I hope everyone had a nice New Year's Eve!
I for one spend some days with my friends at a town, called Matsumoto (松本), close to Nagano. We decided spontaneously on this town, as for us the get together was more important than big parties and fireworks (which is pretty rare in Japan in general). Although all of us are currently studying in Japan it's kinda difficult to gather as we're really scattered through the whole country - good for travelling, bad for a whole group meet-up!
One of the things I love the most about Japan, is architecture and I'm always happy about opportunities to stroll through smaller japanese towns - as Tokyo or Osaka are just too modern already.
Anyone out there, who shares my passion? ♡
We stayed at a traditional Ryokan, which also offered a free onsen to its guests. I never used to be friends with Onsen before, but this time I'm madly in love with them! After a long walk through the cold nothing beats the awesome feeling of taking a long bath in an onsen.
Another great feeling, that is close to be as awesome as the onsen feeling is sleeping under a Kotatsu, but as you have to curl yourself under the table, the Onsen-feeling wins over the Kotatsu. Nonetheless I'd love to have either one of them here...
Unfortunately the kitchen was closed due to the holidays, so no delicious japanese food for us. Instead we prepared some Nabe the first evening and went out for dinner the second one. The restaurant we went to, was called 'Big Boy' and few people can imagine what fun I had with that name... Even took a picture with the mascot, isn't it cute?♥ (There was a german band called Big Boy long long time ago)
Matsumoto also has a castle and some small, cute shrines and temples, which were crowded due to the New Year's Eve but sold some food to make it up with us again. Yaya and me shared some curry-taiyaki, which I had never tried before and which was surprisingly delicious. On the other hand, what did I expect - Taiyaki is awesome, curry is awesome.
Furthermore they had a special at the local starbucks; Chocolate Bretzel Moccha Frappucchino / Latte, and we couldn't resist to try. Not that bad but I didn't know, that the specials at the local Starbucks stores change by regions.