Araragi-Kogen Highland

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     Last weekend I went to Araragi-Kogen Highland in southern Nagano to run away from the heat city Nagoya with some of my friends. One of them has a summer house there. In Nagoya it was more than 30 degrees in the daytime, but in Araragi-Kogen it was about 20 last week.

     The days before we left for Araragi-Kogen, we HI351859had heavy rain all over Japan, resulting in big damage. But it was a beautiful day when we left Nagoya. 

     There’re many roadside stations, where you can have some refreshments, take a rest, and buy the area’s specialty goods, on the way to the highland. We enjoyed shopping at some of them when we dropped by for a rest.HI351868

     We arrived at Araragi-Kogen after about a two-hour-drive. There were no tall buildings around us. There were many tall trees instead. It was really cool. The air was fresh. 

     After unpacking, we went to a hot spring nearby. It was wonderful to soak in the hot spring. Maybe it was just my imagination, but my skin got smoother! HI351867

     On the way back to the cottage, we drove to the high top of the mountain. Unfortunately it misted and we couldn’t see anything down below. The fresh air in the forest and the atmosphere made the night’s dinner really wonderful. We enjoyed chattering over food and drink.  HI351872

     The next day it was also a beautiful day although it had been raining at night. Because all of us are learning tai chi, we decided to practice outside together in the morning. While we were doing tai chi, people who passed by looked us suspiciously.   HI351873

     Before going back to Nagoya, we dropped by a museum named Mu Museum of Natural Art. It’s surrounded by woods and looks a little bit European. They exhibit many kinds of works, for example, paintings, glass arts, dolls, wooden arts and etc. You can have coffee and snacks there. We really relaxed and had a nice time at the museum.HI351874

     We had lunch in Gosho-no-sato, where it is about a 10-minute-drive from the museum. The soba, or buckwheat noodle and gohei-mochi we had were really delicious!

     Strangely the place’s name means the Imperial Palace. When I asked the owner of the restaurant, she explained that an Imperial prince had stayed and died there in a war in the 15th Century. It was a surprise that such a small village has a historical drama.

     After lunch, we left for Nagoya. When I got out of the car two hours later, I couldn’t believe the heat. Reality hit. The wonderful time we had had was gone! Yes, I went back to Nagoya…I was about to melt away…

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