Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tamagawaya (玉川屋), Mitake (Okutama)

Hiking in Okutama - recommended! Two hours of train (from Monnaka) gets you way out to a place that's still in Tokyo, one presumes for tax reasons, but has all the rocky river ravines (gorges, you might say) you'll need. And the Old Time Road that you hike on has a delightful combination of paved road (sans autos), gravel path and rocky track, through forests, along hillsides, through tiny settlements, and down to a big lake (a dam, actually).

My advice to you would be that you should NOT leave lunch until 2 or 3 PM, or perhaps take something along to nibble on. In the event that you DID leave it until this late, and took the bus back from the lake to Okutama itself, and wanted to eat soba but were told earnestly by the tourist center staff that you had a choice of two places - above the station or next to the station - and thus took the recommendation of a guide pamphlet and took the train back to Sawai (18 minutes or so), you would then find yourself waiting in line to be seated at Tamagawaya, and then after being seated waiting interminably to receive a soba that would prove to be very light on actual soba, not to hazard a guess but not even 50%, and it would be a dicey period until you actually got some food down and started to return to normal humor that allowed you to finish sentences like a normal person.


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