Saturday, 17 December 2011

Japan Dec 2011 Day 9: Kunimigaoka 国見ヶ丘, Amanoiwato Shrine 天岩戸神社 and Amano Yasugawara Cave Shrine天野や菅原神社

The next morning, we braved the freezing temperatures to drive up Kunimigaoka 国見ヶ丘 for the dawn view. In late autumn, you will be able to see a sea of clouds called unkai 雲海. We were a couple of days too late for that so we only caught the sunrise but it was nevertheless nice =)

Before leaving Takachiho, we stopped by Takachiho Shrine again to see it in the day, Amanoiwato Shrine 天岩戸神社 and Amano Yasugawara Cave Shrine天野や菅原神社, a very sacred Shrine in Japan because it is where the story told in the kagura dances originates.

Scenery in Takachiho
The drive to Aso was a very scenic one but the weather took a turn for the worse when we were up at the crater. It started snowing heavily so although we were right in front of the crater, we could not see a thing because of the cloudy surroundings =(

This pension is a lovely gem nestled about 25 mins drive from Aso crater, with a splendid view of the surrounding mountains and Asosan. Although check-in time is after 4pm, the owner kindly let us in at 3:30pm because of the bad weather. Dinner was awesome!!! Best meal we had so far even though it is Japanese-Western. We felt so touched by the effort into which they put preparing the food despite the fact that we were the only two patrons for the night. They have a natural hot spring bath and parking in the compound is free for guests. It's easy to miss the small road leading to the pension because it's not on the GPS. You need to turn into a road that says "Minamiaso Pension Village" and be able to read the Japanese name for the pension if not you will have difficulty finding it. There is wifi in the room!

Dinner: Cold cuts platter

Sea bass



Dinner dessert platter: I was really impressed with the golden thread which are very difficult to make

Breakfast juices and Aso milk, all for the two of us =)

The very generous breakfast which I couldn't finish so felt very bad

Very very fresh fruits and yogurt

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