Written by: Vern Begg
About the Author:
Trying fresh, local food and dishes has always been one of the best parts of traveling for me. When I moved to Japan, I already loved Japanese food. Then I realized that I had only scratched the surface of what this country’s cuisine has to offer. Whenever I have a chance to visit a different part of Japan, new food experiences are always on my to-do list.
Of course, we can’t control the weather and, when you are in the mountains near the ocean in Japan, it can be unpredictable. On the day I scheduled my picnic experience, the clouds rolled in and hung low over the mountains near Odai. I wasn’t sure what the day had in store for me, but with a positive outlook and the willingness to find the silver lining in all situations, I made my way to the Okuise Forestpia to meet my guide.
Caption: I waited to meet my guide inside the Okuise Forestpia.
When I arrived, the rain had already started coming down. I was dressed for the rain, but I wasn’t sure a picnic in the elements was going to happen. When my guide showed up, however, I knew it was going to be a good day and an interesting experience. Tatsumi-san, a local mountain hermit/guide, introduced himself and let me know that our plans were going ahead rain or shine. His big smile, lively eyes and pure white beard were all I needed to see to put my trust in him.
Caption: My guide was Tatsumi-san, a local mountain hermit.
Caption: The mountain road passed through the lush forest.
Caption: In the mountains of Japan, eventhe public restrooms are nice.
Caption: The view from the bridge was incredible.