Halloween yummies

Husband bought Mister Donuts a couple weeks ago for the three of us.

Husband made breakfast for us a week ago….

Husband likes being imaginative with food…..

He made this a few days ago…..  (by chopping off one of his own fingers.)

And today (Sunday evening) Yutaka gave me and son this Halloween present…  What’s inside?

Scary Marshmallows!

This is about as gruesome as a marshmallow can get!

I have a great husband!


YuTagawa Breakfast

Yesterday I posted our superb dinner at the Onsen Hotel YuTagawa. Today I am posting our magnificent breakfast.

Close-up of the natto. This is something a lot (but not all) of Japanese people like. Some foreigners like it, too. However, it has a strong smell that I do not find pleasing. (Many people do not find it pleasing!) So I’ve eaten one bean of natto to say I’ve tried it, and don’t want to eat more!  I gave my natto to my husband.  He loves natto. It’s one of the things he missed while living in the U.S. (He did manage to find some frozen in an Asian supermarket.)

Fish and egg.

The breakfast even had dessert!  I liked that!  ;^)

These are my last Onsen YuTagawa photos!  I hope you enjoyed them!



YuTagawa Dinner

It was Jiji’s eightieth birthday, so we had a fantastic dinner the onsen together. (Me, Jiji, Baba, Joe and of course Husband.)

Three generations of Kawamura boys in this photo. I personally think my son looks a lot like Jiji. (The shape of his face.)

Here comes the food….several courses in this meal. I don’t know much about Japanese food, so I won’t explain what’s in the photos. I’ll just show the photos.

Tsuruoka is near the sea on the west coast of Japan. This region has excellent seafood, naturally.

Look at the tempura…there is one fish…………and……..

My fish was pregnant!  See the eggs?

As a woman, and as a non-Japanese person, I was like “Oh, poor momma fishy was preggers!” But I didn’t say that aloud and ruin the ambiance of the meal.

Husband knows what I am thinking (he somehow always knows what I am thinking.) He ate the eggs.  He says it’s the best part!  (Most tempura fish are not pregnant, by the way. It’s like finding a pearl in your oyster.)


I was full and declined the rice. But the server wanted me to try it because it is special, so this is a small portion.

Raspberry and green tea ice cream…..yes, we got both!

Hot Bath in YuTagawa

Remember a couple of posts ago when I described the baths here?  They are all private. (Unusual for an onsen.)

The above photos show the doors to two of the three baths in the hotel.

If the bath is empty, you may go in. If it is occupied, you must wait.

This little sign tells you that the bath is currently unoccupied. (Turn it around when you enter. The other side said “Occupied.”)

I’m going in by myself. Such a luxury! Notice my “yukata” (not a kimono.) It’s what people wear in onsen hotels.

Rules about onsen.  (This sign is issued by the Onsen Association of Yamagata.)

By the way, many hot baths in Japan have rules against tattoos…or so I hear. But I personally don’t notice (or pay attention) to signs forbidding tattoos.  I don’t have any tattoos, so it is irrelevant to me. Through the internet, I realized that many foreigners who have tattoos have issues with the “Anti-tattoos rule.”  (The reason tattoos are forbidden is because they are less common in Japan than in countries like the United States. Here in Japan, supposedly only yakuza mobsters get tattoos.)

The water temperature is 104-109 degree Fahrenheit.  Zowie Wowee!  Although my husband said “I know you like this water because it’s not so hot.”


Some onsen water is much hotter.

In an onsen like this, the water comes from the earth itself.   Hot springs are common in Japan, and thus the tradition of bathing sprang up.  (sprang up? Get it? tee hee)

You must wash yourself before getting in the bath. This rule is a biggie.  The bath is not meant to clean you, but to relax you (or warm you up if the weather is cold.)

That’s the hot bath in this particular room.

I poked my head in the other room and that is another bath.  It’s bigger than the other one. I asked permission to take photos, by the way. Usually I don’t do photos in onsen (of course) because naked people are running around.


Sorry. Did I forget to mention that? Everybody is naked. That’s why men and women at regular onsen are divided into different baths. No swimsuits!


People have little white towels that they carry around to cover their private parts. Modesty. But yeah, there’s a lot hanging out. Most onsen-goers are elderly so, um, it’s a good chance to see what the human body looks like as it ages.  (Hint: Droopy.)

Onsen water is hot, so you need to stay hydrated. Water as we leave!

By the way…….Quiz time!

Yu means water.  Mizu means water. But what’s the difference?

(Jeopardy Theme Music Plays)

Tra la la la Tra la la

Tra la la la LA lalalala

Tra la la la Tra la la

Duh daduh duh duh duh duh

Yu means “Hot Water.”  (Many onsen have the word yu in their names.)

Mizu means “Cold or Room Temperature Water.”

Since in English, we just say “water” for hot and cold water, I have to catch myself and use the correct word!

View from the room

A room without a view just isn’t worth staying in, donchya think?

houses and hills

Notice the shingles of the roof. So lovely.

The red sign says, “Amy’s book is awesome. Publish it.”

The hotel said there were no convenience stores or other shops near by.  I didn’t believe her. She was right.

(I didn’t want to actually got to a convenience store. I just wanted to know what was out on the street.)

I love the style of building to the right. Old Japanese buildings are beautiful, but they are getting fewer and fewer as the years go by.

Hotel Room at YuTagawa

Have you ever seen the animated American TV show “The King of the Hill?” It’s set in Texas, and it’s about a man named Hank Hill. It’s very “Texas.” My family finds it funny because everybody is from Texas, both my dad’s side and my mom’s. Well, I don’t think my dad has ever watched it but I’m sure he’d find it funny if he did.

Anyway, there is an episode where Hank Hill visits Japan.  (I always sort of found this episode sort of racist, but sort of funny.  Oh, so conflicted.)

The family stays in a hotel room that is TINY.

Like the first photo here of MY hotel room at Yutagawa (shared with my husband.)

Oooh. Everything in Japan is so eensy weensy.

Ha! It’s just the entrance way. Silly us. Here’s the door to the real hotel room.

Not so eensy weensy anymore, are we.

There’s no bed because this is a traditional ryokan-style hotel. When we go to dinner, the staff will come in and move the table and lay out futons for us to sleep on.

The view to my right.  (It’s the tokonoma.)



Here is the link to the Hank Hill snippet on youtube:

Don’t be embarrassed, Peggy.  I’ve made my share of stupid mistakes in Japan, too.  😉