One of my favourite things about our trip to Japan was that we’d planned so much variety. This was perfectly encapsulated in one particular day, when we woke up in a traditional ryokan in a small mountain town, spent the afternoon at a wild theme park with views of Mount Fuji (allegedly – it was so cloudy we couldn’t see a thing!), and then spent the night by a beautiful lake.
We were undecided about how to approach Mount Fuji. We didn’t want to climb it, because that would involve packing a lot of extra gear. So we thought it would be fun to go to the Fuji-Q Highland theme park and view the mountain from afar – from the top of the ferris wheel, essentially. But of course when we got there the weather was abysmal and we couldn’t see a thing beyond the theme park itself. So rest assured, Fuji is out there in the background somewhere. We didn’t see it, but at least we had a fun afternoon at a theme park!
Dr HH loved the rollercoasters and general wildness. I’m just a bit less adventurous (or as I would put it, extremely safety conscious), so I was delighted to see these helpful signs telling us which rides were suitable for dogs. While I’m not sure how good an idea it is to take dogs on any rides, these provided excellent guidance on whether or not a ride was too wild for me.
So here I am looking happy and calm on the teacups, knowing that if a dog can handle it, so can I!
After a wild afternoon of rides, we made the short trip to Kawaguchiko, a little town sitting on one of the lakes surrounding Mount Fuji. Again, we’d expected quite a view, but the clouds scuppered us once more. We were not scuppered on the food front, at least! I was surprised to see that there were quite a few vegan options in town. We only had eyes for Itaden though, as it was a tempura restaurant! What could be better than a whole restaurant dedicated to tempura?!
The first page of the menu confidently states that vegan options are marked in the menu and egg-less batter can be requested either verbally or by pointing at this page in the menu – I was a big fan of that! It turned out that there was only one option that was marked as vegan, but it was a vegetable (yasai) assorted tempura set, so we had no complaints. You could pay a little extra to upgrade for unlimited rice and miso soup, so we went for that.
The batter was lovely and light, and the veg was tender (though Dr HH found the aubergine slice a bit disappointing). The cherry tomatoes and green beans were a bit unexciting, but the yam and pumpkin were beautiful, and the two mushrooms were sublime. This was an excellent meal!
While the food was great and we loved this little town, I was a little dismayed by the service. Not because it was bad, but because it was disconcertingly polite. The staff began every sentence with the word “Sorry”, which made me extremely anxious – especially when it turned out there was nothing to apologise for! It’s safe to say that I returned to Prague with a newfound appreciation for brusque Czech service!
Would you go on any rides that were deemed too scary for dogs? Have you ever been to a tempura restaurant?