Look at this! Trying something new...shorter bite sized posts! Lets see how it goes, starting with Matsumoto, where we went after  Tokyo.

 

MATSUMOTO!

Just west-ish of Tokyo, in (ish) the Alps, or at least a prime spot for starting your trek into the wild (we did no such treks, next time!). Soba noodles are the thing here, and all the rage. The place we went to did not disappoint (yes, Dad, this blog apparently IS all about food, and I think you like it. You're welcome). We kinda ordered wrong (yet so right, was delicious and amazing cold soba dishes), but the traditional dish (that we watched others eat, and later ordered) is pretty simple. You get an order of noodles (or 2 or 3), which appear on these stackable bamboo trays. Then you grate up a desired amount of fresh wasabi (! First time seeing wasabi root), and add that and some other stuff to a sauce bowl. Then dip said noodles into bowl and slurp loudly. Genius.

 Soba so-good: noodles, slurping, real wasabi root

Soba so-good: noodles, slurping, real wasabi root

In Matsumoto, we also saw the oldest wooden castle in Japan (aptly named, Matsumoto-jo) and that was pretty cool. I cannot imagine being a warrior all geared up in one of these places. Those steps were no joke. Especially with no shoes on. Did they have socks?? So slippery. How did they not constantly fall? I digress.

 

Also, this castle was a mere 500 or so years old. No big deal.

 

 Samurai, castles, dumb faces, and agressive koi!

Samurai, castles, dumb faces, and agressive koi!

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