Lately we have been traveling frequently, but it has been in the spirit of making as many happy memories as possible while Konatsu is still in good health. On this particular day, we went to Manyo Park in Yugawara.


I did not know this, but Manyo Park was renewed last year. I thought it looked different from when I visited there before, but that was the reason.


I remember that the park used to have a more gentle slope, but this time I felt that the ups and downs were quite steep.


Even in such a place, Konatsu was still able to walk well.


It was just about lunchtime, so we decided to have lunch at a café terrace near the entrance.


This is what we had for lunch.


This carrot and potato salad sandwich is delicious! The bread is lightly baked and has a nice texture.


Leaving the park, we walked around the hot spring resort area…


This building doesn’t look like a bank, but it is Suruga Bank. Is there a footbath?


I took a peek and sure enough, there is a footbath. But who would use a footbath while visiting a bank? Well, it seems like a bank in a hot spring resort area.


There was an old-fashioned Japanese sweets shop near the bank, so we went there.


The dumplings were delicious.


We stayed at Tokyu Harvest Club Atami Izusan.


Still, this past week’s soccer World Cup has been full of surprises.


I never imagined this would happen.

日本の国旗がこんなことに。。。  笑っちゃうね

I can’t help laughing at the Japanese flag.



Before I left, I thought it would be a long trip, but the good times are flying by. There is only one day left.


The last day of our stay in Regina. The restaurant was full, so we decided to go to a nearby restaurant.


It is a 5 minute walk from Regina, and as you can see from the doggie sign, this place is dog friendly.


The food here is apparently casual French cuisine, with buckwheat galette as the main dish. We immediately ordered this and that, and…


We started with an assortment of appetizers.


Potage of butternut squash


Shiitake mushrooms with gorgonzola gratin

メインのガレット。 こえはママの、ホタテ・キノコ・ジャガイモのガレット

The main dish was a galette. This is the scallop, mushroom, and potato galette that my wife ordered.

私は、若鳥・キノコ・ポロネギのガレット  ママのも味見したけどどっちも美味しい!

I had the young chicken, mushrooms, and leek galette. I tasted my wife’s and they were both delicious!


Crepes for dessert


It was a very nice and relaxing place. Konatsu also got some galette and crepes to relax!


On the way back to Regina, I could see so many stars in my snapshots. In fact, the starry sky was so beautiful that it could not be seen in the city.


The next morning, while walking Konatsu, I went to a nearby bakery to buy bread for breakfast.


This is what we had for breakfast.

レジーナのドアマンのおじさんに記念撮影をお願いして、今回の旅行で最初で最後のスリーショットだ。レジーナリゾートでの3泊4日の滞在はとても快適で、もう次回の予約をしてしまった(笑)。 チェックアウト後はツルヤであれやこれやと買い物をして、、、

I asked the doorman of Regina to take a commemorative photo of us, the first and last family shots of our trip. We were so comfortable during our 4-day/3-night stay at the Regina Resort that I have already made a reservation for our next visit (lol). After checking out, we went shopping at Tsuruya.


My last lunch in Karuizawa was at a soba restaurant, Toma.


This is another soba restaurant where you can have a meal with your dog on the terrace, and after we entered the restaurant, people came one after another with their dogs.


Japanese-style omlet. This is delicious!


The taste of the soba noodles here is similar to that of “Kosuzu” in Kamakura. Of course it is delicious.


We also had dessert!


This was the end of our trip…


It took us 4 hours to get home on the Joshin-etsu Expressway. I want to come back again…



After arriving in Karuizawa, we decided to relax and stay without any particular plans. We went to Thaliassen for a walk with Konatsu.


This place is like a park around the lakeside of Lake Shiozawa, with museums and old buildings.


This is the old Asabuki Villa. It was built in 1931 and is said to be one of the finest villas in Karuizawa.


Well, I have no connection to it, but…


The Peinet Museum, with works by Raymond Peinet. I have some connection with Peinet’s works…

リトグラフで高価なものじゃないけど我が家にもある。タリアセンは散策するのには良い場所です。 この翌日は小諸市の飯綱山公園にあるドッグランに行ってみた。

It’s a lithograph, not an expensive one, but it’s in my house. Thaliassen is a nice place to stroll around. The day after this, we went to the dog park in Komoro City.


There is a parking lot in the middle of the mountain, and it is quite hard to climb up to the top from there.


The one below is a dog park for small dogs, and the one where I am is for large dogs.


Konatsu doesn’t run much these days, but she used to run a lot here.


We left the dog park early and went to the top of the park. The autumn leaves are beautiful here, too.


We returned to Regina and took some pictures. The inside of the hotel was already decorated for Christmas. Let’s go have dinner. Now, let’s go have dinner.


This is the menu for the first day in Regina.


The food here is always delicious! And I love that I can eat with my dog.

これはこなつ用の 秋鮭と野菜 ↑

This is for Konatsu. Autumn salmon and vegetables.

蒸し鶏の胸肉と野菜 ↑  こんなの毎日食べてたらまたダイエットやり直しだ(笑)

Steamed chicken breast and vegetables ↑ If I eat like this every day, I’ll have to start my diet all over again, lol.


Konatsu seems to know that the food here is delicious, and when we go to the restaurant, she walks fast with her tail wagging.



The day before, it had been over 20 degrees Celsius every day, but on this day, the morning temperature was 2 degrees Celsius. It was cold!


The hotel staff told me that there was a place where dogs can run near the hotel, so I went there.


After walking for about 10 minutes, I found a place surrounded by a net.


Happo One Ski Resort is right there. It will be ski season soon!


After checking out of the hotel, we headed for Karuizawa, but a short detour would take us to Togakushi Village (now Nagano City). Since I had come to Nagano, I wanted to eat delicious Soba, so I searched for Soba restaurant on my smart phone.


An apple orchard on the way to Togakushi. The red band in the center is a harvested apples.


Beautiful scenery!


This is Togakushi Shrine. In this picture, tourists seem to be sparse, but I was surprised that there were actually quite a lot of them. I don’t know if it is because there are many soba lovers or because of the travel discount.


All the soba restaurants introduced on the Internet are very crowded, so we looked for a place that seemed to be quiet and decided to go here.


I chose Sanmi Soba. The tare (sauce) are, from left to right: ikusa (egoma), soy sauce, and sesame walnut.


My wife ordered hot soba noodles.
I later found out that this restaurant has been in business for more than 50 years, and their soba soft serve ice cream is a masterpiece that no other restaurant can imitate. It’s too late!


It was one of the pleasures of travel to move around without a fixed schedule. It takes about one and a half hours from here to Karuizawa via Joshinetsu Expressway.


From this day until the last day, we will spend 3 nights and 4 days here at Regina Resort Karuizawa Mikage.


Konatsu seemed to be a little tired because we traveled long distances every day and walked in unfamiliar places during the first half of this trip. So it was a good decision to choose this familiar place for the last part of the trip, and Konatsu gradually regained her energy. I will post more about our stay in Karuizawa at a later date.



Morning of the third day.


When we take Konatsu out for a morning walk, the early morning hot spring resort is still quiet , and we only encounter people walking their dogs who seem to be staying at the same hotel as us.


A sign telling the 400-year history of this cedar tree


The hotel restaurant. You can bring your dog to eat and there is a menu for dogs, so Konatsu had the hotel’s doggy meal last night and this morning.


I didn’t show you a picture of the rooms, but all the rooms here are Japanese-style rooms with dog-friendly tatami mats and beds on them. It was a cozy room.


We checked out early and headed to our next destination, Kanazawa.


It takes about one hour from here to Kanazawa. We did not take the expressway, but drove on Route 8.


The first place we visited in Kanazawa was a long-established Japanese sweets shop called Morihachi. There used to be a branch of this shop in Kamakura, where I live, but it is no longer there. My wife bought some wagashi that can only be bought here.


This is the Omicho Market, famous for its seafood. 170 fresh fish stores and restaurants…


The crab fishing season has just started, and the market is very crowded.


It was a bit awkward to eat in this crowd. We made a reservation at a sushi restaurant near Kanazawa station.


chef’s choice 10 pcs. sushi

旨かった~! 写真の最後にあるように、こなつも入店させてもらえた。

It’s a masterpiece! As you can see at the end of the picture, Konatsu was allowed to enter the sushi restaurant.


After a delicious lunch, we drove on the Hokuriku Expressway from here to Hakuba, our lodging for the day.


Driving along the Japan Sea from Ishikawa to Toyama to Niigata prefectures, exit the highway at the Itoigawa IC and head south toward Hakuba.


At 16:30, we arrived at Grass House, a petit hotel in Hakuba.


We were greeted by Mei-chan, the poster dog here, a 7-year-old golden retriever. How cute!
After a short rest in the room, it was time for dinner.


The meals here are prepared with home-grown vegetables from the farm behind the hotel and local ingredients.


The main dish was beef for me (left) and chicken for my wife (right).


Konatsu’s meals were also made with their special ingredients.

この日、私の車の走行距離が20万kmを突破! まだ6年に満たないんだけどね(笑)

On this day, my car’s mileage hit the 200,000 km mark! It’s still less than 6 years old, lol.
The temperature is 24 degrees Celsius in Komatsu City at around 10 in the morning. When we arrived in Hakuba, the temperature had dropped to 10 degrees Celsius.



This day is actually November 12, the day we move from the Pacific Ocean side to the Sea of Japan side, so we finish our morning walk early and leave as soon as we eat breakfast.


This is Lake Hamanako. Konatsu is afraid of ocean waves, but she is not afraid of small waves on the lake. This is how she was walking.


This is Unagi, a black goat. The last time we were here, he was a baby goat, but he has grown up to be this big.


After a quick breakfast, we left for our next destination. On this day, we drive on the Tomei Expressway – Meishin Expressway – Hokuriku Expressway.


When I saw a sign that said “Kyoto,” I felt we had come a long way. We passed through Nagoya, and then…


We got off at the Maibara IC and headed for Nagahama because of the traffic jam ahead.


We followed the red dots on the Meishin Expressway, got off at Maibara, and took a break at a park called “Lakeside Park” on the way to Nagahama.


This is Lake Biwa. Compared to Lake Hamanako where we were this morning, Lake Biwa is much larger. We had only seen it from the window of the Shinkansen, but standing on the lakeshore, we could really feel the size of the lake.


Again, Konatsu played in this way.


Arrived at Nagahama City around noon.


We had lunch at 96 Cafe (Kuro Cafe), where you can bring your dog.


After lunch, we walked around the area called Kurokabe Square. I had no prior knowledge of the area, but I found it to be an unexpectedly nice neighborhood…


While we were walking around like this…


We found this Japanese sweets shop. The menu outside looked delicious, and we asked if we could eat there. They said yes.


There are few pedestrians on the street, so this is not a problem for Konatsu.


You can imagine the inside of the Mont Blanc as a dorayaki. It was so good!
Nagahama was such a nice place that I would like to come back again.


After that, we drove on the Hokuriku Expressway toward Komatsu, and…


We arrived at YU-KAI Wan-Wan Resort in Awazu Onsen. It was a Saturday night, and the room was full, and it was a hard state to put it in the parking lot. We stayed here on the second day.




This year my wife and I both turned 70. So we started planning a trip in the summer to celebrate. Now in Japan, there is a campaign called “Travel Discount,” which offers a 40% discount on the price of travel anywhere in Japan.

So we are going to leave home on this day and drive a little bit each day to the Sea of Japan. On the first day, we will visit the family temple in Fujieda, stay overnight in Hamamatsu, and go to Awazu Onsen in Ishikawa Prefecture via Lake Biwa on the second day.


The first day was the first visit to the gravesite after a half year’s absence.


This is Monju, the temple’s dog.


This dog is Ashuku, which is a Buddhist name for a temple dog.


After that, we proceeded all the way to Hamanako, and what you see is the ropeway of Tateyama-ji Temple.


Hamamatsu is famous for eel dishes and gyoza (dumplings), so we bought some gyoza (dumplings) here and…


After that, we took out eel dishes at Shimizuya, and checked in at Tokyu Harvest Hamanako, where we stayed today.


The first day of our long trip ended like this.



We went to Hakone with Anne’s family.


The hotel is Tokyu Harvest as usual.


After arriving and taking a rest, we went out for a walk with Anne and Konatsu.


On this day, we went to the Hakone Wetland Flower Garden. Doggies are not allowed in here, so we only went as far as the entrance.


It was still too early to say “autumn leaves” in Hakone.


After returning from the walk, here we are in front of our room. Konatsu and Anne are both in a good mood.


We made a reservation for dinner at a nearby Chinese restaurant, Taigen.


After all, Chinese food is fun when you go with a lot of people and order a lot of dishes!


We ate a lot, by the way.


The owl in the garden was still alive and well.



When I woke up in the morning and went outside, it was foggy. This is a high elevation area, so it was probably in the clouds.


It is about 6:00 in the morning.


The temperature was about 20 degrees Celsius, a pleasant coolness for Konatsu. She seemed to be walking more vigorously than when we took walks around our neighborhood.


I couldn’t see the deer because of the fog.


It was as if she was complaining, “The deer are not here! ” lol


It was still foggy by the time we checked out.


We headed down the mountain to Ito city.


This is Le Feuillage, a bakery in Ito-Yawatano. Breakfast here.


The bread here is so good that my wife and I always come here to eat when we come to Amagi.


This was a short trip to Amagi.



I took a short trip to Amagi Kogen in early autumn because I had some time off.


On the way there, I stopped by Naka Izu Winery Hill. I had no idea there was such a vineyard in Izu, but it is a very vast and magnificent vineyard.


It was very hot that day, so after walking around for a while, we took a rest under this grape trellis.


Konatsu looks like she is already exhausted.


It would be nice to take a walk with Konatsu here, but it is prohibited to walk here with dogs. The time was just right, so we decided to head to Amagi Kogen from here.


Just before arriving at Tokyu Harvest Club Amagi Kogen, deer were seen as usual.


This room is for pets.


Come on, let’s go for a walk!


Konatsu’s gaze caught a glimpse of a herd of deer.


Meanwhile, the area is getting darker and darker, and…


Fuji in the distance.


It’s time for dinner!

この秋、初めての松茸。土瓶蒸しと松茸ご飯が嬉しい! これで1日目が終わった。

We ate matsutake mushrooms for the first time this fall. So happy to have steamed matsutake mushrooms in an earthenware teapot and matsutake rice! That was the end of the first day.



It was very cool when I woke up in the morning in Shinshu, and I immediately went for a walk.


This time, the inn is here at Hatagoya Chino.


It is located along Merchen Road.


Konatsu was walking along it comfortably.


We checked out of the inn early and decided to go have breakfast…


Mozart” with a name like a continuation of last night’s restaurant (lol)


The terrace here is comfortable, with a roof, and you can sit with your dog.


As the name suggests, Mozart music was playing all day long at the cafe.


I decided to visit Suwa-taisha Shrine because I had come to Suwa. As I was driving, I saw…

老舗の和菓子屋さん「新鶴」がありました。ところがお目当ての「もちまんじゅう」はすでに売り切れ! 9:00開店でもちまんじゅうは10:00販売開始、私たちは11:00に来たのにもう売り切れだって。。。  仕方なく他のを買って諏訪大社に向かいました。

I found a long-established Japanese-style confectionery shop called Shintsuru. We were told that the “mochi manju” we were looking for was already sold out! We had no choice but to buy another one and headed to Suwa-taisha Shrine.



This is Suwa-taisha Shrine. Suwa-taisha is the headquarters of about 25.000 Suwa shrines throughout Japan. It was built in the Kamakura period. That was about 1,000 years ago.


It would have been nice if Konatsu could have walked with me, but looking at the sign…


Pets were not allowed on the grounds of shrine.


The large object seen above the worshippers is called a shimenawa. Shimenawa is a sacred rope made of rice-straw. This shimenawa weighs 1,000 kg!


This is the famous “Onbashira”. It is a sacred wooden pillar that is cut from the mountain during the great festival held every seven years.


Two of these pillars stand at Suwa Akinomiya Shrine.


The world written here is the mythical world of Suwa-taisha Shrine.
While we were walking, we started to get hungry. Since this is Shinshu, I thought it would be better to eat soba noodles.


We entered this restaurant after searching on the Internet. It seemed that this restaurant was very popular and there were only 10 buckwheat noodles left when we entered, and the customers who came a while later were refused, saying that they were sold out.


This is the only menu.

上がせいろ、下がいなか。 どっちも美味しかった!

We had two kinds of soba noodles, top and bottom. Both were very tasty.


This is Lake Suwa seen from Kami-suwa. This was an enjoyable trip, although I could only stay one night due to my work schedule.



This is our family’s last trip this summer. In the past few days, we have been able to feel a hint of autumn in the mornings and evenings. I headed for Matsumoto, hoping that it would be cooler in Shinshu. I headed for Matsumoto, hoping that the weather would be cooler in Shinshu.


Here is the Okaya Junction where we enter the Nagano Expressway from the Chuo Expressway, about 20 minutes to Matsumoto. The purpose of this trip was to watch the opera “The Marriage of Figaro” at the Seigi Ozawa Matsumoto Festival. Since we left home early, we had plenty of time, so we decided to visit Matsumoto Castle.


I have been visiting Matsumoto for about 20 years, but this is the first time I have seen Matsumoto Castle from close up. 1504 is said to be the year the castle was built, and it is magnificent and beautiful.


The view from the castle tower used to be like this.


Since there was still time, I decided to go to Agata no Mori Park for a walk.


Here it is.


Now it’s time to head to the festival site.


The city of Matsumoto is filled with a welcoming atmosphere with these flags everywhere.


This is Matsumoto Citizen’s Art Center, the venue of the opera.


The seats are on the fourth floor. Opera is so expensive.


In this opera, I paid attention to the stage as well as to the conductor, Nodoka Okisawa. Ms. Okisawa became the third Japanese winner of the Besançon International Conducting Competition in 2019, following Seiji Ozawa and Kazuki Yamada. The way she conducted was so graceful that it reminded me of Carlos Kleiber, though that may be an exaggeration.


We ended the day by checking into the inn and toasting with a can of draft beer!



Now in Japan, there is a “prefectural discount” to support the tourism industry, which has been slowed by COVID-19. This is a system in which the national and prefectural governments provide subsidies to allow users to travel at a discount. We took full advantage of it again this time and went to Atami Izusan – Shizunami Coast.


The first day is at Tokyu Harvest Club Atami Izusan.

今回の旅行ではここ伊豆山は経由地みたいなもので、メインイベントは2日目にこなつママと娘が行くFantasy on Ice 2022 というフィギュアスケートのショー。会場は静岡県のエコパアリーナ、3年前のラグビーW杯の日本vsアイルランドで大盛り上がりしたあの場所です。

The main event is the Fantasy on Ice 2022 figure skating show that my wife and daughter are going to on the second day of the trip. The venue is the Ecopa Arena in Shizuoka Prefecture, where the Japan vs. Ireland Rugby World Cup game was held three years ago.


While they went to see the show, I and Konatsu spent time at Tokyu Harvest Shizunami Beach. That was the second day.


We had lunch at this cafe before going to the show. I chose this place because I could bring Konatsu to the terrace…

食べてみたらこのグリルサンドがとても美味しい! これならリピーターになっても良いと思った。

I tried it and this grilled sandwich is soooo good! I thought this would be a good one to repeat.


After this, I dropped my wife and daughter off at the ECOPA Arena, and then myself and Natsu went back to the hotel to relax.


It feels like a beach resort.


Here is my morning walk the next day. There were many doggies on the beach, and…


A black dog looked interested in Konatsu, so I approached him.


This dog is Roku, a shelter dog. He is only about 2 years old and full of energy, saying “Let’s play! ”


In addition, …


She is also a shelter dog and is now 15 years old.


Now it’s time to check out.


There is only one room that allows dogs to stay with you, and dogs are not allowed to walk inside the hotel. Therefore, Konatsu is carried around in a cart.


Konatsu had never ridden in a cart before, so she seemed somewhat uncomfortable (lol).



On the third day, the weather was fine, so we went to Le Fillage, a bakery in Izu Kogen, and had breakfast with Konatsu on the terrace.


This is a popular bakery, so when we arrived before the opening time of 9:00 a.m., there were already several people in line.

次に向かったのは、これもパンとスイーツの「Bakery & Table Sweets 伊豆」

We were so hungry we forgot to take a picture of the bread and ate it. (lol)
Next we headed to Bakery & Table Sweets Izu, another bread and sweets shop!

ここは熱川に近い山の上にある「伊豆ホテル リゾート&スパ」の敷地内に2年前にオープンした店です。

This shop opened two years ago on the grounds of the Izu Hotel Resort & Spa, located on top of a mountain near Atogawa.


The terrace seats have a nice view.


It looks like this, and Toshima and Niijima of the Izu Islands are faintly visible in the distance.


What’s more, under the chairs on this terrace is a footbath. Amazing!
We bought bread and side dishes for dinner here and at Le Fillage, and decided to spend the evening in our room at Harvest.


Dinner was like this.


And so the third day ended, and the next morning we woke up to…


It was so foggy all around that I could only see about 50 meters ahead.


The temperature was 12 degrees Celsius, as cold as winter, but Konatsu seemed to feel good in the cold and was running around the dog park in good spirits.


This is the end of our Amagi trip. Konatsu seems to be a little tired because of the unusual days, but her appetite has recovered and she has been fine since we got home.



Konatsu was walking around as energetically as usual on the second morning and running around more than usual in the dog park. What was that state she was in until yesterday? I felt like.


One of the joys of visiting Amagi Kogen is that you can see deer right next to you. This time, too, we encountered them many times.


Walking down a road like this …


Here we only had one, but…


Right next to the tennis courts here.


And this is the road before the parking lot. I got out of the car and set up my camera, but the deer did not even try to run away, and I was able to take this picture. After this, we decided to go to “PIXY” in Izu-kogen for lunch.


This is a cafe where dogs are allowed inside.


It was Sunday and we were the only customers in the restaurant at lunch time. So we were able to spend a very relaxing time.


We had been taken to this cafe by Anzu’s owner, and we liked it so much that we came back several times after that, and this time we came back to eat there again.

私はアフタヌーンティーセット。スコーンも、サンドウィッチも、チョコレートケーキも、全部美味しい! この日の最後は、ホテルのテイクアウトメニューを予約して部屋で夕食でした。

I had the afternoon tea set. Scones, sandwiches, chocolate cake, all delicious! 
And after this, the last meal of the day was dinner in our room with a reservation for the hotel’s take-out menu.


It’s hard to tell from the picture, but the seafood consisted of one prawn tempura, two amago tempuras (amago is a type of trout that is more refreshing than trout), and the rest were vegetable tempuras. This Tempra rice box was super tasty!


My wife’s was a Japanese bento. Both were very nice, cosy enough! 

~ to be continued on Day 3~



We went to Amagi Kogen for 4 days and 3 nights. The itinerary for this trip had been set long in advance, but two days before we left, Konatsu suddenly stopped eating and seemed to have no energy, and we were in a situation where we were not sure if we could go on the trip.


After much hesitation, I took Konatsu to the veterinary clinic on the morning of the trip to have her examined. The results showed that she had a slight fever (dogs’ body temperatures range from 38.0 to 38.5 °C, and Konatsu’s was 38.7 °C that day), but nothing to worry about, and her stomach was only slightly rumbling. Konatsu was given an injection to improve her stomach condition and prescribed medicine, and the veterinarian diagnosed that “She should be fine to go on the trip. So I decided to go on a trip.


And so we arrived at Tokyu Harvest Club Amagi Kogen.


In one corner of the area, there is a doggy lodge where you can stay with your dog. It was almost 1,000 meters above sea level, and the temperature was 17 degrees Celsius when we arrived. I didn’t think it would be this cold, so I didn’t bring any winter clothes…


I never expected to have to heat up our room. It means that you should not lick 1,000 meters above sea level. (lol)


Well, Konatsu was completely fine at night, probably thanks to the injection at the hospital in the morning, and her appetite was restored and she ate her supper as usual, which was a relief for us! Thanks to the doctor at the veterinary hospital!


So we could enjoy our dinner without any worries!


The food here at Harvest Amagi Kogen is delicious Japanese food! So we decided to have a Japanese course again this time.


Izu faces Suruga Bay. Suruga Bay is famous for its sakura shrimps. The rice to finish the meal is sakura shrimp kamameshi, which is delicious!


Finally, dessert and coffee, and I’m full!


Konatsu is feeling better, and we will update you later on how our stay went.



We went to Hakone, thinking that the sightseeing spots would be free on a weekday as the Golden Week holidays were approaching. This time, we went with Anne and her family, but we were meeting locally, so we had lunch in Hiratsuka on the way there.


Recently popular “Cafeteria at Hiratsuka Fishing Port”


I thought it would be empty on a Monday, but I wrote down my name and waited my turn.

美味しそうなメニューが沢山あったけど、海鮮丼を注文。これで¥1,480、写ってないけど味噌汁、お新香も付いている。  そしてここから箱根まではほぼ1時間。

There were many delicious-looking dishes on the menu, and we ordered a bowl of kaisen-don (rice topped with seafood). It was ¥1,480 and included miso soup and oshinko (pickles), which are not shown in the picture.  And it takes almost an hour to get to Hakone from here.


As usual, we stayed in a pet room at Tokyu Harvest Club Hakone Koshien. The purpose of coming here this time was to eat delicious Chinese food at “Taigen,” and with four people, we could order many kinds of food, which is fun. While we were taking a rest in the room, Taigen’s microbus came to pick us up.


Unfortunately, it was raining that day, but the restaurant was almost full. We quickly placed our orders one after another.


After toasting with beer, dishes were brought out one after another. The first dish was cold greens with sesame tofu and tomatoes.


You can’t miss the unbai meat (un pai lu) when you come here. It’s as fun to look at as it is to taste!


Vinegared pork(stir-fried sour pork and vegetables), black vinegar taste and aroma is very good.


Conversation is lively and the meal progresses. But this is just the beginning.


After the beer, the Shaoxing rice wine goes on and on…


Bean-curd soup seasoned with red bean paste. It is not too spicy and has a rich flavor that is hard to find in other restaurants.


The well-known spring rolls, which are deep-fried meat and vegetables in a wrap.


stir-fried liver and garlic chives. This is the sixth dish, but it is not over yet. 


This is light noodles, just noodles with no garnish, just a small plate of aromatic greens. One portion was divided among four people.


steamed dumpling (Chinese-style)


Fried rice to finish. The rice was wonderfully crispy and wonderfully tasty fried rice.


From here on, it’s dessert, and this is a white bean dumpling. Lastly, I had apricot bean curd, but I forgot to take a picture of it. We had 11 dishes in total, but as you can see from the pictures, all of them were shared by 4 people, so we were full, but not so much that we ate too much.


The wives are all smiles of satisfaction.


The next morning, the rain finally stopped, and I took a walk with Konatsu in the foggy weather.


My wife prepared a light breakfast of bread and salad, so the four of us and our two dogs took our time to relax and enjoy the afterglow of last night. Below you can see Konatsu and Anne enjoying themselves.


I would like to travel here and there as much as possible while Konatsu is healthy.



I am here in Anjo City, Aichi Prefecture.


This is because my sister’s husband is fighting leukemia, and we are here to visit him. We left our home at 7:30 in the morning and arrived at Anjo at 12:00 in the afternoon.

約束の時間までには1時間ほどあったので、事前に調べておいたワンコと一緒に入れるカフェ「Chou & Cream」でランチすることに。

We had about an hour before our appointment, so we decided to have lunch at Chou & Cream, a café that allows dogs, which we had checked out beforehand.


When we entered the store, there were many bottles of alcohol lined up on the shelves on the wall, which was different from a dog café. The owner told me that there are many people who come here at night with their dogs for a drink.


There was also a food menu for dogs, so Konatsu had a light meal here.


After this, we went to my sister’s house, but her husband was asleep, so we could only see him. I hope he will recover miraculously.


My sister on the left, her second daughter on the right, and her grandson in the middle. Konatsu was scared, but she was doing  “paw” .


This is the Hamanako service area on the Tomei highway on the way home.


There is a large park here with a nice view where you can take your dog for a walk. It was quite a nice place. It was a bit difficult to go back to Kamakura that day, so we decided to stay in the area. Since our purpose was different from the usual fun trip, we looked for a place to stay, hoping to get some sleep. As a result…


We decided to stay at Hatagoya Fukuroi. The price varies depending on the season, but this time we paid 9,900 yen per room, including tax. Considering it was the day before a national holiday, this was reasonable!


It’s like the motels that often appear in American movies.


It was quite comfortable, with two king-sized beds, a bathroom, and most of the other necessities. There are quite a few branches all over the country, and this was something I would be happy to use in the future.


And the next day. I searched on the Internet and went to a store called “Toretate Shokurakubu” that sold local vegetables and fresh fish.


It’s like a roadside station.

安いし新鮮! たくさん買い込んできました。

Cheap and fresh! we bought a lot .


On the way back, we took a break at Suruga Bay Numazu SA on the New Tomei.


We went to a dog run and made a friend. John, a beagle dog, is also a shelter dog.


It may not have been a very fun two days for Konatsu, but we made it through the visit.



Continuation of Day 4
On the way back to Karuizawa from Hakuba, I found a roadside station called “Nakajo”. I decided to stop here, thinking that I probably wouldn’t be passing this way in the future.


Then I saw this suspicious beer. Nagano Zenkoji = Shichimi Pepper, so it’s not hard to understand. ( Shichimi pepper is a mixture of red pepper and other spices. )


The beer was a collaboration between shichimi peppers from a long-established restaurant and a local beer, and it was described as having an exquisite tangy flavor. I bought one can, just to try things out, or like a curious eye.


Returning to Karuizawa, we checked in at the Tokyu Harvest Club Karuizawa for the day.

この時こなつは何かいつもと違うなあという雰囲気を感じ取っているようです。君はなかなか鋭い! というのも、この日の夜はイタリアンの人気店「エンボカ」を旅行に来る前から予約してあり、こなつは2時間ほどお留守番なのです。

At this time, Konatsu seems to sense that there is something different about the atmosphere. “You are quite perceptive!” Because we had a reservation at a popular Italian restaurant called “Emboca” for dinner, and Konatsu had to stay at the room for about two hours.


“Are you really going to leave me?” she said with a grudging look on her face. I’m sorry, but I can’t take Konatsu to this restaurant today.
(They have a terrace where pets are allowed in summer.)


So, leaving Konatsu behind, we walked to the restaurant.


It’s 6:30 p.m., and no one is walking around. There are no people in sight.


After a six to seven minute walk, we arrived at Emboca.


It was a weekday, but the restaurant was quite crowded.


Looking at the drink menu, there are about 50 Belgian beers on offer, which is a great selection for pale ale lovers. We started with Duvel, a golden ale. The smell of hops! It’s delicious.


The first dish we ordered was…


Assorted vegetables baked in a wood-fired oven. Served with rock salt or sauce.


On this day, we reserved a counter seat so we could watch the food being prepared in front of us. The second dish was an assortment of smoked seafood, meat, and cheese.


It’s all so good!


The pizza here is outstandingly delicious. That is why I ordered the Margherita and lotus root half and half.


The second beer was a Westmalle Double. Fruity, but with a pleasant bitterness, good!


I’ve been hungry today, so I’m going to eat more and more (lol). Iberian and Parma cured ham.


We ended up with red wine, but to be honest, I don’t remember much about the taste of the wine because the beer up to that point had been so intensely delicious.


The final dish was a dessert pizza made with seasonal fruits. This was also very delicious.


It was definitely a restaurant that made me want to come back.


We ate a lot of good food and didn’t mind the cold on the way hotel. This time we stayed in Karuizawa for four days and three nights, it was a good vacation with lots of fun.


The next day, we will go back over the pass.



Day 3
When I woke up in the morning and went outside, I found that my car was like this because of last night’s snow pile. At that time, the staff of Regina was using an electric snowblower to shovel the snow, and it was the first time I learned that there was such a convenient thing.


I cleared the snow off my car by hand and managed to get it running. Since we hadn’t moved around much the day before, we decided to check out early and go to Hakuba.


After our last breakfast in Regina, we’re off to Hakuba!

R18号線を西へ向かいます。   Head west on the R18.


We entered the Joshinetsu Expressway at the Komoro Interchange and headed for Nagano.


One hour after the Nagano IC, the Northern Alps came into view. Our destination was almost there.


Arriving in Hakuba, the view is spectacular. The reason why we decided to come to Hakuba today is because there is a bakery here that we have known for about 20 years, “Mont Pigeon”, but for the past three years we have not been able to come here because the summer Seigi Ozawa Festival was cancelled due to COVID-19.


This is Mont Pigeon. The bread is delicious, the store is cozy, and the owner sisters are always happy to talk. So, We feel like we’re visiting a friend’s house.


The store’s signature dogs, Kohta (left, ♂ 3 years old) and Cinnamon (right, ♀ 8 years old), are both third generation Kohta and Cinnamon.


Konatsu has been coming here since she was a puppy, so she probably remembers this place and seems to be relaxed.


It was so good that I almost ate too much, but I thought about dinner, so I had a sandwich and a muffin and a cup of tea.


It’s quite impressive to see two big golden retrievers. After a short stay of just over an hour, we left Mont Pigeon with a sense of regret as I was going back to Karuizawa.


I’ll continue later.