Day5- Suwa Lake Dave Riley January 31, 2009 No comments We went to Suwa Lake by car, it’s hard drive so Shigeo took the wheel. It wasn’t long before we were in deep snow. Cosy The right kind of snow? Short comfort break Snow on the mountains on the way to Suwa Lake A cold and surprised Brandon Ski resort Roads getting worse the further we go This region has snow all year round, unlike London they are used to it and nothing stops except for the most dangerous of storms, we saw people putting chains on their tyres. It's a shame there was no where to stop on this narrow road as the countryside was so beautiful lots of small rivers with rocks and ice, I couldn't do it justice taking photos from the car window, just a blur. I heard that London was covered with snow at the same time. Suddenly roads are clear, Japan is an amazing place 20 minutes drive and the landscape changes, we still have to return in the snow later tonight! Follow the red nissan driven by Masahiro We arrive at Suwa, not a snow flake in sight We visited a Sake brewery (I forgot to photo the entrance (doh!) Rie explains to Granda what the place is all about The brewery has a wonderful dolls display for childrens (girls) day which is in March These dolls will be very expensive, not sure how they enhance the Sake experience I've got to admit it is a nice display, imagine keeping it clean Why so serious? Free samples anyone? Marvelous! When in Rome... You get to taste their entire range of Sake, fortunately that is only 7 bottles or so. The range of flavours is immense, from almost like Vodka in strength to soft and floral to very sweet. A traditional Soba noodle shop for lunch Eating noodle soup with chop sticks is quite difficult Granda is managing ok, this may take some time. Granda and me had hot noodles, everyone else went for cold noodles Suwa Lake, on a very rough day Reflexology pavement! Take your shoes off and do the course Halfway through, why did I start this? Need I say more? Getting our feet wet - volcanic heated foot spa Lovely and warm The lake, shame it was such a windy day as the boat trips were shut. These unusual boats were closed due to strong winds 🙁 Another Sake Brewery This one brews the Sake on the premises and Rie asked if we could have a tour of the brewery, they said you have to book ahead. But they said ok as we have come from London. 🙂 So much Sake, so little time. It's a very small brewery, just about a dozen or so of these tanks. Shall I go up the ladders? The guy was stirring the bubbling rice There was a strong but pleasant smell of fermenting rice. Rie's Father takes a look The guy explains the complex process, in Japanese 🙁 Different tanks for different grades of sake. Something special about this one. This is a all wooden filtration system used only for the finest sake. The wood gives it a completely different flavour. And so the tours ends.