16 Aug

Suddenly I noticed I needed green and nature. So I decided to go to Okutama next morning with no specific plan. Just do and see!
Okutama is Tokyo but it’s pretty different from the city part of Tokyo where we reside.

But my husband started to be worried and he came to join me with Pi-chan! Wow. OK! Then we decided to rent a car and this was a big mistake! lol

I conclude at the beginning of the post to advise you it’s not clever to drive there if you don’t leave house very early hours in the morning. I thought weekday should be easy but I was wrong! The people living the areas such as Hachioji use a car to commute. We were stuck in a traffic jam in the evening. Also as is always, Japanese streets are confusing, especially the signs. There were several places where the car didn’t move smoothly. After all we were supposed to take a train, which my husband suggested but I didn’t listen to, so I should not complain that. :p

Because I was raised without a car, and even now we own no car because of convenient public transportation, riding a car means something unusual to me. This I think is the reason I wanted to go there by a rented car. But the problem was the rented car office opened 9am. I totally forget all the negative things along with car travel such as congested traffic, feeling sick on the mountain roads because of too many curves, and so on. I wanted whatever that brings me out of everyday!

The weather was cloudy and Pi-chan was shivering, busy breathing due to elevation of heart rate from excitement or fear of riding a car. (She’s not used to being in a car.) I was busy soothing her and it even started raining. Oh gosh! -_-

The weather was quite unstable and sometimes it rained heavily. I was screaming “What the heck!? What did I do? Why do we deserve this?!” and then the rain stopped when we arrived. ^ ^;; My husband repeated it’s all because of my no plan. But I anyhow desperately needed to get out of the concrete!!

I became sick in the mountain roads. Pi-chan was fine, which is good.

There was a notice to watch out for wild bears! So scary!! We wished to walk more this way but we’d rather refrain ourselves from wild bears…Every year, some Japanese people are attacked by wild bears and strongly damaged or even killed by them in a mountain or some country side.

But then we saw something moving above our head…

Yes, it’s a monkey! Wild Japanese monkeys there! We saw 5 or 6 of them.

I was like a mother of Pi-chan. I only thought if they should not attack her. But I also wondered if their poo might drop on my head. ^ ^;; They were moving to this place. We followed.

There was a little brook, which should be the upper stream of the Tamagawa river that all goes to where we live. The water was so cold and clean. I will not feel like going inside the river from where we live, but this one made me feel like going inside, like the other small kids were doing. I wonder when we lost this feeling. Kids know how to have fun. I could not stay in the brook for a minute because it was cold! But it was so much fun!! 😀

My husband brought Pi-chan to a tiny stream of water to make her get used to water. She is so frightened whenever she is washed.

We had lunch outside.

I had Udon and iced coffee. Haha, very weird combination! ^ ^; But I was not so hungry. (The iced coffee is off the picture.)

We were unable to stay there longer because it took more time (3.5h) than we thought to come over here. Moreover, being an Onsen lover, I cannot go back without having Onsen experience. My husband however had to keep Pi-chan in the car. So I shortly enjoyed Onsen, Moegi no yu, but personally I didn’t like it. I didn’t think their onsen water is nice enough compared with other Onsens I experienced in my life. 😦

Next time if we ever have a chance to go there again, we will never use a car. Having Pi-chan together is nice but then we have to take turns to take care of her in a car while we take an Onsen. So next time, Pi-chan will be at a doggie hotel. ^ ^;;

If you ever have a chance to go to Okutama, take trains from Shinjuku to Tachikawa (30 min.) then Tachikawa to Ome (30 min.) and Ome to Okutama (40 min.) and then take a bus to the final destination. (I think you will have to wait for a long time for the next one, if you miss your bus.)


15 Responses to “Okutama”

  1. Debs August 16, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    Oooh that meal looks so tasty! What did you dip the udon in? The miso soup? Or did you eat it without broth?

    • kirin August 17, 2011 at 5:31 am #

      Oh, no, we don't dip Udon into miso soup. ^ ^; Sorry I needed to explain more there. There were meals for both of mine and my husband's on one tray. That's why there is miso soup and udon at the same time. But when you see it, you'll notice there is a little garnish on the small dish over a cup in blue paint. In the cup there is a soup to dip udon in. The garnish is cut leek and wasabi. We normally put the garnish inside the soup and then dip udon to eat. ^ ^; Hope it's clearer now. ^ ^;

  2. gabrielmacae August 16, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    Doggie hotel? I didn't know there were hotels for animals.

    Well, I guess doing something without plans can be fun sometimes. You never know what to expect.
    It seems a beautiful place too.

    • kirin August 17, 2011 at 5:35 am #

      Doggie hotel and day-care center is quite common over here, because people love keeping dogs but also we want to go to travel and leave home for several days without worry. Then dog hotels are handy.

      Some people may ask a dog sitter to take care of their dogs but hmm…I do prefer a dog hotel. They normally have a dog run inside the building so the dogs can play and run with other dogs. They also walk them outside, feed them and take care of them well.

      Yes, that's the reason I like NO PLAN! 😀 But this time it didn't work well…haha! ^ ^;;

  3. winnie August 16, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

    Hi kirin,
    Okutama look like so interesting and nice place!
    My hubby and I have not try Onsen before.
    My daughter went to Onsen during her school camp and Ski Trip.
    Actually, I feel too embarrassed to go to Onsen. hahahaha..

    • kirin August 17, 2011 at 5:39 am #

      I totally understand how you are embarrassed to go to Onsen and be totally naked among strangers even though they are all women. (To me, I feel rather more embarrassed to be naked among the people I know. Among strangers, I really don't care so much, as long as they are only women.)

      There are a lot of hotels that have private onsen for yourselves.
      If you pay more, you can have a room with exclusive onsen to your room. But if you want to save money, some hotels have outdoor onsen upon reservation. When you reserve it, no one can come but it's only your time. It's a shared onsen but used by 1 group at a time.

      You can ask me more when we meet up. ^ ^

  4. Steve Stier August 16, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    Okutama looks like a beautiful place. The pictures are great. And I am glad that your husband and Pi-chan were able to join you. I see many places simular to Okutama while driving around America. They are so common that I sometimes forget how beautiful they are. It certainly makes sense that a resident of Tokyo would have a craving to enjoy the beauty of nature on occasion. Cities are beautiful in their own way, but natural settings like Okutama are relaxing and help you to remember what life is all about. As for the rain and stress you experienced traveling by car. I have found that problems like that bring family closer together. Sharing a difficult experience and solving those problems create a bond and give you something to talk about for years to come. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

    • kirin August 17, 2011 at 5:43 am #

      The place I really crave for now is Australia or Hawaii (Kaiai island). I think I need a lot more nature. haha!!

      It was the second time we went out with Pi-chan. Bringing dogs around is not as easy as children. There are many places that are not allowed for dogs to enter. Yet, indeed it's part of our shared memory to talk about in the future.

      Thank you, Steve. ^ ^

  5. Angel August 17, 2011 at 2:41 am #

    What a nice little mini vacation! 🙂 I agree that if I lived in a bus city, it would be nice to seek some nature every once in a while! Thanks for sharing, it looks very refreshing! Even thought poor Pi-chan may have thought otherwise 😛

    • kirin August 17, 2011 at 5:45 am #

      Haha! Pi-chan must be so tired. She was sleeping almost all the way back home. But I want her to get used to riding a car or a plane because I want to travel around in the future. hehe! ^ ^

  6. lluvia August 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    I guess many people who live in the city need to approach nature from time to time.
    Certainly the best is remember the positive things. The troubles you mention remind me one of the trips in which I was recently, in which everything that could go wrong did, however it was the trip in which I have more fun.

  7. Vivian August 19, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    It must be very nice to dine al fresco with all the trees and nature around you. 🙂

    • kirin August 19, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

      Yes, exactly. I really loved eating outside in the forest. ^ ^

  8. Rachel August 19, 2011 at 10:41 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your trip and pretty pictures with us! That looks like a very lovely place to relax and take a break from busy Tokyo.
    There are no wild monkeys in America so I would be very shocked to see them in the trees over my head! What a unique experience. Did Pi-chan bark at them? My dog, Houdini, would chase them all through the forest lol 🙂

    • kirin August 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

      It's not so rare to encounter wild monkeys in the mountains in Japan. However, I think it was the first time I saw them in such a short distance. Pi-chan rarely barks. ^ ^; She was calm and didn't seem to care about them so much…or maybe I was just too busy to pay attention to her. haha! ^ ^;;

      Thank you for asking. I wonder what would happen if your Houdini chases them…in Japan dog and monkey are considered "cat and dog". In other words, you say "cat and dog" while we call it "dog and monkey" in Japanese to describe how they dislike each other. ^ ^

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