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Let's cook braised pumpkin!

Stewed dishes are one of the representative foods of Japan. Let’s cook braised pumpkin.
Ingredients (2 servings)
・pumpkin 1/4 (about 430g which include seeds, about 380g after removed seeds)
・water 400ml
・HON・DASHI (NSG, monosodium glutamate, bonito fish soup stock, Japanese soup stock) (about one teaspoon or less, 2.7g)
・Katsuobushi (small pieces of sliced dried bonito), if you need.
・Soy sauce 15ml
・Sugar 15ml
・Mirin (Japanse sweet sake) 15ml if you need.

1. Remove pumpkin seeds and pulp with a spoon.
2. Get rid of a part of rind of pumpkin to help absorb seasonings.
3. Cut into 4-5cm pieces.
4. Plane off the corners to avoid falling to pieces. (If it takes much time for you, you don’t have to.)
5. After rinse off, put them into pot, and pour water.
6. Add adequate HON・DASHI to water. I usually put also small amount of Katsuobushi(about2g) so I decrease HON・DASHI. (If you use enough Katsuobushi, you don’t need HON・DASHI. If you don’t use Katsuobushi, you ne…

You can see unique sight in Odaigahara. It is like the end of the earth but beautiful!

Odaigahara is in the boundary between Nara and Mie prefecture.
It is a tableland-like area which is surrounded by mountains (1400-1600m height)

The annual precipitation in Odaigahara is 3500mm! It is one of the areas with heaviest annual rainfall in the world.

Because of this heavy rainfall we can see special plants, forests, animals there.

East of Odaigahara (東大台) is open to the general public.If you want to go to West of Odaigahara, you need permission in advance.

A walking trail is made fit for hiking.

There are two courses in the east of Odaigahara. One is for general people (blue line in the map), the other is for a good walker. I’ll introduce general course (about 9km, about 3hours 25minutes)
Odaigahara hiking course
・Odaigahara visitor center (大台ケ原ビジターセンター) (No.1 in the map)

It is close to bus stop. You can get the information about nature or culture of Odaigahara. There’s toilet, dining room and suvenior shop near here. After leaving here, there’s no toilet.

・Hidegatake mountain(日出ヶ岳)
The height of this mountain is 1695m (above sea level).

・Masaki Touge mountain pass (正木峠)
(No.3)~Masakigahara plain(正木ヶ原)(No.4)
There are many trees died where they stand. Here were originally conifer forests. After typhoon came in 1959, many trees fell down. Then bamboo grass grew.
masaki touge mountain pass
It’s disappointing that trees are dead but it is like the end of the earth and mysterious sight.
It is beautiful in a way.

Here is a wide, open field. You can see a big rock which is called 牛石 because this rock is similar to a cow.

It's dangerous here so chains stretch to keep people away the rim of rock.
You can overlook precipitous cliff. The hight of cliff is about 800m! It is impressive. 
People of acrophobia may not be able to go near the chain, do they?
One of the mountains seen from here is大蛇嵓(Daijyagura). Spring fresh green and autumn leaves are particularly beautiful.
After you see this cliff, please go back to same trail you came. If you go to general course, turn right on the first signpost at the fork in the path. If you turn on the left, it is for a good walker trail.

The next fork in the path is Owashituji (尾鷲辻). You have to turn left here.

There’s a lot of rainfall here so there is a high chance that it will rain. You should bring rain gear. 

Sometimes it suddenly cools down. Clothes and shoes for climbing are necessary.
You had better bring your lunch although there is a dining room.
Be sure to bring garbage home.

Only during the season you can go by public transportation by buying a combination ticket (the train and bus ticket of the Kinki Nippon Railroad). There is no bus during the winter.

For example, in the case of 2017 Combination tickets will be released from 1st/April (Sat) to 23th/September(Thurs, public holiday).

The fare depends on the departing station roughly 5000 - 5500 yen per one adult.
You can see details on this page in internet.(Japanese language)

For example, in the case of 2017, the time schedule for weekday

By Kintetsu(Kinki Nihon Railway) train
From Kyoto 6:41 Express → 7: 52 Kashihara Jingu Shrine (Transit) 8: 00 → Yamato Kamiichi 8: 50

From Osaka Abenobashi at 7:12 Express → Yamato Kamiichi 8:50

From Yamato Kamiichi station, you have to ride bus. Do not miss the bus because there aren’t many buses on this line. Let's get on the early train if you are not confident.

For example in 2017 all buses on this route as follows:
Kamiichi Station 9: 00 → Odaigahara 10: 51

Odaigahara 15: 30 → Kamiichi station 17: 23

(Saturdays and holidays)
Kamiichi station 9: 00 → Odaigahara 10: 51

Kamiichi station 9: 30 → Odaigahara 10:21

Odaigahara 14: 30 → Kamiichi station 16: 21

Odaigahara 15: 30 →Kamiichi station 17: 21

The hiking course in Odaigahara is surrounded by beautiful nature.

There is a unique scenery which is different from other areas in Japan. Transportation is a little inconvenient, but please visit.

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