On the second day of our trip we all woke up around 7, packed up, and left the cottage to go back to the hotel to go to the breakfast buffet. I was praised by the other families for the fact that I used chopsticks well (supposedly) and that I really liked washoku or Japanese food. That’s definitely true. Japanese breakfast buffets are one of my favorite things. This hotel was really nice so of course the food was also really nice. My favorite was the salmon. I was too full to get seconds but I would definitely have gone for seconds of that. I really like salmon, but I feel the salmon apocalypse coming because I’m starting to become tired of it. My host family often had salmon for dinner or they put it in the onigiri. I should be careful so I don’t get tired of one of my faves. Once we were done with breakfast we checked out of the hotel and hit the road again. This time going to the Fruit Park. I was so surprised when we arrived because it was so nice. It was a super huge park with a few large buildings with impressive architecture. One of the large buildings had a large children’s playground and play area, so that’s where all of the kids and parents went. At this point I really wanted to walk around because there were so many things that I wanted to see, so at that point I split up and began solo exploring. It was still slightly drizzling which was too bad, but it was a step up from the typhoon-like weather we had the day before at the BBQ so it was nice. In the above picture the left building had different office rooms, a gift store, a fruit workshop, and a restaurant. The building on the left is the kid’s playground area. I didn’t take any pictures there because there were so many children though. The park had many different areas and things to do. In another building they had a small stage, a cafe, a fruit museum, and an interactive children’s exploration area. Outside they had a large fountain which led to the wine vineyard, fruits exploration area, a playground, and an aqua playground. The park is actually located at a pretty high elevation, so the view was great. The park was so large and spacious and you could see out in so many different directions. It was nice to experience something different than the usual. I had been wanting to go to a “nature place” for a while and this satisfied that craving pretty well. The only thing that could have made it better was if I went with some friends so that we could take artsy paper and relax together at the cute Orchid Cafe. Eventually I ended up walking through the fruit museum which lead to the children’s interactive play area, which lead right back up to the play area where my host family and their friends were. That was the end of my exploration. I sat in the kids area for a while and just tried to cool down since it was so humid. Once the parents decided it was time to go I waited while they rounded up all 6 of the children, wrangled them back into their shoes, and then left.
After driving down the mountain we pulled into the place where we would eat lunch. For lunch we would have udon-like noodles called “houtou.” They are a little bit thicker and wider than regular udon and served in a shared pot with different vegetables and meat. This particular restaurant had won the reputation of being the best “houtou” makers for maybe 3 years in a row. I almost think that I prefer this to regular udon noodles but that could just be because I had the best “houtou.”
Once we gochisousama’d we said goodbye to the rest of the families because it was time to head home. I crammed myself back into the backseat row of the van where I would be stuffed for the next 3.5 hours that it took to get back to Fujimino. Honestly it was pretty rough because the daughter was really bored and making a lot of noise. The worst was when she would scrape the top of the car with her fingernail and it would make a scraping noise. I thought that I was going to go insane. After what seemed like forever we finally made it back to Fujimino and went to a kaiten sushi restaurant for dinner.
It was a good end to our good two-day vacation. I was really grateful that my host family brought me along with them even though it was their family vacation. It was fun and they were all really nice. I ate way too much though so I think it increased my appetite. The first few days after we got back I was always hungry after eating my regular meals. I got to see lots of cool things with great people. It was a good use of my long weekend!
Thanks for reading~