We called a cab to pick us up at the distillery. To clarify we could walk, we just chose not to walk back to the station. The cab driver’s name was Iko (I think) and he was quite talkative. He and Selena chatted away in the front seat while we enjoyed the sounds of their conversation and admired his dashboard collection of the Seven Lucky Gods or Each one of them symbolizes a virtue: Honesty, Fortune, Dignity. Amiability, Longevity, Happiness and Wisdom. Hmmm, this makes me think of seven other little guys…but with far different names and meanings.
Our destination was a small town called Akiusato, which is a lovely resort area known for its hot springs. We had lunch at a very posh traditional Japanese inn/hotel (ryokan) with a view of the river. Selena ordered the vegetable tempura, Brad ordered the shrimp tempura and I ordered the pork ramen. It was my first taste of authentic Japanese ramen other than the instant kind in a cup and it was delicious.
However, I was not a fan of the seasoned rice wrapped in seaweed (nori). But at least I took one bite and tried it regardless of its strong smell.
The hotel graciously offered to shuttle us over to the artist/craft village just on the outskirts of town. Here is the hand drawn map that they gave us. (I guess just in case we decided to walk.)
“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” ~ Lewis Carroll