Posted by: Santa Barbara Dreaming | October 20, 2008

Okaya Adventures

Sorry I have been so MIA!

Well, I’m back in Santa Barbara safe and sound, a tad bit jet lagged and tired, but nothing a good nap can’t fix!

I had very limited internet access in Tokyo, so I am FINALLY updating, and FINALLY adding photos from my trip to OKAYA for my cousin’s wedding.

Okaya is in Nagano Prefecture, which is a 2.5 hour train ride away from Tokyo. Here’s the train we we were on; The Super Azusa.

Our train, and fellow passenger

Our train, and a fellow passenger

And yes, we even brought our dog Choco along for the ride. He had his own ticket and everything!

being a good boy on the train

being a good boy on the train

And here is a quintessential Japanese train ride snack; Ika-kun. It’s smoked squid rings that have been flavored with a little sugar and vinegar. Mmmmm yummy!

A tastey Smokey Squid Treat

A tastey Smokey Squid Treat

After we arrived in Okaya, we went straight to my uncle’s bakery, called Happy Oji-san. I love going to his bakery; it smells so fresh and delicious, AND I get to have any bread I want for FREE! haha yay for family discounts! His bakery always has lots of creative and new breads I have never seen anywhere else. For example, last time, he had a bread covered mochi. How unique is that?

Lots of yummy breads

Lots of yummy breads

And this time, they had black hot dogs made with squid ink! Crazy! That’s definitely something you won’t be able to find in Santa Barbara!

black hot dogs made with squid ink

black hot dogs made with squid ink

For dinner that night, we went to a YAKINIKU restaurant called Rakuen. Yakiniku is EXTREMELEY popular in Japan. It’s Korean style BBQ. You sit at a table with a built in grill, and you order plates of small slices of marinated meat, that you grill to your own tastes. You can order veggies, sea food, salads, and all sorts of yummy side dishes. LOVE IT ❤ Here’s my cousin Kazu;

Kazu is enjoying yakiniku

Kazu is enjoying yakiniku

We left feeling stuffed and full! And faintly stinking of garlic, haha. The next morning was the wedding, photos to come!

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