My 25th prefecture in Japan. 22 more to go.
We wanted a snowy holiday that’s not too far from Tokyo, so we decided to visit Niigata prefecture, also nicked “Snow Country”. Niigata is most famous for two things – skii resorts with soft, powdery snow and Koshihikari rice. And we were gonna enjoy both to the fullest 😛
Junya’s entertainment for the 2-hour shinkansen ride. And the toy was a… shinkansen lol. And the name of the Shinkansen is… Sakura lol.
We got it from Tomica Shop in Tokyo Station.
Sakura wanted to play with Sakura but Junya didn’t want to share his Sakura.
We arrived at Echigo Yuzawa Station. Surrounded by snow the moment we stepped out of the station!!
one of Niigata’s Mascots – Mr Reruhi.
Charming Snow Country ♥
Lots of dreamy white color ♥
Our hotel is right across the train station. The danna picked the most convenient place so we don’t have to move around too much with two young children with us.
View from our room.
Junya took a long long nap.
When he woke, we took a stroll around this quiet little town.
Haha still sleepy face XD. By the way Sakura is wearing the down overall we bought for Junya’s first winter trip and it fits perfectly! Great choice to have kids who are exactly 2 years apart. XD
Papa planted Junya into the snow XD
He was so excited!!
We then returned to the souvenir shop in Echigo Yuzawa station for shopping. Right here you can buy the freshest, most famous rice in Japan – Uonuma Koshihikari rice.
Did you know? Even if it is the same brand from the same place, rice could taste very very different, depending on how fresh it is. Shinmai, (new-harvest rice), is one of the most treasured ingredient in Japan. We bought 5KG of fresh raw rice and had it polished at the store.
There are mini packs of Uonuma Koshihikari you can buy as souvenirs for your friends and family back home too.
I think this is a Sake-tasting shop. Don’t get as drunk as this dude.
There was even a Sake-buro (Japanese sake onsen bath)!!!! I have used a few sake-infused beauty products and I really loved them. I was dying to try this since it’s gonna make me beautiful head to toe lol but we didn’t have enough time for this.
Dinner time was at a Donburi restaurant inside the station called Uonuma No Hatake, I ordered Mochi Buta don and the danna had curry rice. The pork was so, so good!
And then the danna ordered TKG (Tamago Kake Gohan). It’s basically just steaming hot rice served with raw egg, miso soup and salted konbu.
Uonuma Koshihikari rice.
Raw egg with soy sauce
And just mix it into white rice.
We returned to our hotel, watched some TV and then went for family onsen (a private hot spring bath in the hotel for a fee).
Looks like this!
Sakura’s first sexy shot HAHA.
This is our breakfast menu. So elaborated omg.
It’s very traditional Japanese-style breakfast, and I am very impressed that most of the dishes are homemade, including the natto, tofu, yogurt, etc.
And super super healthy. After the breakfast I felt like I have eaten like 200 kinds of different vegetables and soy protein lol.
Next is skii time!!
At Yuzawa Skii Resort.
Actually it was still in early winter so there was only one open skii course, but not like I could go, so I babysit @cheesiepetit X2 while the danna went snowboarding.
Got a mini sled for Junya but he wasn’t very excited about it haha.
Papa was trying to train up a snowboard buddy for himself but
This was the one time he was on the sled then he dowan liao lol.
And then did an Snow Devil (opposite of snow angel LOLOL) because he was tired and sleepy.
coaxed him back to the stroller to nap XD.
Lunch that day was in another restaurant inside Yuzawa station! It was a sushi shop.
Our favorite of all time – Aburi engawa.
And also un-aburi engawa lol. (Basically untorched)
Overflowing 3 types of sushi
Kanimiso (crab roe) and shredded Kani. I love crab roe but most of them from other random sushi shop taste a little… stale?!. But this was super creamy and fresh!
Also, since we are at the hometown of Koshihikari, the best way to enjoy this beautiful rice is to eat it in the most unadorned manner – plain as it is or as an onigiri (with a dash of salt, wrapped with seaweed).
In this kitchen at the souvenir shop, they are selling Bakudan Onigiri (Onigiri Bomb). How is it a bomb?
Look at the size of it.
Apparrently 4 cups of rice is used to make this onigiri. @.@
Sake jelly, this is sold at the cafe adjacent to our hotel. Wonder how it tastes like!
We ordered the Onsen pudding (they delivered to our room as room service!), super yummy!
The day after…
Super healthy breakfast again. Eating 300 types of vegetables again.
Grilled fish served with 3 small appetizers.
The love of my life (for now).
The short trip was coming to an end.
Sakura trying to eat oniichan’s sock.
Before leaving home we had our last Niigata meal, at the train station again, in a ramen restaurant. Their signature is Miso Chashu Ramen. I’m not a big fan of miso ramen (I love Tonkotsu and Shio), but I finished the whole bowl!
Ready to get back to Tokyo.
Yeap. So that was Sakura’s first winter trip. She didn’t see or miss much of it haha. The whole time she was being a comfy sleepy koala stuck to me. ^^
Yeah? Where were we the past few days again?
Oh she found a pacifier on her sweater XD.
And… the end. See you next time, Niigata!