06.08.2012 - 06.08.2012 30 °C
We were awoken somewhat abuptly by the phone ringing just before 8am. Shortly afterwards there is a tap on the door and a lady is stood there with an unexpected breakfast on a tray. We have green tea and two bread looking rolls, which turn out to be sweet rolls, similar to donuts but without the sugar. With it came a rather long not written in Japanese.
After breakfast, we went into town to look at the morning markets selling fruit, vegetables and flowers. We continued up the river, looking at some other market stalls and in some shops before making our way to the temples. While at the temples, the skies began to darken and we could see thunder and lightening in the distance.
As we headed back down into town, the heavens opened and we sought refuge iin a furniture store. After it eased off slightly, we browsed a few more shops before heading cor a coffee and I had a couple of scones too with jam and whipped cream.
Traditional cream tea, Japanese style
Afterwards we found the post office to post cards and withdraw some cash. We then went to the train station to reserve our seats for tomorrow. We had lunch in a traditional Japanese restaurant and both had a local beef 'Hilda' noodle soup.
We went to the Hilda Folk Village, which is a small village containing about 25 traditional Japanese houses dating from 1600. All of them had been saved and moved from a different area, which had been flooded in order to create hydroelectricity. Most were quite similar; some were a lot bigger with more rooms. All contained at least one fire in the middle of the living room, which is still used to stop the houses being taken over by insects or damp. Some houses also had an upstairs, which we later found out that this area was only used to keep and breed silkworms.
Hilda Folk Village
Around the village, there were former lavatories, which looked very similar to the current traditional Japanese squat toilets, less the ceramic bowl. Instead the had a section of floorboard missing in the floor.
We visited the final house, which had been converted into a butterfly display and exhibition on the lifecycle of a silk worm. There was a display of live silkworms which you were encouraged to touch. They are incredibly soft. A lady soon joined us to clean out the silkworms and began to explain their lifecycle in more detail and how importtant they were in the past as a source of income.
She explained that the current silkworms had nearly finished the growing stage and would soon be ready to make cacoons. A few of the first born were already at the cacoon stage. After that, they would wait for the moth pupae to leave, and then they could use the abandoned cacoon for silk. The pupae then become moths, which lay eggs. The silkworms never leave as they are dependent on the humans providing mulberry leaves. The lady put in new leaves, and instantly the silkworms came up to chomp on them. They're really noisy and sound a lot like rainfall.
As well as seeing the silkworms being fed, there was also a carp lake near the entrance where you could feed the carp these strange bread like sticks. The carp would all bash into each other in order to try and get the food.
Koi carp feeding sticks
We wandered back down the hill to town and tried to buy some sake wine but there were no samples available. There was a small street festival taking place down one side street where they were selling food and beer. There were a few manga comic book style cars parked up. There was one white car which people were allowed to write all over in brightly coloured pens.
We began our journey back to the Reyoken, stopping off at a couple of supermarkets for dinner. Chris got some chicken nuggets from Lawsons , which were heated for us at the till. I bought some sushi from the 'K' supermarket across the road from the Reyoken. We also bought some wine, crisps and chocolate sticks,
We went for our Japanese shower before sitting on the floor for dinner. For some reason, the table in our room had been turned around and all the furniture had been moved.
We ate our dinner in our Kimono and drank our wine from our Japanese tea cups. We read our books before retiring to our mats. We had left the second porch door unlocked tonight in the hope that breakfast could be delivered to our room without us being disturbed.