的一大理由,好搭第一班車去羽田機場。

 

There was a lot of traffic given the hour, the sky was still dark and darker still with the light drizzle. I got to the station with several minutes to spare, already there were many people lined up outside the ticket gate with large luggages with them also wanting to get to the airport as early as possible.

 

這時間來說街上的車挺多的,天還黑的,薄薄細雨下更顯昏暗。到車站時離發車還有幾分鐘,閘門外已經有許多人帶著大箱小箱等著趕去機場。

 

Y had landed early and had already passed customs. I sent a message to find some place or cafe to rest first.

 

Y 提早降落已經過海關了。我傳短訊請說先找個地方還是咖啡店休息一下。

 

The first train was an rapid service, took just 13 minutes to get to Haneda.

 

第一班是快車,只13分鐘就到羽田。

Monorail

We met up outside the Lawson store, I also got a rice ball to tie me over till breakfast opens, and we headed to the Keikyu gates to go to Shinbashi.

 

到了後在Lawson碰面,我順便買了個飯糰不然撐不到早餐時間,接著去京急搭車去新橋。

 

There was a lot of people waiting to top up at the Keikyu machines so I took Y’s card and ran to the monorail side just on the other side of the terminal hall and topped up there.

 

有很多人再京急外等著買票儲值,我靈機一動拿Y的卡到車站大廳另一側單軌電車外儲值。

 

Unfortunately we still missed the train, thankfully only had to wait 15 minutes for the next one.

 

但還是沒能趕上車,下一班等15分鐘還算好。

 

The Keikyu line connected to the Asakusa metro, the train goes directly to Shinbashi in about 25 minutes. It had begun to rain moderately. We walked to Super Hotel, threw the luggages into my room for now and went back to Shinbashi station.

 

京急線與地鐵淺草線有直通,坐車直達新橋大約25分鐘。雨變大了。我們走到Super Hotel先把行李丟我房間,然後回到新橋站。

 

The rain did not look to be stopping anytime soon, I decided to shift the original plan of going to Meiji Jingu Outer Garden then breakfast at Shinjuku to the backup.

 

雨看來一時不會停,於是我把原本要去明治神宮外苑然新宿吃早餐的計畫移掉,改去備用行程。

 

Tokyo station first for breakfast, then Shinjuku and arrive early at Jindaiji temple.

 

先去東京車站吃早餐,再經新宿早點到深大寺。

 

Tsukiji Sushi Sei at Gransta (the shopping street beneath Tokyo station inside the ticket area) opened at 7am.


Somehow despite missing the earlier train back at the airport, we were still a few minutes early and first waited by the Silver Bell.

 

Gransta(東京站閘門內地下街)的築地壽司清7am開。

 

即便稍早在機場錯過了班車,到東京站時依然早了幾分鐘,只好在銀鈴旁等了一下。

 

This was the first proper meal I had planned to eat and actually ate since arriving in Japan, I commented.

 

這是我這次到日本第一餐有計畫且順利好好吃到的一餐,我說道。

 

We were the first one there, more people soon came and a line quickly formed behind us. It’s a holiday, I thought. The restaurant opened, we were asked to order first so I ordered the tai fish in sesame sauce and Y the grilled fish and fish egg then we were shown to a table. The was not very big, maybe 6 tables and a row of counter seats.

 

我們是第一組客人,很快人越來越多,後頭很快排了一排。今天是國定假日不是。店開了,店員請我們先點餐,於是我點了芝麻醬鯛魚,Y則點了烤鮭魚和魚卵,然後被帶到座位。店不大,大概只有6張桌子和6個吧台座位。

 

By the time our food arrived the place was full. And today was a holiday, imagine on a work day.

 

當餐點送來時就坐滿了。今天還是假日,若是上班日還得了。

 

The set included the main dish, rice, pickles, eggroll, some seasoning and a small pot of soup. We were wondering what the pot was for before we found the instructions on the paper stand. The soup was meant to be poured into the rice bowl, it was recommended that this be done after half the rice had been eaten to enjoy a different rice experience.

 

That made sense.

 

餐點包含主餐,白飯,醬菜,蛋捲,一些作料和一小壺湯。一開始我們還在想這壺湯要怎麼喝,後來才在桌上立的紙板上找到說明。湯是直接倒飯碗裡的,建議飯吃了一半後在加,可享受兩種不同的味道。

 

原來如此。

Seasame tai fish

 

Grills fish with egg

Soup soaked rice

The fish was delicious if the portions a little small. The soup with rice was perfect on a cold morning, very light and gentle with a subtle flavour.

 

魚很好吃,份量少了一點。湯泡飯在寒冷的早上堪稱完滿,很清淡溫和的味道。

 

We did not sit for too long after finishing our meal, there were many people waiting outside.

 

吃完不好意思多坐,外頭等的人很多。

Sushi Sei

The plan was to wait until 8am when Pensta opens. Maybe because it’s a public holiday or my memory had failed me, shops only begun to open at 7:30 and even then most shops not until 8. We ended up wandering at random, checking out the bento stalls and sweets shops.

 

計畫是晃到8點等Pensta開。或許是假日或是我記錯了,一直到7.30才有一些店開門,而大多店要到8點。我們只好隨便亂晃,看看便當和糕點店。

 

Tokyo station sure have a lot of bentos. And Tokyo Banana seemingly have a stall at every corner and turn.

 

東京車站的便當有夠多種。而東京香蕉似乎每個轉角都有一家。

Bento festival

JR East’s suica IC cards have a penguin on them as mascot, Pensta is a store selling goods associated with the fluffy creature.

 

Cards, pens, mobile cases, pass cases, water bottles, even tooth brushes. There were also cookies and sweets. Small the shop may be, it held plenty curiosities.

 

JR東日本的西瓜卡上有隻企鵝吉祥物,Pensta就是專門賣這隻毛茸茸生物的周邊商品。

Pensta

Pensta penguin

卡牌,筆,手機殼,IC卡袋,水壺,甚至牙刷。還有餅乾糖果。店不大,奇妙的東西可不少。

 

Planned for first half of the day is Jindaiji and the Yumorinosato onsen nearby.

 

第一天早上的主軸是深大寺和附近的湯守之里溫泉。

 

Jindaiji is about 30 minutes west of Shinjuku, a few km below Mitaka. It’s not a super popular spot because of its distance from train stations makes it not very accessible comparatively.

 

深大寺大約在新宿往西30分鐘,三鷹下方幾公里。由於離車站有點距離相對下交通不很方便,不是說太有名的景點。

 

I ran across the location because I had already penciled in the sake brewery tour which is at Haijima on the far western side of Tokyo and wanted to find a place for Y to have some rest after the red eye flight.

 

會找到這地點是因為一開始就已經確認要去的酒造在東京最西側的拜島,同時又想要找個地方給Y在紅眼班機後休息。

 

I basically looked at every onsen, spa between Tokyo and Tachikawa. There’s LaQua at Tokyo Dome, Oedo Monogatari of course, there’s also Niwa no Yu at Toshima, several onsen baths in Kamata district, Akishima Onsen which is close but still some distance to Haijima.

 

差不多翻遍了東京到立川間所有的溫泉和澡堂。有東京巨蛋的LaQua,想當然的大江戶溫泉物語,豊島的庭之湯,蒲田的幾個溫泉,離拜島比較近但還是有段距離的昭島溫泉。

 

Yumorinosato was chosen due to it being next to Jindaiji, a nice place to visit and still more or less along the chuo line axis to be considered on the way, and just about the right distance that arrival there won’t be too early nor late.

 

選湯守之里是因為靠近深大寺,算不錯的景點,又還算在中央線軸上不算太繞路,距離又剛剛好不會到的時候太早或太晚。

 

There’s a small detour during the transfer at Shinjuku to check out the penguin statue outside the southern exit.

 

在新宿時稍微繞了一下去南口的企鵝廣場看企鵝雕像。

Shinjuku Penguin Square

There’s a few ways to get to Jindaij, either Mitaka from the north or Choufu from the south. Mitaka is faster by Chuo line from Shinjuku but has a longer bus ride. Choufu on the Keio line is slower but much closer by bus. In general, going via Choufu is faster all things considered.

 

到深大寺的方法有幾個,從北邊的三鷹或南邊的調布。從新宿到三鷹有中央線快速比較快但巴士路程較遠。調布是搭京王線比較慢但巴士比較近。考慮全部車程一般來說從調布會比較快。

 

We checked the map for the Keio line station at Shinjuku, it was as confusing as ever. Thankfully the flight of stairs we decide to go down was the correct one.

 

我們在地圖上找新宿的京王線車站,照樣是一頭霧水。幸好後來決定轉下去的樓梯是對的。

 

It was still raining by the time we reached Choufu, the forecast said it would stop by lunchtime but looking at the skies that seemed unlikely.

 

到調布時依然在下雨,天氣預報說中午就會停但看這天空實在是不樂觀。

 

The bus stop to Jindaiji is on opposite corner of the loop coming out the surprisingly new and fancy station. The bus waiting there was the one we wanted.

 

往深大寺的巴士站牌在意外新穎的車站外的圓環對側。停著的巴士正好是我們要的路線。

 

Does this go to Jindaiji? I asked.

 

No no, the driver answered.

 

有到深大寺嗎?我問道。

 

沒有,沒有到,駕駛回答道。

 

I stepped back and check the route number. It’s the right one, then I realized the driver must be pedantic.

 

我退了幾步看了看路線號碼。沒有錯啊。我突然想到駕駛一定是想太死了。


Jindaiji primary school? I asked again.

 

Primary school is fine. The driver replied.

 

深大寺小學?我改問道。

小學的話OK,駕駛這次說道。

 

The two stops were less than a hundred metres apart. The primary school stop is at the intersection while Jindaiji stop proper goes into the street and is right before the temple. There’s practically no difference for someone going to Jindaiji.

 

兩個車站相差不到100公尺。小學站牌在路口而真正的深大寺站牌在轉入街道佛寺正門前。對要去深大寺的人實際上沒有差。

 

A quick 10 minute bus ride and we got off at the start of the Jindaiji main street.

 

坐巴士10分鐘後再深大寺大街路口下。

 

Jindaiji is Tokyo’s second oldest temple. Sandwiched between the ruins of Jindaiji castle and a botanical garden the temple and surrounding area escaped modern encroachment and retained much of the traditional feel of the Edo era. The area is blessed with many natural springs and several streams flows through the area.

 

深大寺是東京第二古老的佛寺。夾在深大寺城蹟和植物園間,佛寺和周遭逃過了被現代化的命運,現在還保有江戶時代氣息。這一代又有許多天然湧泉,有無數條小溪流過。

Jindaiji east entrance

 

Jindaiji

Raindrops from heaven spattered on the stone paths. Pilgrims heading for worship on the timeless road.

 

雨打在石板路上。在見證歲月的小徑上走著去祭拜的信徒。

 

The main thatched gate is covered in moss, it has stood here for over 300 years, the oldest structure in Jindaiji.

 

佛寺草紮大門上滿是苔癬,樹立在這已有300年,是深大寺最老的建築。

Jindaiji gate

 

Jindaiji

Jindaiji

 

There was a small girl in formal kimono dress worshipping inside the main hall with her parent. It’s unclear whether today was actually a day with special meaning in Japanese tradition since we later saw another girl also in formal dress. Maybe some kind of growing up ceremony?

 

佛寺寶殿裡內有位穿傳統和服的小女孩跟她雙親在進行儀式。不確定今天是不是有什麼節日,後來也有看到另一個傳統穿著的小女孩。某種小孩長大的祈福儀式?

 

Jindaiji is home to a national treasure, a copper buddha statue from the late Asuka period sometime in the 7th century, one of the oldest in Kantou. The statue used to be gold plated but the gold was lost in a fire.

 

深大寺藏有一國寶,一尊後飛鳥時代,大約7世紀的如來佛銅像,關東最古老的銅像之一。銅像原本有鍍金但在一次大火中毀損掉了。

National treasure, Hokuho Buddha

It was housed in its own special display room which guests were allowed to view through the window. A monk standing on duty helpfully handed us Chinese pamphlets.

 

佛像擺在專用的展示間內,遊客只能從外面透過玻璃參拜。一位輪班的僧人熱心的拿了中文解說給我們。

Jindaiji

Jindaiji

 

Jindaiji

 

Kitaro cafe

 

Kitaro cafe

Kitaro cafe

It was past 10, meaning it was time to head to the onsen.

 

過10點,可以去溫泉了。

 

Yumorinosato was about 5 minutes walk south of Jindaiji. Much like Jindaiji it retained much of the old traditional bath atmosphere.

 

湯守之里在深大寺往南走5分鐘處。跟深大寺一樣的保有傳統溫泉湯屋的氣息。

Yumorinosato

Upon entering one is to remove thier shoes and put it into a shoe locker on the left, then take the shoe locker key to the front desk where one choose the desired plan.

 

入門後第一件事是拖鞋,拿到左側的鞋櫃收好,鞋櫃鑰匙再拿到櫃檯然後選想要的泡湯方案。

Shoe lockers

Front desk area

Today was a holiday so it was 1200Y for unlimited time with provided towels (on weekday it’ll also include a yukata). The front desk took away the shoe locker key and gave us a numbered locker key and a towel voucher. Any purchases made in the bathhouse is charged to the number and the total paid at the end when checking out.

 

今天是假日所以不限時1200Y,有附毛巾(平日多附浴衣)。櫃檯會把鞋櫃鑰匙收走,給另一個有號碼的置物櫃鑰匙和一張毛巾卷。在湯屋內的花費都直接報號碼,離開時再結帳。

 

The place was old but quite cozy. It went through a change of management a few years ago and it looked like the new owner brought in new decorations like the suit of armor and potted plants, hung arts.

 

當屋很老不過很舒適的感覺。前幾年換過經營者,新的老闆看來有重新整理過,添置了許多例如盔甲,盆栽,畫。

 

The interior could be broken into a few areas. Near the front desk was a little shop area where one could buy beauty products and some traditional Japanese souvenirs, the selection indicates the place sees quite a few foreigners. A long corridor goes all the way through the building, midway down the corridor there’s a reading area where juice and other drinks are also sold, outside the reading area is a foot onsen. At the end the corridor opens up into a foyer area where the bath entrance is and the stairs to the second floor, outside the foyer is a small garden where the source well of the onsen water is.

 

裡頭可分幾個區域。櫃檯一側是個販賣部賣美容化妝品和一些日本風格的紀念品,看商品走向這裡應該有不少外國客光顧。一個長廊貫通建築,在半途的讀書休息區也賣果汁之類飲料,外頭則是足湯。在長廊底端是個門廳連結浴場的入口和上二樓的階梯。門廳外是的小院子,溫泉源泉井就在這。

Restarea

 

Footbath

Long corridor

 

Onsen source

Bath foyer

Between the bath entrances there’s a counter where one exchanges the voucher for towels then head on through to the changing rooms. The change room is huge with rows of lockers. I put my things into the locker and head on into the bath.

 

澡堂入口間有個櫃檯,在這用毛巾卷換毛巾,進去後就是更衣室。更衣室沿著牆全是置物櫃。我把背包和衣服鎖入櫃子,進去澡堂。

 

The onsen water here is drawn from over 1500m below. Much like many onsens in Tokyo the water is blackish (Tokyo use to be a swamp), one could not see one’s hand when dipped in just 5 cm deep.

 

這裡的溫泉水是從地底下1500m抽出的。與東京許多溫泉一樣水成黑色(東京過去是沼澤),水中5cm就深不見手。

 

The water is at a much more comfortable temperature than the ones in Kusatsu. I first settle into the indoor bath to warm myself before trying the outdoor ones.

 

水溫比草津的舒服多了。現在室內溫泉泡暖暖身再去露天吧。

 

The place is curious in its large variety of baths and use of feng shui. Some of the outdoor baths have the name of the 4 mythical beasts carved in them, said to improve the onsen’s healing powers.

 

這裡不知為何溫泉池數量很多,還有配上風水。露天池中寫有四神獸,說是能增加溫泉效益。

 

The onsen was surrounded by thick forests and one could hardly believe this was in the middle of Tokyo.

 

溫泉四周圍繞著樹林,很難想像這是在的東京都會中。

 

Waking up before 5 this morning was quite rough, a hot onsen was much needed.

 

早上5點前就起來還真是夠嗆的,我也正好泡泡休息一下。

 

After the bath I did a walk around, taking photos. Y had not come out yet so left a message and went upstairs where the restaurant and sleeping quarter is. The sleeping quarter is a large tatami space, maybe about 6 by 6 metres, where people could lie down to rest. Wicker weave pillow and cushions are stacked on the side for one to use as needed.

 

泡完溫泉我隨處晃了晃,拍拍照。Y還沒出來,我留了短訊,上去有餐廳和睡覺間的二樓。睡覺間是鋪設榻榻米的大房間,大概有6x6m,可以隨意找地方躺下休息。房間一側堆疊了藤編枕頭和墊子可自己拿來用。

Sleeping area

Cushion and pillow

Restaurant entrance

Turned out Y came out not long after me but missed the message on Line. Ended up staying at the onsen a little longer than planned.

 

結果Y其實已經出來了不過沒看到我留的Line。結果在溫泉待了比計畫的久一點。

 

Feeling refreshed, we went back to Jindaiji for lunch. The rain had stopped just as forecasted, impressive.

 

休息過精神飽滿,回深大寺吃午餐。天空真如預報的放晴了,太神了。

Daikokuten and Ebisu along the way

Jindaiji

In times past the area was more suited for growing buckwheat than rice and soba noodle became associated with the area. The soba here was presented to the shogun on hunting trips and received much praise.

 

過去這地區不適合種稻,適合種蕎麥,於是蕎麥麵成了這地方的特色。這裡的蕎麥麵曾上供給來此打獵的將軍,受到讚賞。

 

There are some 20 odd soba restaurants around Jindaiji and competition is fierce. I had written down 3-4 ones that people have said were good and figured we’d see whichever one we run into first. That turned out to be Ikkyuan.

 

深大寺附近有20多家蕎麥麵餐廳,可謂一級戰區。我記下了3-4家網上說不錯的,想看先遇到哪家就吃哪家。看到的第一家是一休庵。

Waterwheel outside Ikkyuan

The place was down to earth like a common eatery, there are regular tables and also tatami rooms for larger groups. The workshop where they make their soba is right by the entrance as one walks in.

 

店內挺樸素的,跟一般食堂差不多,有一班桌椅也有團體坐的榻榻米間。製麵的工房就在入口龐可看他們現做。

Ikkyuan interior

The place was not very busy yet and we sat down at a long wooden table.

 

店裡還沒有很多客人。我們隨便在一張長木桌坐下。

 

The menu is somewhat confusing. There are 3 groups of soba noodles: 100%, 90% and 80%. We worked out this meant what percentage of flour the noodle is made of is buckwheat. 100% means all buckwheat, 90% means 10% is wheat flour.

 

菜單有點複雜。有三種蕎麥麵:十割,九割,八割。我們猜想這是蕎麥粉比例,十割就是全蕎麥粉,九割則是有混入一成的一般麵粉。

 

We both go the 90% one. Y commented later maybe we should have each ordered a different ratio to see what was the difference.

 

我們兩都點了九割的麵。Y說其實我們應該各點不同比例的吃吃看差異。

 

The soba was served on a wicker plate together with a bowl of sauce, a bit of wasabi and spring onions and a pot of something soupy. I asked the staff what the soupy thing was and she explained it was soba-yu, or the water used to cook the soba. After one has finished the soba one should pour the soba-yu into what’s left of the sauce to create a soup that can be enjoyed.

 

送來的蕎麥麵擺在藤盤上,另外附一碗醬汁,一點芥末,蔥,還有一壺像是湯的東西。我問了店員這壺湯是什麼,得到這是蕎麥湯,也就是煮蕎麥的水。吃完麵後可以把蕎麥湯倒入醬汁中做成熱湯喝。

Ikkyuan soba

The soba was much firmer and textured than other soba I’ve had before in Japan, can’t decide whether that’s good or not. Y seemed to like it, so that’s good.

 

蕎麥麵比在日本其他地方吃過的有勁有質感,說不上比較好還是壞。至少Y覺得不錯就好。

 

The crowd was out in force now, the streets before the temple packed with visitors.

 

人群湧出了,佛寺前的表參道滿是遊客。

JIndaiji

Jindaiji

There were a few shops around Jindaiji. Some sold sweets, grilled rice cakes. There’s a craft shop where people could paint or make their own pottery.

 

深大寺附近有不少商家。有的賣甜點,烤麵餅之類。有一家陶藝店遊客可自己幫陶瓷上漆或自己捏製陶器。

Pottery painting

There’s a Kitaro cafe/shop based on the manga about Japanese ghosts and monsters. On the roof of the cafe is a pair of giant geta, the walls painted with adorable monsters that appeared in the manga. On a tree outside there’s a treehouse where Kitaro is seen playing with his friends.

 

這裡有一家鬼太郎茶屋。屋上有一雙巨大的木屐,牆上畫有漫畫中出現的各式可愛鬼怪。外頭樹上有個樹屋,鬼太郎跟朋友們在裡頭玩。

 

We probably needed another half hour, the area was much more interesting than anticipated. Unfortunately time was pressing, we still had to get to the sake brewery before 2:30pm.

 

意外的好逛,要好好看完大概還需要半小時。但是時間不等人,跟酒造約好了2.30前必須到。

 

We just missed the bus going to Mitaka. Admitted we didn’t so much as miss it but I thought we didn’t have to run for it because google map told me the bus wasn’t due to leave for another 5 minutes. Sadly google map didn’t know today was a holiday and bus ran on different times….

 

我們剛剛好錯過了去三鷹的巴士。嚴格說我們可以趕上的,但是google map說還有5分鐘所以我以為還不需用跑的。問題是google map不知道今天是假日,班次時間不同…

 

The next one was not due for another 15 minutes. Connecting at Mitaka was going to be a bit too close to get to Haijima on time, there did not seem to be other faster alternatives.

 

下一班要等15分鐘。在三鷹轉去拜島有點緊湊,但似乎也沒有別的方法。

 

I shrugged it off for the time being and suggested we check out a watermill nearby till the next bus.

 

暫時先不去擔心了,我建議在下一班車前去附近的水車看看。

 

The watermill is just about 10 metres up the road. This is a still working actual watermill which can still used today to mill grains (have to fill in a form beforehand to apply for a time slot). Located next to the watermill is a small museum displaying the traditional tools used for farming back in the days.

 

水車離公車站就10公尺。這個水車是還有在實際運作的,現在都還可以用來磨穀類(需要填表格申請時段)。在水車旁是個小博物館陳列古時候耕田使用的器具。

Waterwheel

Waterwheel

Waterwheel

 

We departed for Mitaka. Luck was not with us that day, the bus got into a little bit of traffic and we missed the connection entirely at Mitaka. Now we were in trouble.

 

我們往三鷹出發了。運氣不好,有點塞車在三鷹完全沒趕上電車。現在慘了。

 

We caught the next available train. I sent an email to the brewery that we would be about 20 minutes late. I was biting my lips, hope they won’t cancel our tour.

 

我們搭上下一班車,然後我記了封信給酒造說我們大概會慢20分鐘。我擔心地咬著嘴唇,希望他們不會取消導覽。

 

Haijima is on the western outskirts of Tokyo, on the border of what might be called rural Tokyo bounded by the Tama river. Across the river laid the Western Tama region where rice paddies and forested mountains could be found.

 

拜島在東京西邊郊區,在以多摩川為分界的東京鄉村地帶邊緣。河川另一岸就是西多摩地區,有田園和青綠山脈。

 

Situated at the foot of the mountains this area is blessed with good spring water and has a long tradition of sake brewing since ancient times.

 

位在山腳下的這地區於是擁有相當好的泉水源,從古時候就有釀酒的傳統。

 

But there was no time to take in the scenery. Originally I had planned to walk the 1km distance to the brewery, now that we were late, I suggested we take a taxi instead. We got to the brewery about 20minutes later than the reserved time, I introduced myself to one of the staff and to my relief she just said welcome and called for our guide.

 

現在沒時間欣賞風景。原本是想走1km到酒造的,現在已經遲到於是我建議搭計程車。到酒造時比預約的時間晚了20分鐘,我上前跟一名員工報了名字。讓我放心的,員工只是歡迎我們後就去叫我們的導遊。

 

The brewery is called Ishikawa Brewery, one of around 6 brewery in Tokyo that offered tours and one of 2 that offered them in English.

 

酒造叫石川酒造,東京都內大約6個有開放導覽的酒造中有提供英文導覽的兩家之一。

 

Finding brewery tours took significant effort during planning.

 

在規劃時找酒造導覽花了不少功夫。

 

Originally I had tried to look for tours by well known brands, however their factories were a prefecture or two out, or even in Kansai. Then looking at the individual breweries within Tokyo itself, many of them had already modernized and were brewing in concrete factory like buildings, which loses much of the charm of visiting a sake brewery.

 

原本是想找出名大廠個釀酒場,但他們的工廠大多在別的縣,有的在關西。然後在找東京內的個體酒造時大多都已經現代化了,是在水泥建築的廠房內釀造,這樣去參觀就少了一點趣味。

 

The choices narrowed down to Ishikawa and Ozawa, both breweries with very long histories.

 

最後篩選下有兩個選擇,石川和小澤,兩者皆是歷史悠久的酒造。

 

Ozawa is further west deeper into the Tama mountains. Founded in 1702 it retained its traditional storehouses and its tour includes seeing the natural mountain spring that the brewery takes its water from, within a cave 140m deep. It overlooks the nearby mountain river and there’s also a sake museum, a garden and tofu and craft shops, forming its own tourist spot.

 

小澤酒造在更西邊多摩山區內。創立於1702年,保有傳統藏屋,導覽還包括去看他們取水的地方,一個140m山洞內的山泉水。酒造本身在山中小河岸上,有個清酒博物館,花園和豆腐傳統工藝店家,獨自形成的觀光景點。

 

The two downsides are it only offered English pamphlet, the tour is still in Japanese. And that it’s another 40 minutes by train from Haijima. Going there requires dedicating the whole day.

 

但有兩個缺點,一是他只有英文的傳單,導覽還是講日文。另外是從拜島還要40分鐘車程,若去的話需要一整天。

 

Ishikawa isn’t as scenic as Ozawa, but offered just as much if not more in other areas.

 

石川沒有小澤酒造的優美環境,但其他處有他更多的特色。

Ishikawa Brewery

Our guide turned out to the the company director’s assistant. A middle aged woman with quite good English. She was friendly though reserved, perhaps because of having to speak in English she tried to stay to her notes.

 

我們的導遊是酒造總經理的秘書。一個英文說的不錯的中年婦人。算友善但有點很熱誠,可能是說英文的緣故她大部分是按照筆記講解。

 

Our tour begins with the main storehouse, built in 1880 and a registered tangible cultural properties. The storehouse is 3 storey tall and about 25m by 28m at its base. The earthern walls and doors are maybe 30cm thick, built to be fireproof to protect its contents in an age where fires often ravaged Japanese wooden houses.

 

導覽從主藏房開始。建於1880年,是國家登記有形文化財產。有三層樓高,長25m寬28m。土牆和門看有30cm厚,有很好的防火能力,在木造房子常引來祝融肆虐的年代,這對保護收藏的東西相當重要。

 

The inside is cool and spacious. Around the sides laid several large tanks where sake is brewed, the second floor and up might be used to access the vats but otherwise did not look to have things stored up there. The beams and pillars and most of the rest of the wooden structure are the original wood, our guide noted. The brewery is a small one and they don’t make much sake each year, though they are slowly expanding.

 

裡頭很寬闊涼爽。四周擺了許多巨大的釀酒桶,二樓以上可能用來爬至桶子上方操作,不然看起來沒有收藏東西。大樑,柱子和大多的木頭結構都是原本建造時的木頭,導遊說道。酒造不大每年製造的酒有限,但他們正慢慢努力擴展產量。

Storehouse interior

Our guide explained the process of sake brewing to us, some of which I had some vague idea before, others she made much clearer. I had always thought sake just used koji and did not realize koji is only used to turn starch into sugar, yeast still have to be added to turn the sugar into alcohol.

 

導遊解說了釀酒的過程,一些我本來就有概念,一些透過她的解釋比較弄得清楚了。我一直以為清酒就只是用麴,沒想到過麴是用來把澱粉轉為糖,還需要在加酵母才能把糖轉為酒精。

 

Coming out the storehouse, she then pointed to the cedar ball hung above the door and asked us if we knew what it was. I had some general idea that it signalled that the new batch of sake is available. Turned out the ball meant much more. The cedar ball or sugidama is built fresh each year so that a cedar ball that’s just been hung out would be slightly green. Overtime the cedar ball would turn brown and this allowed people to know from a glance how long ago the sake was brewed.

 

走出藏屋,導遊指著門前掛的杉樹球問我們知不知道這是什麼。我大略知道這代表新的一批清酒做好了。結果才發覺這球還有更多的意義。這球杉玉是每年都需要重製一次,剛做好掛出來的球因此會帶點綠。慢慢的隨著枝葉乾了轉黃,球就會成褐色。如此人們只要一看門口的球就可知道酒是多久前釀好的。

Cedar ball

The cedar ball here is extra big and extra heavy (I forgot how many kg, it was a scary number enough to crush someone), the lady laughed, because since they got a big storehouse it seemed appropriate to have a big one.

 

這顆球特別大特別重(忘了幾公斤,但很可怕,會壓死人的重量)。導遊笑到,因為他們的藏屋很大所以做一個特大的才相配。

 

Above the storehouse’s door was also a length of rope (shimenawa), because sake used to been as sacred and in the old days women were not allowed to enter the place where sake is made. These days such restrictions are gone and there are many sake masters (Toji). There’s even a foreigner who became a famous sake master in Kyoto, Philip Harper, who appeared in a documentary, Kanpai – for the love of Sake.

 

在門上還有一條注連繩。因為酒又視為神物,古時候女性是不准進入釀酒的屋子的。現在那些限制已經沒了,也有很多女性的釀酒大師。京都還有一位外國人釀酒師,Philip Harper,曾在紀錄片Kanpai For the love of Sake中介紹過。

 

The brewery grounds is roughly a square surrounded by storehouses. The central space can be broken into two halves, separated by a cluster of small houses in the middle.

 

酒造差不多是個方形,四周倉房圍著。中間的空間可分兩半,由一群小屋分隔。

 

The main entrance and old storehouse is on the right side. Next to the old storehouse is a slightly newer one (1897, also a cultural property) which is used to age the sake.

 

大門和本藏屋在右側。本藏旁是個新一點的藏屋(1897,也是文化財)用來放老酒。

 

Opposite the newer storehouse is the brewery’s shop selling its sake and beers.

 

在新藏屋對面是酒造的賣店,賣他們的清酒和啤酒。

Sake shop

Outside the shop there’s a pair of 400 years old zelkova trees, worshipped as the gods Daikokuten (god of good harvest and fortune) and Benzaiten (god of wealth and fortune). Beneath the trees, well water from 150m below pours forth from a bamboo spout into a stone basin. I took some of the water in my bottle, did not taste too differently, not like in the mangas where characters yell out “the water is sweet”.

 

在店外是兩株400年的老櫸樹,被視為大黑天和弁才天來祭拜。樹底下的竹筒流出地下150m抽出的泉水。我用水壺接了一點,味道差不多,沒有說如漫畫中角色喊出水好甜那樣。

Twin zelkova tree

Twin zelkova tree

Well water

There’s a “corridor” connecting the left and right side of the center space. The side facing the outside houses the restaurant Zoukura, that’s apparently quite popular with the americans at Yokota air base on the other side of Haijima station. The food is said to be quite good, we did contemplate having dinner there but it was booked out. (Maybe I should have made a booking)

 

中庭左右側由一個走道連結。靠外側是這裡的餐廳雜藏,似乎頗受拜島站另一側橫田基地的美軍喜愛。料理聽說不錯,我們有考慮要不要在這吃晚餐但座位早已預約光了。(或許我應該預先預約的)

 

Above the restaurant is the museum, suggested that we visit after the tour.

 

餐廳樓上是個博物館,導遊建議我們之後可看看。

Zokura

On the inside of the corridor is a traditional Japanese mansion, with a long outer gate (nagayamon) opening onto a garden before the main residence. The owner of the brewery, the 18th generation Ishikawa, still lives here. On the door is the nameplate Ishikawa Iyahachiro. It’s a name inherited by the head of the family so the nameplate never changes. When a heir assumes the position as head of the family and as owner of the brewery, he changes his name to Iyahachiro. The son of the current owner is still young and wants to be a baseball player. The lady jokes, the kid does yet not know what is in store for him.

 

在走道內側是個傳統日式大院。穿過長屋門是個花園,然後才是主屋。酒造的主人,石川家第18代當家仍住在這。門上牌子寫著石川彌八郎。這是個每代當家世襲的名字所以門牌從不需更換。當繼承者接下當家位置時將同時改名彌八郎。現在當家的兒子還小,夢想是當棒球球員。導遊開玩笑道,小孩還不知道自己的命運。

Nagayamon

The long outer gate is built over 250 years ago (very much a cultural property) from time before the 13th head of Ishikawa family decided to venture into sake brewing. The Ishikawa family has deep roots and a long history in this region.

 

長屋門已有250年歷史(當然是文化財),在13代當家決定轉行釀酒前有了的。石川家在這一帶有相當長久的歷史淵源。

 

Stood against one of the wall is a giant wooden barrel, maybe 2 metres wide and 2 metres tall. It was the barrel they used to steam rice in, our guide explained. Back in the old days workers had to wake up in the middle of the night because it took them an hour or two just to start the fire and boil the water, several hours all up to steam the rice. And if the sake master decided it wasn’t steamed quite right, the whole thing will have to be redone. Nowaday with all the machines and automation, it only takes one person an hour.

 

靠著一面牆是一個巨大的木桶,大概2m高2米寬。這是原本用來蒸米的木桶,導遊解釋。從前工人必須半夜就起來工作,光生火燒水就需要一兩小時,然後蒸米又需要幾小時。若釀酒師認為沒蒸好的話還必須重來一次。現在有各種機器自動化,一個人一小時就可蒸好了。

Giant barrel

We now get to the left side of the central space, and the courtyard here centres around a giant cauldron.

 

我們來到中庭左側,這裡的庭院中間醒目的放有一個巨大鍋子。

 

The brewery dabbled a little in beer making in the 1880s when beer was taking off in Japan. Lacking the bottling technology unfortunately the brewery had to give up beer brewing not long after, it was not until 1998 that it was taken up again by the 17th head.

 

這酒莊在1880年代日本開始風靡啤酒時也有投入釀造啤酒過。但那時候裝瓶技術不足,酒造不得不放棄啤酒事業,一直到1998年第17代當家才重新嘗試。

 

The giant cauldron was left from the times the brewery first took up beer making. Though the brewery gave up on beer making, the cauldron was kept around but neglected, eventually getting buried beneath overgrowths and earth. Thus by lucky misfortune the cauldron escaped being molten down and made into weapons during the war years. There it laid quietly in the grounds until it was discovered and dug up.

 

這個大鍋就是酒造一開始釀啤酒時留下的。雖然酒造放棄了啤酒事業但這大鍋就留著隨便放一邊了,久而久之沒人照料被草木給掩埋了。也幸好這樣才沒在戰爭時被徵收去融掉做武器。就這樣在地底下躺了無數歲月,直到有人發覺把它挖了出來。

Giant cauldron

On the outer face of the courtyard is another restaurant, this one a western styled one, ahead is the beer brewing workshop. Above the workshop is an entertainment space that is used to host parties, ceremonies and banquets. Sometimes they get to entertain high ranking officials from the US military.

 

庭院外側是另一個餐廳,這個主要做西方料理。前頭是釀啤酒的工房。工房上是個宴會廳,用來辦理宴會,慶典或聚餐。有時甚至會用來招待美軍高官。

Other restaurant

Parked outside the workshop is an old car in working condition belonging to the owner.

 

工房外停著一輛當家愛好的古董車,還可以開喔。

 

Behind the giant cauldron is the original well used by the brewery before they dug the new 150m deep well. There is still water inside the old well, when we leaned over the grates we could hear the sound of rippling water below.

 

大鍋後是酒莊在挖150m新井前用來取水的井。古井內還有水,我們湊上欄杆上時可聽到底下波動的聲音。

The old well

In the old days the workers would have to bring up water one bucket at a time. I can barely imagine what it must be like to fill up that giant cauldron behind us using just bucket.

 

古時候工人必須把水一桶一桶打上來。很難想像光用水桶把後頭那個大鍋裝滿水需要花多少時間。

 

By the well is another zelkova tree, at over 700 years old it is the oldest tree on the premise and around Haijima. The tree is seen as sacred tree and has shimenawa rope tied around it.

 

井旁是另一顆櫸樹,樹齡有700年了。是酒造也是拜島一帶最老的樹。這樹一樣被視為靈木,綁有注連繩。

 

Part of the reason the brewery took up beer again is because sake could only be brewed in winter and expanding production can be difficult, while beer can be made all year round.

 

酒造重新開始釀啤酒的部分原因是清酒只能在冬天釀造,要擴產比較困難,而啤酒一年四季都可釀造。

 

Apparently the sake staffs and beer staffs are separate divisions with few overlaps. The sake staff are busy half the year making sake then spend the other half of the year doing small maintenance and taking holidays ( during sake making it can be difficult to have even a day off).

 

釀造清酒和啤酒的工作屬不同部門,負責的員工並不同。清酒的員工有半年非常忙碌釀酒,另半年則做些維修之類的,還有就是去渡假(釀酒時可能連一天都不能休息)。

 

The current Ishikawa head is quite ambitious, wanting to expand the brewery’s international appeal and make it like a Disney land of Japanese brewery.

 

現在的當家非常有野心,想增加酒造的國際知名度,打造成日本酒造中的迪士尼。

 

We were then led to the shop for some sake tasting. We were given 3 types of sake.

 

然後導遊帶我們到店裡試酒。一共有3種酒。

Sake tasting

The first was their new batch of standard sake. It was quite aromatic and better than the sake I can usually get in the shops.

 

第一杯是他們新釀好的標準酒。很香,比我在一般店裡買的到的好。

 

Then an unfiltered sake which was slightly cloudy and gave a stronger taste and texture.

 

然後是一杯未過濾的酒,有點混濁,味道和質地比較濃厚。

 

Last was an unfiltered unpasteurized sake, something that apparently could not be easily bought in regular shops because of regulations and the need to keep it refrigerated. An unpasteurized sake still has live yeast within it which gives it a more wild and fruity taste.

 

最後一杯是未過濾未殺菌的酒,一般店裡因需冷藏還有法令限制買不到的酒。未殺菌的酒還有酵母,味道比較有變化,有水果味。

 

Then we were given some of their plum sake. Their plum sake was made from sake as opposed to shouchu, I am not entirely clear on what’s the difference. Y obviously understood the significance and chatted with the lady on which was more popular. The plum sake tasted really good.

 

再來是梅酒。他們的梅酒是用清酒而不是燒酒的,我不太確定兩者的差異。Y當然是懂得,與導遊討論兩者在一般消費者中的受歡迎度。梅酒超好喝的。

 

The tour concluded here and we were left to explore the premise and shop as we like.

 

導覽到此結束,我們可自由逛逛。

Looking around

The museum upstairs contains a thorough tracing of the history of not just the brewery but the Ishikawa family itself.

 

樓上的博物館有解說不光是這酒造,還有石川家的歷史。

 

For a small brewery its museum is very impressive and professional. It has on display the original brand and labels which the brewery labelled its beer, the changes the brewery went through over the years, including photos from the meiji era. There’s a gorgeous clay crafted ukiyoe depicting the traditional brewing process, of people steaming rice, laying rice, sprinkling koji, stirring the fermenting rice in the barrels.

 

對一個小酒造來說他的博物館相當有規模,也很專業。展示有一開始的啤酒品牌標籤,酒造多年下來的改變,包含明治時期的黑白照片。展示中有個很細膩的陶燒浮世繪,描繪傳統釀酒程序,有人們在蒸米,在把米攤撲開,灑上麴,攪拌桶中發酵的米。

The original beer by Ishikawa

Clay ukiyoe

People making sake

Museum

Old document

What really got my interest is the section detailing the history of the Ishikawa family. The family had a long history beginning in the Edo period as nanushi, sorta like a village leader/elder.

 

讓我超感興趣的是介紹石川家歷史的一區。石川家在江戶時代是名主,

 

There’s a document pertaining to the Ishikawa family having been responsible for providing the shogun with ayu fish, and since ayu fish required good water, the Ishikawa family was also given management of (a portion?) the Tama river (which no doubt profited the family greatly). The Ishikawa family also dined emissaries from Korea, traded textiles and chalk from the Oume area and was eventually granted permission to establish a brewery. All showed how influential the Ishikawa family was.

 

有個文件中提及石川家曾負責給將軍上供香魚,而香魚需要好的水質,於是石川家便被賜予管理多摩河(一部分?)的權利,肯定給石川家帶來許多好處。石川家還有為朝鮮來的使者擺過宴會,活躍於青梅地區石灰和織布的貿易,後來還被准許建立酒造。可見石川家曾多麼擁有影響力。

 

In total the Ishikawa brewery has 6 registered tangible cultural properties.

 

石川酒造總共有6個登記文化財的建築。

 

Visiting the Ishikawa brewery is one of the best highlight out of all the trips. The sense of culture, curiosity and history is immense, almost hard to digest.

 

參觀石川酒造是所有旅行中很特別的經驗。整個酒造的文化,玩物和歷史,滿到有點不知如何消化。

 

We last went back to the shop to decide what sake to buy.

 

最後回店裡看要買什麼酒。

 

I liked the plum sake. Then Y said their company sold better plum sake, so I put down the bottle in my hand.

 

我挺喜歡他們的梅酒的。不過Y說他們公司的梅酒更好,所以我把手中瓶子給放下。

 

It’s unfortunate that the unpasteurized sake required refrigeration, otherwise I would have bought one to bring back to Taiwan.

 

可惜未殺菌的酒需要冷藏,不然真想待一瓶回台灣。

 

We ended up buying just two small bottles, an unpasteurized one to drink while we’re in Japan and another regular sake Y intended to bring back for family.

 

結果只買了兩小瓶酒,一瓶未殺菌的在日本時喝,另一瓶Y要帶回去給家人。

 

Night comes early in winter in Japan. Being near the mountains a chill crept into the air despite there still being light in the distant sky.

 

日本冬天天黑的快。這裡靠近山邊,即使遠方天空還亮著空氣中已帶著寒氣。

 

We walked back to Haijima station. Along the way I asked how tired Y was feeling.

 

我們走回拜島站。路上我詢問Y大概有多累。

 

There’s two plans for dinner, one was to go directly back to Shinbashi, check-in, have a rest then head out for dinner around Shinbashi.

 

晚餐有兩個方案,一是直接回新橋,入住,休息一下後出去在新橋附近找晚餐。

 

The other plan was to go to Takadanobaba and have Suehiro ramen. The super heavy ramen I had before in Sendai on that exhausted night.

 

另一個是去高田馬場吃末廣拉麵,那碗曾在仙台疲憊的夜晚吃過的超重口味拉麵。

 

The ramen, I explained to Y, is super heavy, not fatty nor salty, just very rich in flavour.

 

那碗麵,我跟Y解釋,口味超重,不是肥也不是鹹,就是味道很濃郁。

 

While going via Takadanobaba was a slight detour compared to taking JR all the way to Shinbashi, it would be more on the way than if we tried to go there any other day, as Takadanobaba was connected to Haijima via the Seibu lines.

 

去高田馬場比搭JR到新橋繞一點,但比其他天繞去順路。高田馬場從拜島有西武線可到。

 

It’s about 45 minutes from Haijima to Takadanobaba with a transfer across the platform at Kodaira.

 

從拜島到高田馬場大約45分鐘,小平站月台對面轉一次。

 

Suehiro ramen is about 200m down along the main street from the station. It was not quite 6 yet, there were few customers inside.

 

末廣拉麵從車站順主街走200m。還沒6點,裡頭沒什麼客人。

Suehiro ramen

We ordered from the ticket machine. The ramen was the same price regardless of size. I was puzzled for a bit, then ultimately got the large sized one. Y suggested it was because they wanted to avoid the trouble of noodle refills and left it to the customers to decide up front how much to eat.

 

從販票機點了麵。不管麵的大小都一個價錢。一開始我有點被弄糊塗了,但還是選了大碗的麵。Y是猜說可能店家懶得之後再添麵,乾脆讓顧客一開始就決定要吃多少。

 

Suihero ramen provides a bowl of spring onions to add as much as one liked to balance the heavy taste. I dunked huge amounts of onion into my noodle and dug in. It was as good as I remembered, the flavour and warmth spreading to every corner of the body.

 

末廣拉麵會提供一大碗蔥來平衡味道,自己看要加多少。我夾過一大堆蔥,拌了拌開始享用。跟記得的一樣好吃,味道和溫暖像水一樣傳至四肢。

 

The soup is dark and slightly thick, topped with very thinly sliced, almost shredded chashu pork.

 

湯很黑很濃,上頭放有燒肉薄片。

Ramen

Spring onion bowl

The signature dish, despite being called Chinese Soba, is nothing like Chinese noodle…. That was my thought last time and again when I described to Y earlier. Now Y commented that it’s taste is indeed closer to Chinese than Japanese ramens, and I think there’s some truth to that.

 

這道招牌麵,雖然叫做中華麵,卻跟中華的麵一點關係都沒有。我上回是這樣想,這次也是一樣,我這樣跟Y說的。現在Y反映這味道在中華和日本間還是比較接近中華料理。這一說好像也有道理。

 

My craving satiated, time to go back to Shinbashi.

 

過癮了,可以回新橋了。

 

Going from Takadanobaba to Shinbashi required taking the East-West line and transferring to the Ginza line.

 

從高田馬場回新橋需要搭東西線然後轉銀座線。

 

There was a train waiting when we got to the platform and I made a mistake of getting ahead onto the train before Y. The door closed right behind me.

 

月台上剛好有一班列車,然後我犯了嚴重的錯誤,比Y先上了車。門在我身後關上。

 

That was a stupid mistake. I sent a message for Y to take the next train and get off at Nihonbashi.

 

真是太蠢的錯了。我給Y訊息說搭下一班車然後在日本橋下。

 

Fortunately nothing went awry and we met up again at Nihonbashi and transferred to the Ginza line. This time I made sure Y got on first and tried to make sure throughout the rest of the trip.

 

幸好沒有再出什麼錯,在日本橋會合後去轉銀座線。這回我跟在Y身後確認上車,這次旅行中之後也是盡量待後面。

 

Originally I had planned to go out to see one illumination, but we were both too tired and each went to back to our rooms.

 

原本還想去看燈飾的,但我們兩個都太累了,於是入住後就各次回房。

 

Kanto Maigo – Day 5

I think 4 days may be my limit travelling alone. The excitement wears off and places where the plan goes awry piles up. Tedium and lethargy always set in around this time.

 

我想4天大概是我獨自旅遊的極限。起初的興奮磨耗殆盡,計畫出錯的地方越來越多。總是在這時開始心灰沮喪。

 

The breakfast at Villa Fountaine had changed a little, the sausage became a meat patty and the fried rice became curry flavoured fried rice. Taste about the same.

 

Villa Fountaine的早餐沒什麼變化,只有熱狗變成漢堡肉排,炒飯變成咖哩炒飯。味道差不多。

Villa Fountaine breakfast

After breakfast and checkout since it was still early, I decided to head to the area in front of Tokyo station for a walk.

 

早餐完退房後還早,我決定去東京車站前走走。

 

Some of the ginkyo trees in the open had already yellowed or fallen while ones in the Marunouchi were still mostly green. The autumn leaves was very uneven this year, likely a result of the swings in weather.

 

有些在空曠處的銀杏樹已經黃了,甚至落葉了,而在丸之內的大多還是綠葉。今年紅葉很不均衡,可能是氣候忽冷忽熱變化太大。

Marunouchi

Tokyo station

In retrospect I should have gone to Meiji Jingu Outer Garden since I knew it would rain tomorrow morning. I could have at least done a full walk to Yurakucho, it would have delayed going to the exhibition but there was time. The brain had mostly shutdown though and I just went numbly through the schedule for most of the day.

 

我這時已知道隔天會下雨,現在看當初應該去明治神宮外苑的。或著是走到有樂町,會晚一點去展覽但反正今天時間很多。腦袋已經停機了,基本上整天只是麻木的跟著行程走。

 

Nogizaka station connected directly with the art museum. Similar to Roppongi station the line was built very deep beneath the ground and it took at least 5 flight of escalators to get to the entrance.

 

乃木板站跟美術館直接連接。跟六本木站一樣在地下深處,需要搭五段手扶梯才能到入口。

 

Excitement floods back into me once I was handed the beautifully printed ticket.

 

拿到漂亮的入場卷,心情再度興奮起來。

Ticket

The art museum’s outward facing side was a wavey lattice of glass wall. The inside was an empty space occupied by two upside down cones where upon sat a cafe and a restaurant.

 

美術館的外觀是一片海浪般的玻璃格子。裡頭簍空的空間中有兩個倒過來的圓錐,上頭分別是一個咖啡店和一個餐廳。

Toward the art museum

Interior

This is where Taki and Okudera had their date.

 

這裡就是瀧和奥寺前輩約會的地方。

 

A line was beginning to form outside the exhibit entrance. I rushed to go in before I could get a better look of the art gallery.

 

展覽入口開始排隊了。我連忙上前,暫且先把美術館逛一圈的事放一邊。

 

Sadly there is no taking photo inside exhibit. In addition to the ticket I also got the audio guide (always get audio guides). The Japanese audio guide is voiced by none other than Kamiki Ryunosuke, Taki’s voice actor and long time big fan of Shinkai, and every section had a track where Kamiki would describe his own experience and thoughts toward the particular piece of work. Since this is a huge selling point, the English guide would leave in Kamiki’s Japanese voice for a sentence or two before fading out and the English voice takes over. The English voice also did its best to mimic Kamiki’s soothing, cute, calm, dreamy mannerism.

 

裡頭不能拍照真是太可惜了。除了門票外我還租了語音導覽(去看展覽一定要租語音)。日文導覽是由神木龍之介,瀧的配音員來講解。神木長久以來就是新海的粉絲,展覽的每個區都有一段神木分享他自己對這作品的心得。由於這算是展覽的一大賣點,英文導覽的開頭都會留下神木的原日文,再切入英文的導覽。同時英文導覽的配音也盡量模仿神木那溫和可愛,有點夢幻的語氣。

 

At first the line to around the exhibit moved very slowly as everyone took their time to go through the sketches, storyboards or magazine articles. A few would meticulously note down things in their notebook and one person I noticed would even sketch down the storyboards.

 

一開始隊伍移動的很慢,每個人都很仔細的研究每一張草稿,分鏡構圖和雜誌文章。有的人詳細的草圖上的細節記錄在小本子裡,有個人甚至還把分鏡畫下來。

 

While waiting for the lines to move I also wrote down the more notable features of the exhibit on the phone.

 

再等隊伍移動時我也順便把展覽中有趣的點寫下來。

 

While each of Shinkai’s film would have a dedicated section, they would all focus on a slightly different theme, be it experience, technical detail or thematic message. In addition to the storyboards there would also be a short clip or two showing the end result in the film.

 

新海的每一部作品都有一個專屬區域,每個區域又會專門講解一個主題,可能是製作經驗,使用的技術或是作品傳達的訊息。除了分鏡外還有短篇影片展示分鏡經製作後在電影中的片段。

 

OP

 

Perhaps as a call out to Kimi no Nawa, the very first thing upon entering the exhibit is an OP. It is essentially using various cuts from Shinkai’s films to the soundtrack Dream Lantern from Kimi no Nawa. It’s great and brings a smile to the face.

 

(There will also be an ED)

 

或許是對『你的名字』點頭,進入展覽第一個看到的是一個開場動畫。利用新海的各個作品剪接成一個影片,配上你的名子中的夢燈籠曲子。蠻有趣的。

 

(等下也會有結尾動畫)

 

Hoshi no Koe (Voices of a Distant Star) 星之聲

 

The first section is Hoshi no Koe, Shinkai’s debut film. The section goes into the story that led up to it, how Shinkai created She and Her Cat during his spare time.

 

第一區是星之聲,新海的出道作。這區敘述了新海從原點開始的故事,如何在閒時製作了『她與她的貓』。

 

Hoshi no Koe was a remarkable story, it stunned the world with its beauty, its mix of CG and computer graphics editing, and everything except the music done by his friend Tenmon was done by a single person. It redefined what was considered possible in the industry. Right from the very beginning Shinkai stood out as one of the few who would be seen to have the potential of someday being compared to the great Miyazaki.

 

星之聲的成功本身是個傳奇故事。作品的美感,混和CG和電導繪圖的製作手法,除了音樂由朋友天門負責外其他都是單獨個人製作,震驚業界。這部作品重新定義了動畫製作的可能性。從開始新海就被視為可能某天與宮崎駿其名的少數幾名導演之一。

 

On display was a recreated work desk when Shinkai worked on the piece by himself, a crowded small desk upon which sat an old PowerMac and a huge drawing tablet.

 

展示包含了重現新海當初製作星之聲時的工作桌,一個擁擠的小桌上擺了一個古董PowerMac和龐大的繪圖板。

 

Articles from the time about the film were shown, to help understand how it was received at the time. When Hoshi no Koe was shown in theatre there were people lining up everyday. Even when the last showing had ended there were still people waiting outside, so the theatre decided to put on another showing. Then another, then another, well into the night.

 

電影推出時的雜誌介紹也在這展出,幫助理解當時對這作品的評價。當星之聲上映時每天都大排長龍。當最後一場放映完後外面依然有人在等著,劇場於是決定在上映一場。然後再一場,再一場,直到深夜。

 

Kumo no Mukou (Place Promised in Our Early Days) 雲之彼端

 

Hung from the ceiling was a small scale model of the plane that the protagonist built in the film.

 

從天花板用鋼絲吊著電影內主角組裝的飛機的模型。

 

This section described Shinkai’s first experience working with a production crew and the struggles he faced. This was a trial by fire for Shinkai. Although the film barely came out and was flawed in may aspects, it laid the foundation for Shinkai’s subsequent work and gave him a core of staff to rely upon and together improve throughout the director’s career. Most notably background art director Danji Takumi who would go on to work on every Shinkai film.

 

這區介紹了新海第一次跟團隊合作的經驗。這是新海的一場實戰磨練。雖然電影差點做不成,許多地方也都有缺陷,這作品的確為新海打下了未來製作的底基,給了他一批可信賴的核心團隊,在他的導演生涯中一同成長。特別一提的背景作畫監督丹治匠,在這之後新海的每一個作品都有參與。

 

It explained Shinkai’s love with clouds, where he fell in love with from looking at the skies in his school years during commute. The mountains surrounding his hometown created a great different variety of clouds and he would sketch them down in his drawing book.

 

這區也解釋了新海對雲的熱衷。他家鄉四面高山環繞,地形產生的雲多采多姿。在學生時代通勤時他喜歡看窗外的雲,把雲的模樣描畫入圖本內。

 

5 cm per second 秒速五釐米

 

The film which most Shinkai fans would come to know the director, as Kamiki admits to be one of them in the narration. He talked of how he fell in love with the pure simple portrayal of love, longing and distances.

 

大部分粉絲們接觸導演的第一部作品,如神木在導覽中坦言包括他也是。神木敘說他非常喜歡電影中對愛情,思念和距離單純的描述。

 

The film saw incredible success and despite a limited showing was so popular it had an unusually long run in the theatres.

 

電影非常的成功,雖然上映的劇場有限但因太受歡迎,在劇場上映了異常之久。

 

The focus apart from the film’s history, was on how the beautiful backgrounds were created. For people unfamiliar with photoshop or digital painting the section would have been greatly informative.

 

除了對電影歷史的講解,這區也介紹這皆美麗的背景是如何繪製的。對photoshop或數位繪畫不熟的人應該是會有突破性的理解吧。

 

The example used to illustrate the background composition was the scene with the parked cars and cherry blossom leaves. The whole background consisted of around 30 layers, the sign card boasted. I’m surprised the whole background only consisted of 30 layers.

 

用來解釋背景架構的例子是電影中櫻花樹下停著汽車的畫面。整個背景是由大約30層畫結合而成的,牌子上這麼誇道。我對這樣細膩的背景竟只用30層更感到意外。

 

A common question regarding whether the backgrounds are edited photos or based on photos. This is answered here by showing a series of original real life photo taken during location scouting and their final background art. A fews things can be gathered: the backgrounds are not merely painted over photos, objects in the scenes are shifted and adjusted and the perspective at times changes; Shinkai knows exactly what shot, angle and framing he wants when he goes location scouting, the reference photos aren’t just wide shots to take in the scenery and objects, they are already composed and framed to how the end artwork should look.

 

常會有人問這些背景是直接用照片更改的還是只是用照片作為參考。這裡特地用一系列當初參考地點的照片和最終畫出的背景做比較。可知道幾件事。背景不是直接畫在相片上,相片中的東西有移動,改變,或是轉換角度。另外是新海去找地點拍照時就知道他想要的樣子,參考用照片不只是單單用廣角照入景色和事物,而是已經過構圖,照出他心目中完成的背景畫的樣子。

 

Here written on the walls, explained Shinkai’s philosophy behind his films.

 

一面牆上寫著新海製作動畫的想法。

 

When things get tough, the closest source of comfort is scenery. when feeling no one understands, step back and look at big picture, all people connected to larger world.

 

Even if sad, in the beautiful scenery, you are part of something beautiful.

 

當痛苦時,最接近的安慰就是風景。當感到沒有人理解時,退後一步看遠一點,所有人都聯繫著廣闊的世界。

 

就算傷心難過,在這美麗的風景中,你就是這美麗的一部分。

 

On the wall the cherry blossoms fell. On the TV flashed through scenes from the movie to the theme song of One More Chance, One More Time. Sadness, regret, memories. I was not the only one in the room with wetness in the eyes.

 

牆上一瓣瓣櫻花落下。電視上隨著主題歌『再一次機會,再一次來過』閃著電影片段。苦澀,悔恨,回憶。房間裡不只有我紅了眼框。

 

Children Chasing Lost Voices 追逐繁星的孩子

 

The exhibit put significant emphasis on how this film came about. Unsaid that this film was not received well by the fans.

 

展覽特別花心思敘述這一部作品的由來。隱喻沒說的是這部片在粉絲中評價並不好。

 

After 5cm per second Shinkai went on a world tour to the middle east and London, where he thought about where to take his next film. The answer was Children Chasing Lost Voices where he wanted to return to the roots of Japanese animation and adopted more traditional methods, including designs, palette, and the use of concept visuals which were drawings of a scene, in much more detailed than the usual storyboards, to better convey the fantasy world as envisioned to the team.

 

秒速五釐米之後新海啟程去中東和倫敦,一段國際巡迴交流,同時思考下一個作品該往哪方向發展。答案是追逐繁星的孩子。新海在這部中想回歸日本動漫的根基,選擇比以往傳統的手法,從設計,色彩,到概念插圖,一種比分鏡搞更細膩的圖,好把奇幻世界的概念傳達給團隊。

 

The technical aspect explained here was the colour setting and brushes.

 

技巧面則是解說色彩設定和畫筆。

 

Colour setting was new to me. The colours used for the characters have to change to suit the colour tone of the scene. Each item of the character and their skin tones had to be decided and codified to create a consistent look throughout the film.

 

色彩設定對我是新的東西。角色上的顏色需要依照這一幕的色調有所調整。角色所穿戴的每一樣物件,膚色,都需要決定配色,記錄統一,才能在整部作品裡呈現一致性。

 

The different photoshop custom brushes used to paint the backgrounds were shown here. Displayed most prominently was the brush used to draw clouds.

 

至於photoshop中繪畫背景的自訂畫筆在這展出。放在最顯眼位置的自然是用來畫雲的畫筆。

 

The initial town in the film was based on Shinkai’s hometown.

 

追逐繁星的孩子一開始小鎮是以新海老家為範本。

 

The item on display here was a replica of the crystal radio.

 

這裡展示的實體物件是動畫中的水晶收音機。

 

The section was pain to point out that the film was not received well and this prompted Shinkai to rethink how to balance the message and story he wanted to tell with what the fan wanted.

 

這區語重心長的強調這部作品並沒有得到好評,促使新海重新思考如何在他想表達的訊息,所說的故事中間,跟粉絲的期待做平衡。

 

Timeline, Other Works and Overseas 年表,其他作品,海外

 

Cleverly inserted after Lost Voices to break up the tedium of going through film after film, is a section on Shinkai’s life outside of the films.

 

在追逐繁星的孩子後插入一區新海在電影外的活動的介紹,很聰明的中斷作品接著作品乏味性的累積。

 

On the wall was a timeline of Shinkai’s life, how his career developed matched to developments in the world. The development of digital technology and how Shinkai was one of the pioneers that took up the medium. The development of the iphone and other major events such as the 311 earthquake. The last point is particularly important given Kimi no Nawa was partly inspired by Shinkai’s visit to Touhoku and his desire to create a more uplifting story for a nation in sorrow.

 

牆上的年表紀錄的新海的一生,他事業上的發展比對世界的變化。科技數位化和新海是利用數位化來創作的先鋒之一。iphone的發展和如311地震的巨變。311地震對你的名字有特別意義,當初創作的啟發是在新海在去過東北後看到地震後的景色,使他決心要給沉浸在哀傷中的國人一個激勵人心的故事。

 

Shinkai did speed skating in primary and archery in high school, both of which featured in his films.

 

新海在小學有參加競速溜冰,而到高中則是加入弓道部,兩者都有在他的電影中出現過。

 

Also showcased are some of his works outside of the major films, about his works at Falcom and the OP he created there for the games. The exhibit isn’t shy about mentioning his involvement in EF but they did avoid showing the OP…. which is a shame.

 

還有展出的是他在電影之外的製作,如在電玩公司Falcom製作的遊戲開頭影片。展覽並沒有忌諱他參與遊戲EF的事但並沒有展出那個遊戲的OP…有點可惜。

 

Shinkai’s other works also included short features such as the one for NHK about a cat trying to destroy the world, various advertisements (they didn’t show the one for Z-Kai….) and sponsored project like Dareka no Manazashi (Someone’s Gaze).

 

新海其他作品還有短篇動畫,像是幫NHK製作的,有關一隻貓想毀滅世界的故事,各種廣告(竟然沒有展出Z-Kai的那片)還有企業贊助的作品『來自誰的凝望』。

 

Shinkai from the very start had a comparatively wider overseas reach than his contemporaries. All the various DVD/BD cases and movie posters from around the world in their respective languages and slightly altered designs. It is a great showcase of an aspect that is really unique to Shinkai. (Shinkai is really loved overseas, I don’t think I’ve seen other directors being called nicknames the way Shinkai is by many Chinese/Taiwanese fans, Makoto ni-san, Big-Brother Makoto)

 

新海從一開始就比其他動畫導演在海外更有知名度。有各種世界各地各種語言的DVD/BD盒子,電影海報,有的設計也有更改。很棒的點出新海蠻獨特的一點。新海在海外真的是很受歡迎,在我所知沒有別的導演被粉絲稱為哥的。誠哥。

 

Shinkai’s literature background. Shinkai studied literature as his university major and is very well read. On display are many books which Shinkai drew his inspirations from. Not surprisingly amongst them is Haruki Murakami.

 

新海的文學背景。新海在大學是主修文學的,涉獵廣泛。一個展示櫃中滿是新海尋找靈感的書籍。毫無意外的當中有村上春樹。

 

There’s a small bit on the common themes that exhibit throughout Shinkai’s works. The railway, the use of lighting to reflect mood, the cats (btw there’s a funny quiz in the audio guide about the name of Shinkai’s cat). It seemed like an odd inclusion as its own section, turns out it’s actually really clever, to be seen later.

 

還有一小部分在解說新海作品中常出現的元素和主題。鐵道,光影來表現情境,貓(話說,語音導覽裡有個關於新海養的貓的名子的小測驗)。刻意加入這樣一個部分有點奇怪,但其實這是展方別有巧思的設計,晚點揭曉。

 

Garden of Words 言葉之庭

 

Did it start to rain?

 

Upon walking into the section, the audio guide springs to life on its and and begins playing the sound of rain.

 

開始下雨了嗎?

 

一走進這區,語音導覽自動開啟,撥放下雨的聲音。

 

Rain, is the theme of the film and the theme of the section. A veil of transparent threads are hung from above, with ever changing light projections it created an effect of falling raindrops.

 

雨。這是這部動畫的主題,也是這區的主題。一面透明細繩組成的帷幕高掛在頭頂,在變化的光線投射下正如下雨一般。

 

After the reception of Lost Voices, the guide explains, Shinkai sought to look for the way to create something for the fans without compromising his own visions. The Garden of Words was what he came up with.

 

在追逐繁星的孩子有了那樣的評價後,導覽解釋道,新海試圖尋找能符合粉絲期待,又不需妥協他自己創造的方法。於是有了言葉之庭。

 

To create the rain in Garden of Words, Shinkai went out when it rained to study the many effects of rain. From the misty effect to the way rain splashed off stones and trees.

 

為了描繪言葉之庭中的雨,新海常在下雨時出去研究雨的各種型態。從霧氣到雨點落在石頭和樹上的感覺。

 

In Garden of Words a new technique was also experimented where the outline of characters was coloured as reflection of the surroundings. This created an effect that allowed the characters to blend in with the exquisitely painted background while still pop out of the scene.

 

在言葉之庭中新海嘗試了一種新手法,在角色的線條上反映周遭的顏色。這使得角色能融入美如仙境的背景,同時又能在場景中突顯出角色。

 

On display is a replica of the shoes Takao made for Yukino. An actual pair of shoes were custom ordered and created as drawing reference but it was later dismantled for sound effect.

 

實物展示的是孝雄為雪野做的鞋子。製作時有實際訂製一雙鞋子作為作畫參考,但後來被拆解來做聲效了。

 

It’s interesting to see Shinkai’s storyboard evolve over time. They get much more expressive and the animation instructions ever more detailed, the later may have been a necessity as the team gets larger and harder to communicate face to face.

 

新海的分鏡隨著時光有很大的進步,很有意思。分鏡越來生動,動畫指導也越來越詳細。後者可能是團隊越來越大,不容易親自解釋而不得不的。

 

Kimi no Nawa (Your Name) 你的名字

 

Finally the breakout phenomenon. The section is less like a Shinkai show and more of an Ando and Tanaka show, bringing the design and animation skills of the two to the fore.

 

終於到了一鳴驚人的傑作。這區與其說是新海誠的展出不如說是安藤雅司和田中將賀的舞台,展現兩人設計和動畫的技巧。

 

Despite Tanaka being listed as the character designer in the original trailer, it’s emphasized here that Ando had just as much if not more input into it. While Tanaka provided the base of the designs, it was Ando who did the expression references and most importantly the posture references that contrasted how the characters should move depending on who was the person inside the body.

 

雖然田中將賀在一開始的預告中是列為角色設計,這裡強調的是安藤雅司在也有參與相當的部分,甚至可能更多。田中提供了一開始的基本設計,但安藤把兩個角色的演出演活了,比如說他畫的表情範本,還有更重要的姿勢範本,凸顯兩個人在當身體內不同的人的靈魂時不同的動作姿態。

 

On display was the kumihimo weaving tool.

 

實物展示的是編織組紐的工具。

 

For the technical aspect they tried to show how the flying transition from Tokyo to Itomori was created using layered drawings placed in a 3D space before a 3D model of Itomori lake. A physical model is on display to illustrate the effect, built using sheets of glass with painted Tokyo buildings and a plastic model (like the model 3D map one often sees in tourist centres).

 

技術面解說的是東京飛轉到系守町的過場,利用在3D空間設立一層層平面畫,最後擺在系守湖的3D模型,這樣穿過畫層時就像是飛過東京般。這裡實際用貼有東京大樓的玻璃和塑膠模型(類似遊客中心常可看到的3D地圖)來呈現電腦3D的效果。

 

The creation of the beautiful kagura dance is also explained, how Shinkai recorded actual performance of the dance and used it as a direct reference to animate the sequence.

 

動畫中的神樂舞也有介紹,新海錄下了真人表演作為作畫參考。

 

The exhibit overall goes out of its way to point out the works of the animators and artists. This isn’t just a Shinkai show. Example of works are also displayed to show off how the animators and artists bring the characters and backgrounds to life. The corrections to keyframes made by the animation directors, the comments they made to Shinkai’s original instructions. This goes for all of the films but is most evident in the Garden of Words and Kimi no Nawa sections.

 

展覽中特別強調其他動畫製作和畫家的貢獻。這不只是新海的個人展。利用各個作品中橋段來介紹負責這橋段的動畫製作或畫家,是怎麼賜予角色或背景生命。動畫導演對關鍵格的修改,對新海當初寫的指示的意見。每個區都有這元素,但言葉之庭和你的名字著墨最多。

 

In the Kimi no Nawa section there’s a very amusing series of drawings comparing what the original instruction sketch from Shinkai was, and how Ando the animation director interpreted them. Ando, who famously contradicted Miyazaki several times back when he worked on Spirited Away (and rumoured to be why he later departed the studio), was not shy about correcting Shinkai either. There is one sketch where Mitsuha was moved by emotion had the complete opposite expression of what Shinkai originally sketched. Ando’s take was much better.

 

你的名字區中也一很有趣的展示,分別是新海畫的初稿和指示,然後安藤作畫監督如何詮釋。安藤很有名的曾在製作神隱少女時與宮崎駿槓上(傳說因此退出吉卜力),對新海照樣毫不留情。其中有張三葉感動的畫面,其中三葉的表情跟新海原本畫的完全不一樣。安藤的手法好多了。

 

A side note. Contrary to popular belief Shinkai can draw characters quite well, unless the character sketches in the storyboards were redrawn by others.

 

另一提。一般可能認為新海不會畫人物,但其實他畫的還不錯,除非分鏡稿中的人物有給他人重畫過。

 

ED

 

The OP was an appetizing intro to whet one’s appetite for the exhibition. The ED concludes in fabulous fashion beyond imagination. If the OP is a 8/10 then the ED is a 30/10.

 

開頭動畫算是展覽的開胃菜。而ED則是超乎想像的華麗收場。若OP是80分那ED就是300分。

 

Two humongous screens side by side, at times showing a single scene, most of the time showing two scenes from different films containing the same framing, shot, action, message or dialog.

 

兩個巨大篇幅銀幕並排,有時顯示一整個影像,大多時候則是兩個不同作品的場景,但擁有相同的構圖,拍攝角度,動作,訊息或台詞。

 

I have never, ever, realized how much common elements there are in all his films. The common themes section from before floods to mind and suddenly each one of his individual films melded into mere acts in a single flowing performance.

 

我從來沒有意識到過新海的作品中有這麼多共同元素。之前對共通點的介紹湧入腦海,瞬間新海的每一部動畫溶成同一部流水般巨作。

 

The ED sums up the theme of Shinkai’s word up in a grand, spectacular, awe-inspiring, mind-blowing, realization-dawning MAD style mashup of every film composed in Shinkai’s trademark heart stringing rhythmic cuts with crescendos upon crescendos reaching beyond the beautiful clouds and starry skies.

 

ED將新海語詞間所表達的主題用一混和所有作品的動畫樂曲短片作總結。盛大,壯觀,令人振奮,驚奇萬分,啟發領悟的,用新海代標性帶動心弦的剪接收法,一強高過一強,衝破天際唯美的雲彩和星海。

 

Every cold foreboding cityscape, every brilliant ray of fleeting joy at twilight, every empty landscape that reminded of a better past and uncertain tomorrow, every filled streets that spoke of the loneliness inside, every flash of railway hinting the distance between.

 

每一幕冷木不祥的市貌,每一幕黃昏時如喜悅流逝的光輝,每一幕想起過去美好和未知明天的空蕩景色,每一幕擁擠的街道敘說內心的孤單,每一幕閃過的鐵道暗示彼此間的距離。

 

Every call, every monologue, every cry for the name of the longing within, every cry in search of happiness that belonged and would have no other, every defiance, every step and leap to action, every burst of tears of wonder; of lost; of hurt; of emotions that binds us in this beautiful world.

 

每一聲喊叫,每一句獨白,每一次喊出內心渴望的名字,每一次呼喊尋找無可取代的幸福歸屬,每一反抗,每一步踏出採取行動,每一滴因奇蹟湧出的淚水;因失去;因傷痛;因在這美麗世界將我們串連的情感。

 

この世界のことを好きだと思う

 

I like this world I think.

 

我喜歡這世界,我想。

 

The video ends the exhibit with the same words that Shinkai used to end his very first work, She and Her Cat.

 

影片最終用新海第一部作品最終的同一句話做總結。

 

Exit the exhibit and one reaches the only section where photo taking is allowed. The photo wall scene of the Itomori memorial Taki and Okudera visited is re-created, only this one with colour real-life photos and a cheerful tone. There is also an AR booth where one can get their photo taken and be inserted into a scene from Garden of Words.

 

走出展區後是整個展覽唯一可以拍照的區域。瀧和奥寺前輩所看的系守町回憶展在此重現,不過是現實場景的彩色拍照,充滿愉快氣氛。還有一個AR機器可拍照後將人放入言葉之庭的場景內。

Itomori

 

The goods shop sold many goods limited to the exhibit. T-shirt, postcards, notebooks, clearfiles. Some of the more interesting items included a scarf, the hourglass from the Sparkle MV (the hourglass does not appear in the movie), the kumihimo Mitsuha gave Taki (there are two versions, an plastic imitation and a real kumihimo that required a month wait time), magnets (which I bought) and a exhibition book containing everything that was in the exhibit and various interviews (which I probably should have bought, too tired).

 

商品店有許多展覽會限定商品。Tshirt,明信片,筆記本,收納夾。比較特殊的東西如圍巾,Sparkle音樂影片中出現沙漏(收漏在電影中則沒出現),三葉給瀧的組紐(有兩種,一個塑膠仿製物,另一個真的組紐預購需等一個月),磁鐵(有買),還有包還所有展出圖畫和訪談的展覽書冊(可能還是應該買的,太累了)。

The cafe

I checked my clock and was shocked to find it was 2pm. I had spent over 3 hours in the exhibition.

 

我看了看時間才驚訝已經2點了。我在展覽中花了3個多小時。


There was no time to go to Shinjuku to see the real life locations that appeared in the movie. I head back to Villa Fountaine to pick up my luggage and head to Super Hotel Shinbashi.

 

沒時間去新宿動畫場景朝聖了。我回Villa Fountaine取出行李去Super Hotel新橋。

 

The Mita line went from Jimbocho to Onarimon, a little bit south of the Shinbashi area.

 

三田線從神保町到御城門站,在新橋南邊一點。

 

Super Hotel Shinbashi is in an interesting location, right in the middle of a district and about equal distance of 400-500m from Shinbashi, Shiodome and Onarimon station.

 

Super Hotel新橋的位置很好玩,在一個町中間,到新橋,汐留,御城門差不多都是400-500m。

 

The process of checking in was well familiar to me. Super Hotel is unique with its use of keypad locks, it removed the need for check outs and reduced staff workloads and in turn, costs.

 

入住的手續已經很熟悉了。Super Hotel用的是獨特的密碼鎖,這樣就可省去退房和所需的人工成本。

Super Hotel Shinbashi

After check in it was time to go through the checklist and get everything that was needed for the next few days ahead.

 

入住後該檢查清單,把接下來所需的東西一一辦好。

 

The metro pass, the Hakone pass, the shinkansen ticket and scouting out station layouts and restaurant locations.

 

地鐵卷,箱根卷,新幹線票和確認車站動線與餐廳地點。

 

Most of these involved Shinjuku so I headed there first.

 

大部分在新宿所以先去那裡。

 

First item was the Hakone pass from Odakyu railway since the Odakyu Service Centre closes fairly early at 6pm. It is still possible to get it from the other general Odakyu tour service at the south exit (this one closes at 7pm) but they don’t have foreign staff there.

 

首先是箱根pass,因為小田急觀光服務中心6點就關了。雖然也可以在小田急南口的服務櫃檯買(7點關)但那裡沒有外語服務。

 

The Hakone pass was sold at the airport, Odakyu Sightseeing Service at Shinjuku or purchased from station ticket machines on the day. The transfers are going to be tight and getting them beforehand was paramount.

 

箱根pass可在機場,新宿小田急觀光服務中心或是當天從販票機買。轉車非常緊湊所以一定要預先買好。

 

There was a huge queue and process was slow. They were mostly Taiwanese (saw a lot of Taiwanese on this trip, not many mainland Chinese) and the service desk had several Taiwanese for that purpose. Progress was slow because many people do not necessarily realize that Hakone pass that included travel from Shinjuku to Odawara does not include express charges for one to take the romance cars, so there’s a lot of back and forth explaining, then once that’s explained people had to make a reservation for the romance cars (they are reserved seats only).

 

買票的隊伍很長,處理速度很慢。大多是台灣來的旅客(這次看到很多台灣人,大陸的到不多)而櫃檯特意派有幾個台灣人員。速度慢的主因是很多人弄不清楚新宿到小田原的票卷並沒有含做浪漫號特急的錢,需要慢慢解釋,在那之後還需要幫忙訂位(浪漫號是全車指定)。

Odakyu Tourist service

I only needed the Hakone pass that covered the basic area. I told the staff the date I wanted, emphasized that I wanted the basic version, filled in a form, received the tickets in no time and I was finally on my way.

 

我只需要基本版箱根pass。我跟櫃檯人員說了我要的日期,強調要的是基本版,填了個表格後馬上拿到票走了。

 

Next was the metro pass. The 72 hour subway ticket that allowed unlimited rides on both Tokyo Metro and Toei lines is limited to foreigners and cost 1500Y. I had estimated that we would use at least as much as the metro pass would cost and anything more was just extra savings. Won’t be much if any, but the convenience was nice. So I headed to the BIC CAMERA just on the west side of Shinjuku station.

 

接下來是地鐵pass。72小時地鐵pass可無限搭乘東京地鐵和都營地鐵,限定外國人1500Y。我估算過地鐵至少會用到那麼多,再多就是多省。不會省太多,但反正方便。我往新宿西側的BIC CAMERA走去。

 

The man at the info desk was only willing to sell me one of them, to my frustration. The rule was that if one needed more than one pass because one intended to stay in Tokyo for a longer period, one should come back after the first one expires. It was meant to prevent abuse by foreigners reselling it to locals, but I was only asking for 2.

 

在服務台的大叔只肯賣我一張,很煩人。規定是若要待久一點需要超過一張的話要等第一張到期後再去買。理當是避免外國人買了後轉賣給當地人用,但我也只不過是要2張。

 

They only checked that one had a passport with the tourist visa sticker and did not make any records. I figured that and realized I have to go to the other BIC CAMERA on the east side and get the other one there.

 

他們只確認護照內有觀光簽證,並沒有留紀錄。想到這點,我想到我可以到東側的BIC CAMERA買另一張。

 

Before that though I headed downstairs to confirm the location of the ochazuke (rice soaked with tea) restaurant I considered coming tomorrow. Once that’s been done and I started to head to the east side, I paused and thought I should have something to eat, as I had not even had lunch.

 

在那之前我先下樓確定了明天可能會來的茶泡飯餐廳地點。確認後正要去東側,我停了下,覺得應該找點什麼吃,到現在連午餐都還沒吃。

Ochazuke

There was a soba/udon shop a few shop up from the ochazuke place, similar to the one I had last night. Seemed like a good choice.

 

茶泡飯幾家店隔壁有家蕎麥烏龍麵店,跟昨晚吃的那家類似。看起來也不錯。

 

I ordered the daily special. The tempura vegetable patty was too oily, otherwise taste is okay.

 

我點了當日特餐。炸蔬菜餅有點太油了不然還算OK。

Udon place

Soba

Now I got something in the stomach I was feeling better. I got the other metro pass from the other BIC CAMERA (which is really really tiny for some reason, I’m used to them being quite big).

 

胃裡有點東西感覺好多了。我在另一家BIC CAMERA買了另一張地鐵pass(這家不知為何超小,已經習慣BIC CAMERA很大了)

 

Next up is confirming the layout of Shinagawa station. I took the Yamanote line there and paced several times up and down the concourse from the local JR line to the shinkansen ticket gates. About 4 minutes to the gate at a quick walk, then to go through and up the stairs… 5 minutes transfer at a minimum, 8 to be safe.

 

接下來是確認品川車站的動線。我搭山手線到品川然後前後從JR在來線走到新幹線閘門數次。快走的話到閘門需要4分鐘,加上通過閘門上樓…至少需要5分鐘,安全上8分鐘。

 

Then Tokyo station to get the shinkansen ticket and also confirm the location of the pensta store (which I forgot to check the other days, this morning when I thought about I was already outside the ticket barrier and pensta happens to be on the inside).

 

然後去東京車站買新幹線票然後確認Pensta企鵝店的位置(前幾天忘了,早上想到時已經在閘門外而Pensta不巧是在閘門內)。

Confirm Pensta

By the time I finally checked off the last item on the checklist it was past 7pm. I return to the hotel, did the laundry and went to bed. Tomorrow required a very early start.

 

全部處理完後已經是7點後。我回到旅館,把衣服洗好後早早就寢。明天去要很早起床。

Shinbashi

Kanto Maigo – Day 4

Morning. I look out the window over the empty intersection. Credits to Villa Fountaine for the comfortable and wide bed. Points off for strangely having the kettle in a cabinet all the way by the door instead of below/next to the desk like most considerate hotels would. The room is big enough, why put it so far away?

 

早晨。我從窗戶俯視空蕩的路口。不得不誇一下,Villa Fountaine的床大又舒服。至於把燒水壺擺在遠在門邊的櫃子裡而不是像其他旅館放在桌子下/旁,扣分。房間挺大的,何必放那麼遠。

View from Villa Fountaine

Complimentary breakfast at 7am. I’m not sure why they choose to call it complimentary, other hotels are happy enough to just call it what it is, free breakfast or breakfast included. Calling it complementary to make it sound like a gift? Something extra? Perhaps it’s an escape clause in the event they can’t provide it that day?

 

7點開始招待早餐。不確定為什麼要叫招待,其他旅館很直接,就免費早餐或是附早餐。稱呼招待感覺像禮物?多送的?或是預留漏洞,若是某天無法提供時有個退路?

 

One can tell what guests a hotel targeted by how early its breakfast is. 7am was for people who were in business but not in a hurry to get where they were going.

 

從提供早餐的時間可知道這旅館的主要顧客群。早上七點是為了需要辦事但並不需趕時間的人們。

 

Thankfully today I was also not in a hurry to get where I was going.

 

幸好今天我也不趕時間。

 

Kumobaike, a famous pond in Karuizawa was closed because of trail maintenance in the off-season (the word is going to show up alot). Without it there wasn’t much point in trying to arrive earlier than 10am when the shops begin to open. From Tokyo to Karuizawa takes about an hour so I only needed to head out after 8am. That’s plenty of time for transfer at Tokyo station.

 

輕井澤的雲場池因為淡季(這個詞會出現很多次)步道維修不能去了。不看雲場池那就沒有必要在10點店鋪開始營業前到了。從東京到輕井澤大約一小時,8點出發就夠了。在東京轉車時間很充裕。

 

The breakfast at Villa Fountaine was barebone. My theory is they are not initially setup to provide breakfast and had to begin offering to compete. Most items were simple to prepare. Yoghurt, cereal, salad, bread, soup. The hot dishes were scrambled eggs, wieners and fried rice. All dishes that could be done without a proper kitchen. There was no Japanese dish such as fish or pickles. Coffee and hot water for tea was served in pre-prewed coffee pots.

 

Villa Fountaine的早餐算簡陋。感覺上一開始是沒有提供早餐的,在競爭激烈才想辦法變出早餐來。大部分是容易準備的菜色。優格,麥片,沙拉,麵包,湯。唯一的熱食只有炒蛋,小熱狗和炒飯。都是不用廚房就可準備的。沒有日式早餐的漁或醬菜。咖啡和泡茶的熱水是裝在過濾咖啡壺中。

Villa Fountaine breakfast

Villa Fountaine breakfast

They were laid out on fold out tables put out in one side of the lobby, a temporary set up that was cleared out once breakfast was finished.

 

餐飲就擺在在大廳一側的摺疊桌上,早餐供應結束後便撤掉。

 

The food was okay. Above Smile Hotel, below Comfort. About 4 out of 10. The lack of variety really hurt it even if the quality was not bad.

 

口味還好。比Smile Hotel好,比Comfort Hotel差。大概給40分。主要缺點是沒有什麼菜色,雖然品質上不插。

 

The nearest metro station Jimbocho was poorly positioned to access Tokyo station. I head to Suidobashi, transfer by walking across the platform at Ochanomizu. There was still half an hour till I needed to get on the shinkansen. I wandered about Tokyo station, checking out the layout and the position of the breakfast place I planned to go to on Y’s first day.

最近的地鐵站神保町去東京車站不是很方便。我走去水道橋,做到御茶之水對面轉乘。離新幹線發車還有半小時,我在東京站內晃了晃,確認計畫Y抵達第一天要去的早餐店位置。

Tokyo Gransta

Breakfast being considered on Y’s first day

 

Gransta

 

Doutor!

 

Finally with a cup of Doutor coffee (it’s tradition) in hand it’s time to hop on the train.

 

最後拿著一杯必喝的Doutor咖啡準備上車。

 

The train was relatively full. I had to go to the second carriage from the end to find an empty row. Had thought it would be really empty, Karuizawa was not served by the super express bound for Kanazawa, people would only get on this train if they were headed for the smaller stations. Either the smaller stations saw a ridiculous number of people or the slower train would still get to Nagano and Kanazawa earlier than the next express.

 

車子算挺滿的。我一直走到倒數第二節車廂才找的一排空著的位子。還以為會空的,往金澤的超特快並不停輕井澤,應該只有要去中途小站的人才會上這班車。若不是這些小站的旅客超多不然就是這般慢車還是比下一班快車早到長野,金澤。

 

There was a huge elevation change from Takasaki to Karuizawa, it was part of the reason the E7 series was made to tackle the steep gradient. One could feel the angle of the train and the changing pressure as it sped through the mountain tunnel.

 

從高崎到輕井澤之間有很大的落差,E7就是專為這陡坡設計的。進入山區隧道後可感到車廂的傾斜和氣壓的轉變。

 

First thing noticed as the train pulled into the station, it had snowed overnight. Karuizawa was covered in a sheet of thin snow. The next thing, the station was really small and basic.

 

For being one of the premier holiday location for Tokyolites, I had expected something more fashionable and architecturally designed. The main waiting area wasn’t closed off from the platforms and was not heated. There was no convenience store, only a small bento stall. The small tourist centre, generously described for such a small room, where I got a map of the town also doubled as a souvenir store.

 

列車駛入車站後第一件注意到的,昨夜下過雪。輕井澤覆蓋在一層薄雪下。第二件事是,車站很小很簡陋。

 

身為東京人的度假首選之一,我原本還有點期待現代,有設計感的車站。主候車室和月台沒有區隔也沒有暖氣。沒有便利商店,只有一個小便當攤。我那地圖的小遊客中心,這小房間說中心算是說好聽的,同時也是土產店。

Karuizawa

 

Karuizawa Ekiben

 

Karuizawa station

Outside the station a young couple from Taiwan excitedly posed against the snow.

 

A big reason Japan is pushing heavily for foreign tourists is to balance out the huge differences between peak and off-peak seasons. Winter hits the tourism industry especially heavily in Japan and tourist numbers drop off a cliff. Foreign tourists are less affected by winter. People from warmer parts of asia are thrilled by the prospect of snow, some come to get a taste of skiing. Christmas and New Year is holiday season for westerners and Chinese New Year brings another tide of tourists.

 

車站外一對台灣情侶興奮的跟雪景合照。

 

日本近年來大力拓展外國觀光客的一大主因就是希望可以靠外國客來平衡觀光旺季和淡季的巨大落差。在日本冬季對觀光業是一大挑戰,觀光客數字一到冬天就如墜崖般下跌。國外觀光客則比較不受冬季影響。從亞洲溫暖地區來的旅客對下雪很興奮,有的是來第一次體驗滑雪。聖誕節和新年是西方的渡假旺季,農曆年時也會帶來另一波旅客。

Station courtyard covered in snow

The station is 1.5km from Old Karuizawa or Karuizawa Ginza where the main street is.

 

車站離舊輕井澤或輕井澤銀座的大街有1.5km。

 

Most bloggers recommends renting a bike which I question the wisdom of during winter. For one it isn’t very far and the terrain flat. Secondly one have to find parking. Thirdly biking over snow or iced over grounds is an accident in waiting.

 

During my walk several bikes wobbled by. One ridden by a middled aged woman from Taiwan almost skidded off the sidewalk coming to a stop at an intersection.

 

許多部落格推薦要租單車,但我覺得這在冬季不適合。一來主街真的沒多遠,地形也平坦。二是單車到了還要找地方停。三是在雪地和結冰的路面上騎車很容易出意外。

 

在我走到主街的途中過去好幾輛搖搖晃晃的單車。其中一位台灣婦人在路口要停住時差點滑出人行道。

Iced up street

Carved reindeer

The street was quote deserted. Outside of the few biking past there weren’t anyone else on the road. The buildings on either side were loosely positioned, most weren’t open due to the off-season. There was an art museum, a few fancy hotels and resort clubhouses.

 

街道上沒有什麼生氣。除了經過的幾輛腳踏車外沒有別人了。接到兩旁零星座落著房子,大多店家因淡季沒有開張。沿途經過一個美術館,幾家氣派的旅館和度假俱樂部。

A hotel

An antique store’s shop sign caught my attention. Kino, it was called, written in yarn like font. It was a little shop with personality, the items were tightly arranged without feeling cluttered. I was most impressed by an old fashioned typewriter like calculator/register, and letters made from rusted together nails and wires.

 

一家古董店吸引了我的注意。Kino,招牌上毛線般的字體寫著店名。一家很有個性的小店,店內商品擺的密集不顯擁擠。最讓我感興趣的是一個有點像打字機的老式算帳機,還有用銹在一起的鐵絲釘子組成的英文字母。

Antique Kino

Continuing on, I reached the intersection where the main shopping street begins. Much livelier.

 

繼續往前,來到主街開始的路口。熱鬧多了。

Xmas shop

The shops of Karuizawa was different from other tourist areas in that in had a good few fashion clothing stores, probably why the name Ginza. The clothing stores were advertising closing down sales if not closed already. Then there were antiques, wedding planners, crafts and the sweets shop.

 

輕井澤的店鋪與其他觀光地不同之處是這裡有許多服裝店,大概之所以又叫銀座吧。服裝店若不是在廣告閉店清倉就是已經歇業了。另外還有古董店,婚紗,手工藝和甜點店。

Croquet shop

Main street

Most numerous were the jam shops. Karuizawa is famous for its jams and spreads. This odd local specialty is deeply linked to the town’s history.

 

最多的是果醬店。輕井澤以果醬和塗醬出名。這看似奇怪的特產跟小鎮的歷史有很深的淵源。

 

Karuizawa had been a small village on the Nakasendo, then in 1886 a missionary Alexander Shaw happened by and noting its cool climate and beauty, decided to build a summer villa here. Other westerners soon followed suit and Karuizawa grew to be vacation resort for foreigners and contributed to many Karuizawa’s western architectures. Locals learned from the westerners and began making jams and spreads for the the westerners and other Japanese who had adopted a western lifestyle.

 

輕井澤曾是中山道上的一個小村落,1886年一位傳教士Alexander Shaw路過時注意到這裡涼爽的氣候和美麗的自然景觀,決定在這蓋個避暑小屋。很快的其他西方人也跟著效仿,輕井澤也發展成了外國人的度假勝地,也是為何鎮上有許多西式建築。當地居民從西方人那學習到了果醬和塗醬的做法,開始製作好提供給來度假的西方人和西化的日本人。

 

These days there are many jam shops along the shopping strip selling jams and spreads of all kind made from local ingredients. Fruit jams, red bean spreads, honey spreads, garlic, herbs, savoury spreads.

 

現在商店街兩旁滿是販賣用在地食材製作的果醬和塗醬。水果醬,紅豆醬,蜂蜜醬,大蒜,香草等鹹醬。

 

I had actually forgotten about the jams till I wandered into the Church Street shopping arcade and was invited into the Fine jam shop by the staff working there. Every single flavour of their jam and spread was available for taste test. Open jars were laid out with trays of small biscuits. One after the other, scoop up a small spoon of jam and spread onto the biscuit, enjoy.

 

我其實整個忘了果醬了,直到晃到Church Street商店街被Fine果醬店的店員請進去後才想起來有這一回事。Fine的每種醬料都可以試吃。打開的試吃罐跟小餅乾擺在起。一一用小湯匙挖起一點果醬塗在餅乾上,吃個痛快。

Church Street

Karuizawa Fine

Fine jams

Church behind Church Street

The other jam shops weren’t as generous, some only had a few flavours out for taste test, some didn’t even have any. It could be they were reluctant to open jars in the off-season for fear of the jams having to be thrown away, or business wasn’t good enough to afford it. Without the taste test people were going to be reluctant buying though, especially some of the more exotic flavors. Fine Karuizawa had an anchovy flavoured spread which I would not have bought were I not able to try it first.

 

其他果醬店就沒這麼慷慨,有的只有選幾個提供試吃,有的甚至完全沒有。有可能是店家不想在淡季時多開給試吃,怕需要丟掉浪費,或是生意不夠好划不來。但若沒有試吃真的很難讓人放心買下去,尤其是有的比較奇特的口味。Fine輕井澤就有一款鹹魚醬,若我沒有試吃是絕對不敢買的。

Jam shop

The streets while not packed was by no means empty. Bus loads of tourists were dropped off at the carpark behind the shopping plaza and what shops that opened were filled with activities.

 

街上雖不擁擠但可不是沒遊客。一輛輛遊覽車載來一車車遊客在購物廣場後的停車場把人放下,而街上只要有開的店家都充滿活力。

 

I’m not sure why more than 1/4 of the shops were already closed and another 1/4 had signs up saying this was their last week and they would soon close up until February. If one come in December or January, as I had considered originally, half the shops will no doubt be shut and the town lifeless.

 

我不確定為什麼超過1/4的店都已經歇業了,或是為何另外1/4的店告示這是他們最後一週,開始休息後要到2月才會開。如果12月或 1月來,如我原本有考慮的,超過半數的店家肯定會沒開,鎮上也會毫無生氣。

 

There looks to be enough tourists around, is it really necessary to close up? With this many shops closed there is going to be a vicious cycle where people avoid Karuizawa during winter times thus even more shops close up. Rent still had to be paid right? I have a hard time imagining wages being so high and business so bad that it is better to close up entirely. Somewhere like Like Towada is understandable, the place has its road snowed 2 metres deep in winter, but Karuizawa has the shinkansen and is not far from the expressway, those will be open even in the coldest winters, and Karuizawa has many nearby skii fields and a shopping outlet that ensured a minimum amount of traffic.

 

看起來旅客還不少,真的有需要關店嗎?這數量的店家歇業會造成惡性循環,人們不會想在冬季來,然後就更多店家歇業。房租還是要付不是?我有點難想像員工薪資有高到,或是生意會壞到,歇業會比較划算。若是像十和田湖這樣的地點可以理解,那裡冬天道路積雪2公尺深。但是輕井澤有新幹線,離高速公路也不遠,再寒冷的嚴冬仍能維持交通通暢,況且輕井澤附近有許多滑雪場,還有一個outlet,都會吸引來一定數量的遊客。

 

Karuizawa is nice town, very well kept and interesting. I can imagine it being very nice to visit in spring or autumn when all the shops are open and the streets more lively.

 

輕井澤是個不錯的小鎮,整理得不錯,商店街也很有趣。若春秋店家都開著,街道更熱鬧時來感受一定會更好。

 

The tourist centre at the shopping street had a section exhibiting the history of the old railway. Karuizawa and Takasaki used to be connected before the shinkansen was built and the line made defunct. The Usuitouge pass was so steep special rack rail locomotives had to be connected for trains to navigate the pass.

 

商店街上的遊客中心有一區展示介紹輕井澤的舊鐵道。輕井澤和高崎從前有條鐵道連結,在新幹線開業後才廢棄。碓氷峠的鐵道相當陡峭,通行的列車需要換上特殊的齒軌車頭才能行駛。

Tourist centre

 

There also used to be a small railway from Karuizawa to Kusatsu, must have taken incredible effort to build a railway through such mountainous terrain. The old station of the Kusatsu-Karuizawa railway can still be found at the intersection at the entrance to the ginza strip. It’s a large souvenir shop nowadays.

 

另外輕井澤和草津間也曾有一條小鐵道。要在那麼險峻的山間建造一條鐵路不知花了多少人心血。草輕鐵道的舊車站現在還可看到,就在主街路口。現在是個大土產店。

Leaves in the snow

More jams

Shaw memorial chapel

Soft cream on a cold day?

Sure why not

 

Old Karuizawa station building

It’s approaching noon and I head back to the station and the outlet right on the south side of it. I’m here not for the shopping but for its food court.

 

快中午了。我回到車站到就在南側的outlet。目的不是來逛街,而是這裡的美食街。

Gucci!

The outlet also has a skii field attached to it. The slopes didn’t look very big nor very steep but more than enough for first timers and beginners, with unmatched convenience. One can do some skiing, food and shopping all in one day, as a day trip from Tokyo no less.

 

這個outlet還附設了滑雪場。滑雪道看起來沒有很大或很陡,但是對初學和入門的人來說也足夠,且方便性無人能比。可以從東京一天來回,同時體驗滑雪,美食和逛街。

 

I grabbed a chicken stock ramen from Ramen Nishiki, it was one of the higher rated places to eat at the foodcourt. The taste was good but nothing of particular note, other than being chicken instead of pork stock.

 

The foodcourt also provided disposable teatowels and drinking water. I suppose this is a standard feature of foodcourts in Japan.

 

我在拉麵錦點了碗雞肉白湯拉麵,美食街中評價比較高的一家。味道沒有什麼太特別的,除了不是豬骨而是雞肉湯底外。

 

這裡的美食街也有提供拋棄式茶巾和飲用水。可能這些在日本美食街是標準配備吧。

Foodcourt

Ramen Nishiki

Chicken ramen

Towels and water

After lunch I walked around the outlet. The place is big, broken up into 5 or 6 sections, each having a score of stores. Except a section focused on souvenirs the stores appeared to be grouped in no particular category or commonality.

 

吃完午餐後我繞了outlet一圈。這地方好大,大概分5-6個區塊,每區有近20家店。除了一區是土產外似乎分區上沒有類別或共通點。

Outlet

Attached skii field

The place is meant for someone who can recognize more brands than just Gucci and La Creuset.

 

這裡對品牌認得出超過Gucci和La Creuset的人較有意義。

 

As it was, after a quick walkthrough I headed for the Hoshino resort area. The Shinano railway was co-located next to the shinkansen in the same station. One stop away was Naka-Karuizawa station where a shuttle bus service to Hoshino was available.

 

總之稍微晃一下後往星野渡假區移動。信濃鐵道跟新幹線共用一個站體。坐一站就是中輕井澤,有交通車到星野區。

Shinano railway station

The Hoshino resort area was…. peculiar. I still have not figured how it intends its guests to use its facilities. It’s a loose collection of close but not too closely located facilities. An onsen, a wilderness tour office whose outside pond doubles as a skating ring in winter, an upmarket eatery/restaurant, a shopping village selling very expensive bread, sweets and afternoon teas, massage service and handicrafts. A hotel (that’s too far away from aforementioned facilities) with two churches on its grounds, a villa village that’s still some hundred metres to the onsen and restaurants. If the facilities are meant to provide service to the guests, then the guests must walk there themselves, navigate the lack of signage and paths connecting the areas.

 

星野度假村地區非常的…獨特。我現在還是弄不清楚在設計上他是預期住客如何使用這裡的設施。這裡是由一群相近但不是說太相近的設施組成。有個溫泉,一個森林導覽中心外頭的池塘在冬季也是溜冰場,一個高級食堂/餐廳,一個商店聚落販賣很貴的麵包甜點和下午茶,按摩,手工藝品。一間旅館(但離提到的設施有點遠)花園內有兩個教堂,一個別墅村但離溫泉和餐廳仍有幾百公尺。如果設施是給這些住客用的話,那這些住客必須自己走過去,穿過連結幾個區域標示不明的小徑。

 

The main attraction here is the two churches. The stone church is particularly well known for its design of stone arches whose exterior blended into the landscape and awe inspiring on the inside with its spiral lines and filtered lights. Alas, the place was hosting a wedding and was off-limits to visitors.

 

這裡住要景點是那兩個教堂。石教堂的建築設計尤其出名,一環環石拱門組成的外觀豪不顯眼融入地貌,內部的螺旋線條和射入的光線令人驚嘆。可惜當天有人在辦婚禮,一般訪客禁止入內。

Stone church entrance

Highland church

Garden decoration made of apple?

The area is actually quite small and I had seen everything by 3:30pm. Should I leave early? Or should I stay to see the christmas decorations.

 

Well, I had come this far already…might as well stay a while longer to see everything, I decided.

 

這地區其實挺小的,才3:30該看的也就都看了。該提早離開嗎?還是等一等看這裡的聖誕燈。

 

唉,這麼遠來都來了…就再待一下全部看完吧。

 

The sun was falling beneath the treetops, the temperature plunged. I had to take shelter in the cafe at Harunire Terrace shopping village. My glasses fogged up and it was a while before I could follow the server to a seat. The cafe was most definitely upmarket, there were over two pages of different blends of coffee. I picked the basic seasonal special blend and it came in a french press. The cafe had books on its shelves for guests to read, none interested me however and I just read stuff on my phone to kill time till 5pm.

 

太陽已落入樹梢後,溫度急落。我只好在榆樹小鎮商店街的咖啡店避寒。一入內我的眼鏡滿是霧氣,隔了好久才能跟著服務員到位子。咖啡店真高檔,有兩頁滿滿都是不同的調配咖啡。我選了陽春的季節限定款式,來時是一整個法壓式壺的咖啡。咖啡店書架上有書可以隨意翻閱,不過沒什麼感興趣的,在5點前我就在手機上查東西殺時間。

Harunire Terrace

Pond turned skating rink

Cafe

French press coffee

Cafe

I was starting to understand how the resort was meant to work. It was truly aimed as a resort for relaxation. There seemed to be little to do because the guests wasn’t meant to be kept busy. Grab a coffee, sit down and read a book, gaze out at the forest and creek, chill out for the afternoon.

 

有一點點能體會這渡假村的構思了。這真的是為了放空的度假村。感覺上沒有太多可做的因為本來目的就不是填滿住客的時間。拿杯咖啡,坐下來看本書,望看森林小溪,輕鬆的打發一個下午。

 

The lights came on. I lingered for a while longer still, seduced by the cafe’s warmth. Finally I gathered my weary focus and said farewell to the empty coffee cup.

 

燈亮起來了。我仍待在座位,被咖啡店內的溫暖所迷惑。終於,我集中疲憊的注意力,跟見底的咖啡杯道別。

 

The light was much less impressive than their promotional photos. The area was very poorly lit and the christmas lights lacked vibrancy to overcome the cold. People moved about quickly, in no mood to look at the decorations. And neither was I.

 

燈飾比廣告照片差太多了。整個地區的燈光相當昏暗,聖誕燈的光彩不足對抗刺骨的寒風。人們紛紛快步行走,不心思去看裝飾。我也沒什麼興致了。

Lit terrace

Lit terrace

Xmas tree

I took my photos of the Terrace and the tree outside the onsen. A group of Taiwanese passed by, talking of going to the onsen before finishing the day’s trip.

 

我照了幾張榆樹小鎮和溫泉外的聖誕樹。一群台灣人走過,玩了一天後談說要去溫泉。

 

My mind was frozen by this point and could barely think. The first shuttle that went all the way back to Karuizawa station was still not due for another 40 minutes. I could either try to hang around for that long or I could take the next shuttle to Naka-Karuizawa and go from there.

 

我的思緒現在已經快凍住了,幾乎無法思考。直達輕井澤的交通車還要等40分鐘。我可以想辦法混到那時候,或是搭下一班到中輕井澤。

 

I decided there was no point staying and took the shuttle to Naka-Karuizawa, then back to Karuizawa via the Shinano railway.

 

再待也沒什麼意義,還是坐車到中輕井澤,轉信濃鐵道回輕井澤。

 

At Naka-Karuizawa there was a 10minutes transfer time and I huddled inside the small waiting room with a handful of other tourists, similarly waiting to go back to Karuizawa. We waited until the train approaching announcement came on before going through the gate, none brave enough to spend any more seconds than had to in the freezing wind on the platform.

 

在中輕井澤轉車有10分鐘。我和幾個旅客一起躲在小小的候車室,等著回輕井澤。我們等到電車進站的廣播才去過閘門,沒有勇者願意在月台的寒風中多待一分一秒。

 

There was just enough time for me to grab a rice ball from the 7-11 at the outlet before the next train back to Tokyo.

 

在輕井澤,到下一班回東京的車的時間剛好夠從outlet的7-11拿個飯糰。

Outlet at night

Outlet at night

Rice ball for now

Between the station and the outlet there were again several groups of Taiwanese. Karuizawa might be unusually popular amongst Taiwanese, similar to Takayama which if I recall sees twice as many foreign tourists from Taiwanese than the next highest country (either HK or China).

 

在車站和outlet間又遇到好幾組台灣遊客。輕井澤可能在台灣人中特別受歡迎,跟高山一般。記得高山的台灣旅客是下一個國家(香港還大陸)的兩倍。

 

By the time I’m walking down the street of Suidobashi it was past 8pm. I’ve only had that riceball I ate on the train as a stop-gap and I looked for a place to have dinner.

 

走在水道橋的街道時已經過8點了。到現在只有在車上吃了個飯糰,需要找一個地方吃晚餐。

 

Two buildings before Villa Fountaine was a soba/udon shop, they promoted that they made their own noodles and looked decent enough. I was far too tired to go look elsewhere and just stepped inside.

 

到Villa Fountaine兩個大樓前有家蕎麥烏龍麵店,門口張貼說自家製麵,看起來算可以。我已經筋疲力盡無心另外去找了,於是我跨進門。

Cheap soba/udon place

I punched for the oyakodon set at the meal ticket machine and gave it to the cook at the counter. He asked something and I paused for a second. No, it wasn’t parsing to any question I was expecting, I could not break out the key nouns or verbs. I asked him to please repeat the question again.

 

我在點餐機上按了親子丼套餐,然後把餐票拿給櫃檯的大廚。他問了個問題,我愣住想了想。不行,聽起來不像我預期的任何問題。分不出其中的動詞名詞。我只好請他再說一遍問題。

 

The man gave a nod as if he suddenly understood something. He fished out a printed sheet from the cupboard. It was a common English question and answer sheet. He pointed to the one that asked if I wanted it hot or cold.

 

大廚點了點頭,好似突然懂了什麼。他從櫃子抽出一張什麼東西。是張印有英文的常見問題和回答表。他手指著問我是要熱還是要冷的那行。

 

Doh, of course!

 

Hot, I replied. I’d be crazy to ask for it cold after almost getting frozen up in the highlands.

 

對喔,當然是問這個。

 

熱的,我回答。才剛在高原上快被凍死現在我若還要冷的怕不是瘋了。

 

Being next Villa Fountaine must meant they got a lot of foreign customers, thus the english sheet.

 

在Villa Fountain隔壁大概常會有外國客人吧,所以準備了那張英文問答。

 

The meal portion was very generous for less than 600Y, and it was quite delicious. A good hearty meal.

 

以不到600Y飯菜給的的量很多,味道也不錯。很滿足的一餐。

Dinner Oyakodon and udon set

After a long and exhausting day there was still tasks ahead. It was time to wash my clothes. I planned to sleep early tomorrow so despite having clothing for another day I wanted to get some of the washing done.

 

經過漫長累人的一天仍有事情必須做。該洗衣服了。明天必須早睡所以雖然還有一天的換洗衣服,我打算先把一部分洗好。

 

What I initially felt about Villa Fountaine manifested when I went to use the coin laundry.

 

一開始對Villa Fountaine對住客不太體貼的感覺在投幣洗衣房被證實了。

 

The machine was old and more expensive than other places and required an extra 50Y for detergents, something which I had never had to pay for. The Matsue City Hotel had a sign saying one needed to pay but the front desk just gave them to me free, every other hotel had the machine add them automatically.

 

機器比其他地方老舊昂貴,還需要另外50Y買我從未需買過的洗衣精。松江的City Hotel雖然有告示說跟櫃台買,但櫃台其實還是免費給我的。而其他住過的旅館都是會自動加入。

 

Annoyed, but what had to be done had to be done.

 

有點煩人,但該做的還是必須做。

 

I threw the more needed change of clothes into the laundry and settled into the eating area of the lobby to research what to do the next day.

 

我把比較急迫的衣物丟入洗衣機後,在大廳吃早餐的地方找個位子坐下來等,順便研究明天的行程。