Yanagawa, Japan

October 25, 2015

Yanagawa has been called Japan's Venice, due to the manner in which tourists explore this old castle town. We took a day trip there and directly caught a donko, the city's traditional river boats. As soon as we sat down, it began to rain, and thus began our misty trek down the river past historic warehouses, cafes, and store-fronts. The traditional food to enjoy in Yanagawa is unagi-no-seiromushi ("steamed eel in a basket"), though it was in fact an intricately boxed meal of grilled eel on rice with a delicious sweet and salty glaze and shredded egg. That day, we visited a nearby shrine and ended the night at a local izakaya, where we enjoyed our second bowl of ramen and too many beers. When our discussion became unbearable for the gracious owner who asked if we could please quiet down, we rose to apologize and pay our bill, then retreated to our apartment for a few more beers and a sound sleep on our pillowy floor mats. Rain be damned.

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