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Off to Gunma

How could we eat so much Shabu Shabu

overcast 27 °C
View Japan 2010 on NarLin's travel map.

After a brief battle with various ATM's at various Japanese banks, in the end we found that pressing the "English" button helps a lot. Then it was off to Gunma with Rie.

Rie's mum and dad's house is big. It also contains a lot of... "Stuff". We settled into Rie's old room and then waited for her parents to get home. Then we stuffed ourselves stupid at a shabu shabu restaurant. Plate after plate of paper thin meat strips to dip in the cauldron of boiling broth in front of you; bottomless salad bowls; delicious lemony soy sauce and extra delicious sesame sauce...plus a bowl of soft serve ice cream we managed to squeeze in somehow. Go-chiso-sama deshita ('it was a feast')!

Today Rie drove us around her old home town while her parents were at work. We spent an immature but fun-filled morning at an amusement park in the mountains - Plane Boy rode a rollercoaster, 3D cinema ride and a merry-go-round without throwing up! Lunch was cold udon noodles with tempura and more luscious sauces at an opulent restaurant nearby.

Then Rie suggested we check out a 'rude museum' down the road... hmm. They seem to have amassed every single phallus-shaped rock in Japan, plus a wide range of ancient pornographic paintings and sculptures. Amusing but oddly repetitive after a while. And no, we don't think we'll be posting any of the photos (aurprisingly, cameras were allowed).

Last stop was a fascinating traditional 'cafe'. The interior is completely blackened from the open fire, the working water wheel is covered in moss and the spring water at the door cools glass bottles of 'soda' (mineral water?). These are plugged with marbles, which you force into the bottle with a wooden plug - then struggle to drink the resulting shower of soda. Lots of fun, especially for Nerdia who was intrigued by the bottle structure (sound the nerd alarm!).

We've just got back from another mammoth meal, this time at a local Chinese restaurant. Nerdia ate three whole prawns! We can now say we've tried cold sake... a bit like mild vodka?!

Rie has now gone home and tomorrow Rie's mum and brother are taking us to Nikko for an overnight stay at a luxury/traditional resort. This will be a good test of our Japanese skills (?) as Mama doesn't speak English!

Oyasumi nasai (goodnight) from Nerdia and Plane Boy.

Posted by NarLin 04:32 Archived in Japan

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Heaps envious of your trip to Nikko. If it is the same resort as Mumma Sato took us to, you are in for a treat!!!! Take lots of photographs and film to relive the experience!

by Laurie & Trevor

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