Matsumoto – A visit to a wasabi farm

So just had the new year holiday in Japan.  This is the big holiday in Japan as its when everyone goes home to visit their family.  They don’t celebrate Christmas here, so also had the fun of working Christmas day :(.  Anyway, while everyone else was busy going home for obligatory family visits, a friend and I decided to do some Japan winter sightseeing.

First up, Matsumoto.  About 2 hours train out of Tokyo, this small town is well known for its historical castle (the oldest wooden castle in Japan) and its spectacular scenery.

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Here is an example.

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But I am getting a little ahead of myself.

We arrived to see a fresh layer of snow covering the train tracks.

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The town.

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Abandoned cars.

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But thankfully leaving the colourful man hole covers alone.

Anyhow, our goal was to visit the Wasabi farm which was located near Matsumoto.

What’s a wasabi farm you say?

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This is a wasabi farm!  Wasabi grows in clear clear water like this.  The first issue, was figuring out how to get there.

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Hmmm…

Since it looked like it wasn’t tooooo far.  Maybe  3km?  We decided to walk.

Hmmm.  Mistake number 1 of the trip.

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There was LOTS of snow.

And the foot paths were not clear.

And we were wearing jeans and normal hiking shoes.  NOT snow hiking shoes.

So we got wet.

Sad panda :(.

Or more like sad monkey.

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But the tale of the monkey will have to wait for another day.

In the meantime we continued our trudge through the inhospital wastes.

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But at least the scenery was a welcome detraction for cold wet feet.

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Finally arriving at the wasabi farm!

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Now at the wasabi farm we had been hoping to sit down to a meal of soba (the specialty of the region) along with freshly grated wasabi.

But the restaurant was closed….

We speculated that it was because the monster which lived in the cave….

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Came out and ate all the staff.  See those warning signs above.  You should really pay attention.

So instead, we had to settle for the finger food.

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From left to right, wasabi frankfurter, wasabi beer, wasabi stew, wasabi burger, wasabi mincemeat croquette and wasabi croquette.

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Then we also had some wasabi icecream.

They all had a very slight taste of wasabi.  Not really enough of a kick.  Interesting, but I wouldn’t have necessarily guessed without something telling me.

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And some non-wasabi based products.  Steamed buns.

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With preserved veggies inside.  These were again not bad, but not really impressive either.

But it was still a very interesting trip to see a wasabi farm!

Next up, Matsumoto castle.

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