It’s been four years! Times have changed and the island exile is no more [Nottore! Matsudai Castle 2023] (Part 7)

My son Takeh and I decide to take a bath before dinner.

I have been in the bath with him many times before, but he is very well-behaved and does not play tricks or run around in the tub. I am very happy as a parent. However, I am not sure if he will continue to grow as he will be more powerful when he is 3 or 4 years old.

This inn is a hot spring. It is Muikamachi Onsen, and the spring quality is described as “sodium-chloride spring. The temperature of the spring is 52.9 degrees.

I wonder what kind of understanding a 2-year-old has of unfamiliar rooms and unfamiliar large bathrooms.

As I spend time with him, I am very concerned about his brain processing as he visits various unfamiliar environments for the convenience of his parents.

To begin with, most of the things a child sees are unfamiliar to him, so he may not be surprised or nervous about every single thing he sees. But I am not so sure,

“This seems to be a bathroom”
“It’s so big compared to the bathtub at home”
“What is this? Why don’t you take a bath at home today? “Why not? Where am I?”

He probably understands that the place where he is with his parents is the place where he belongs.

He fills all the sinks and tubs in the bathroom with hot water, and when he is satisfied, he sinks firmly into the tub.

Since he bathes with me almost every day, he always hears me breathe a sigh of relief when I am shoulder deep in hot water and say, “Haaaaaaahhh! So he kind of understands what it feels like to be shoulder deep in hot water. He may just be copying his father, but at least when he takes a bath with me, he tends to take a long bath, soaking up to his shoulders.

After stretching their arms and legs in the large tub, father and son were relaxed enough to lie down in the hammock. Looking up, the ceiling of the building is very high and comfortable.

The dining room is on the top floor of this building, one floor above where the hammocks are.

We were told that dinner would be served at 6:30 pm. While most inns in Japan usually start serving dinner at 6:00 p.m., here it was a little later.

Just inside the entrance to the cafeteria was an area with toys for children.

Takeh was immediately interested in this area and stubbornly refused to move, even when his parents said, “It’s dinner time, don’t play. It seemed that he did not want to give up the playground he had found.

When dinner was served at our table, we were quite surprised.

It was one of the simplest meals I have ever had in my life.

The main course was pot-au-feu. Red rice, salad and orange for dessert. That’s it.

I even saved my eating speed, wondering if there were more dishes to come. That’s how little there was. Not only the number of dishes, but also the quantity was small.

However, I think this style of cooking is in tune with the times. I think the conventional style of having an endless number and variety of dishes lined up in a row is gradually going out of fashion. The tourism industry is facing a shortage of staff, and the number of guests drinking sake and eating food is gradually decreasing.

There were only us and another couple in the restaurant, and they were served the same dishes. When I saw this, I thought, “Oh, so this is the only meal we will have tonight.

Ishi said, “Shit, I should have bought some snacks before arriving at the inn. What, but you already bought some snacks at Echigo Yuzawa Station, doesn’t that count?

With such a simple and small amount of rice, it is difficult for guests with children. This is because it is assumed that the parents’ meals will be shared with their children. Since the parents’ food is so small, they are forced to feed their children. Especially a two-year-old like Takeh is not used to eating raw vegetable salad. So we have no choice but to let him eat pot-au-feu and rice.

Around 7:00 p.m., a group of women who were there when we checked in came into the dining room. They were going to eat later than us.

The inn staff asked them, “How was the Lantern Festival? The innkeeper asked them how they liked the Lantern Festival, and I heard the women’s group reply, “It was great! Oh, they went to see the lanterns in Shiozawa.

We had been looking out the window of our room toward Shiozawa, wondering if we could catch a glimpse of the lanterns flying in the sky. We were hoping to catch a glimpse of the lanterns flying in the sky. However, we could not see any lanterns at all, and we were about to give up, thinking that it was impossible.

However, the situation changed.

If we could finish dinner so easily, we could go to Shiozawa in no time! We realized that we could go to Shiozawa in no time.

I thought it would take about an hour to eat dinner at the inn if I ate slowly while taking care of Takeh. So we would have to go to the lanterns afterwards. So I thought it would be impossible to go to the lanterns after dinner.

Thanks to the small amount of rice at the inn. Thanks to that, we decided to go see the lantern festival.

After a 15-20 minute drive from the inn, we arrived at Shiozawa Village. We arrived at Shiozawa Village.

As we approached Shiozawa from a distance, we could not see any lanterns flying in the sky. We were told that the event began at 5:00 p.m., so by 7:30 p.m. the lanterns must have flown away and disappeared.

Giving up, I approached the venue. What do you think? I could see lanterns on the S-level of the street, which had been closed as a pedestrian zone!

Wow, the lanterns were still there! The lanterns were still there!

I hurriedly parked my car and walked up to the lantern. Thank God, there were still people lighting lanterns, even though the place was already sparsely populated.

I thought, “But what’s this? This lantern has not been flying in the sky for a while.

It was swinging from side to side, but it was not going up.

That’s impossible. Lanterns are supposed to fly in the sky like balloons.

As I approached the lanterns, I realized why.

The lanterns were tied together with black string and hung from the top. I could see why they stayed in the same place for a long time.

Still, they were beautiful. Since even these lanterns that are not moving are fantastic, it would be even more impressive to see them actually being launched and rising into the sky in real time.

Thanks to the organizers. This is how they leave the lanterns for us to take commemorative photos even after the launch is over.

Since the lanterns are not actual lanterns dancing high in the sky in real time, it is easy to take commemorative photos with the lanterns in the background. Thanks to this, I was able to take a number of photos that would become mementos of the event.

The couple said to each other, “It was a good thing we came all the way here after dinner.

(to be continued)


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