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。

 

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