Day 5: Visiting Kamikatsu town

Osettai – People offering orange for walking pilgrims as genuine hospitality

While walking, I find this orange offered as Osettai – people offer food/drink etc for walking pilgrims as genuine hospitality, I accept one with gratitude, since I’m indeed hungry. It is chilled and tasty, and I feel energized.

After a while, a car running opposite late suddenly stopped. Then a driver inside opened the door, and hold out a tea pet bottle to me while saying to me “Please take care, and accept this (おつかれさまです、これどうぞ)”. I thanked her, but I forgot to give her Osame-fuda/votive card as my gratitude (it is said to do so when you accept Osettai), because it was actually first time and it happened indeed all the sudden for me, and I was not prepared. I felt bit sorry about it.

Around this area, hina dolls are displayed outside of the house

Interestingly, I found there’re many houses around this area displaying hina dolls outside (In Japan, we display hina dolls “inside the house” around Feb/Mar up to 3rd of March, for praying girls being healthy).

Later I got information about it from the landlord. The town hall member suggested to display the hina dolls like this which are not used after the girls have grown up. It is now famous festival around this area, and not only each houses display like this, more than 30 thousands hina dolls are displayed on the mountain like doll stand in the town hall.

Botan-nabe, boar meat hot pot

I’m looking forward to meeting an old friend today who’s my mentor for my first work. We met at the gibier restaurant and talked a lot about many things while having really nice lunch.

He’s enjoying cycling around this area in weekend (80-100 Km round trip), hence he gave me some recommended place to visit. He also gave me some useful stuff such as compass with thermometer which can be easily attached to my bag as Osettai.

He then suggested a ride to the brewery located in Kamikatsu town. According to him, I should like it because of its craft beer, shop interior, atmosphere etc. Wow, how kind he is.

RISE & WINE Brewing Co. BBQ & General Store

And yes, it was in fact wonderful place. They’re selling not only beer but also several sweets made from local farm products. They recommended fried sweet potato tips, so I decided to buy some, and the beer which uses “Yuko (柚香) – Kamikatsu local orange” for its flavor.

You can drink various craft beer

But then, I was surprised that they said they cannot provide anything that can wrap or put fried sweet potato tips inside. According to them, Kamikatsu-town is trying to realize waste-zero, hence I should bring something to put them. Fortunately, my old friend has a small plastic bag, and I could buy stuff here 🙂 The “Yuko” beer and peer also made from this “waste-zero” trial.

Yuko fruit juice (for cooking, I guess)
Yamato-imo (Japanese yam)

Now it’s time to say good bye, and he drove me to the roadside station, where person in charge will pick me up to bring to Fureai-no-sato Sakamoto, the interesting hotel I’ll stay today.