One of the things I love the most about Japan its all the themed events and celebrations that are organized throughout the year. Almost every month there was an event, a welcoming party, a farewell party, Autumn parties, Halloween, Winter parties, Christmas, Hanami, Tanabata… you get what I mean.
I miss it, I think all of us should appreciate the seasons more and learn to properly celebrate them.
So, in November it was time for Imonikai. Imoni is a tradition of northern Japan, done usually around Autumn, that consists of gathering a group of people and having a picnic outside, somewhere usually close to nature and specifically a river.
View over the place where we were staying
So everyone from the laboratory team got together and we went to a place near Sendai. I remember we left Sendai through the tunnel that goes underneath Aobayama campus. We passed by a small shopping on the side of the road to get our final shopping articles and continued our journey. I also remember passing a parking lot for a big shopping mall, but all my recollections of that path end there.
By the river side making fires
After a lot of scavenging in Google I managed to find the exact location where we went. It was near mount Okura in Taihaku ku. It was a place that typically hosts Imoni parties near Natori River called 秋保温泉木の家. At this location, you pay for a space and you can even pay to rent some equipment to cook your food.
Entrance to 秋保温泉木の家
For these picnics since autumn brings the slightly colder days, you’re supposed to eat nabe, a kind of vegetables and meat stew.
In the end we had to tidy everything up, wash our dishes and return the equipment before we left.
Walking around the onsen park
Overall it was a great day, spent doing what in the West we would call teambuilding (Ahahah) Just relaxing, cooking and enjoying the beautiful nature.
Beautiful view from of the river side
I thank our professor that provided these really amazing experiences to us, even when they were working so hard.
We got here by car and I am not sure if you can get there any other way.
This place was also close to an Onsen and a very nice park. In this park there was a very cool foot Onsen, basically a place where you can sit and put your feet underneath very warm water and relax.
What would I do differently
On that day I wore a skirt and tights, to this day I still regret it… I feel that I did not get to enjoy the moment properly (Silly girl problems).
Next stop was Hirosaki in Aomori Prefecture, famous for its delicious apples.
Hope you will come back for that next week, じゃねー