Akarenga, or Yokohama’s red brick warehouse, is a historical building that was used originally as a customs building for Yokohama’s shipping industry. It is now used as a shopping mall which hosts many gift stores, fashion boutiques and restaurants. Special events, such as food festivals, are often taking place at the wharehouse outdoor plaza on weekends.
Mount Eboshi is located not too far from the Hokuriku Shinkansen line linking Tokyo to the city of Nagano. Reaching its summit takes about 1-2 hour from the trail-head, depending on your fitness level. The bare summit offers an impressive panoramic view of Ueda city and of mount Asama, a nearby active volcano. I was quite surprised to see a white column of smoke being released from the volcano’s crater during our trip.
The Oykot train is a special scenic train which starts from Nagano station and follows the Iiyama line all the way to Tokamachi station. The Iiyama line follows the Chikuma-gawa river which features truly beautiful rustic scenery featuring rice paddies and small villages that are representative of the beautiful Japanese countryside.
The purpose of the Oykot train is to allow its passengers to enjoy this scenery while having a relaxing time onboard the train. To this end, the train interior is designed to mimic the old rural Japanese home and the trip also includes a serving of locally-made Japanese pickled vegetables. Guests can also bring their favorite food and beverages onboard. This philosophy of the Japanese countryside is reflected in the train’s name, Oykot, which is the reverse of Tokyo, the most populous metropolis of Japan. It is possible for the passengers to explore further the Japanese countryside by stopping at stations along the Iiyama line and taking another Oykot train, or a regular train, for the return trip to Nagano.
The city of Misaki is famous in the Kanto region for its high quality tuna. Dozens of restaurants in the city specialize in seafood and most of them participate in the Maguro train ticket deal. Some of the catches the fishermen bring back to the city are sold at the Misaki fish market. The tuna and seafood products offered there are very diverse. Should you visit on a warm day, don’t miss out the ice cream!
The Keikyu Misaki Maguro Pass includes the train pass from Tokyo, a meal in Misaki and a leisure activity. A visit to the onsen, renting a bicycle and purchasing crafts are some of the activities included. We elected to use our pass for a ferry ride connecting the port of Misaki to the island of Jogashima. The ferry ride only lasts several minutes, but is definitely a more pleasant way of heading to Jogashima compared to taking the bus or walking on the bridge linking Misaki and Jogashima.
On the eastern side of Jogashima island is located the Jogashima Prefectural Park which features beautiful gardens and scenic views. Not too far to the southwest of the park, on the sourthern coast of the island, you will find an impressive piece of rock (Umanose-doumon) with a big hole in it. Starting from this unusual rock formation, one can enjoy walking along the coast all the way to the western side of Jogashima island.
On the western side of Jogashima island is located a beautiful white lighthouse. Designed by a French engineer, it is one of the oldest of western style in Japan. Sadly, the original was damaged during the great Kanto earthquake but was rebuilt in its present form. This side of the island also features a small market street where several restaurants and gift shops are located. The main attraction of Jogashima is without a doubt its beautiful coast. The many visitors who walk or fish on this side of the island are always under the eagle’s watchful eyes.