The little town of Obuse was such a surprise. After our visit to the Snow Monkey Park in Yudanaka on the afternoon of our arrival, we had a whole day to do…we were not sure what. The weather wasn’t great and all the summer activities in the area had already closed as snow might set in soon. We were recommended to go to Obuse, a town which thrived two hundred years ago, but nowadays is better known for its apples and milk. When a place is famous for something edible in Japan, know that it is probably the best you’ll ever eat. Obuse is a culinary gem, but I’m starting to suspect that Japan is king when it comes to food…there are few places in the world where you can stumble from city to town to hamlet and be constantly surprised by what you find to eat.

And here specifically: what a joy to find ourselves in the midst of the chestnut season – another specialty of this area – with every shop in Obuse focusing on making something spectacular out of this humble nut.

After a day of walking through the town, visiting temples, eating titbits as they presented themselves (and boy, they did this all the time), being offered the Most Delicious Grapes In The World by some lovely elderly farmers (the benefit of traveling with two sweet kids), we were happy to pin ourselves on the local tourism centre’s map of where their visitors come from. First South Africans here…or the first to pin to the board. Who knows. Awesome day!

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