Japan, Day 7: Atsuta

NOVEMBER 27, 2018

This is the last part of my 2018 autumn trip in Japan. There was a bit of a mix up with the schedule so I ended up having free time from lunch onwards. Good thing I read a lot about Nagoya so I decided to have lunch at ATSUTA HORAIKEN. The place is famous for serving hitsumabushi since 1873. From the train station, it was a about a 10-minute walk to reach the restaurant.

However, when I got there, the employee stationed outside the resto told me that the waiting time was 50 minutes. I told him it was okay so he asked me to return during that time. There was nothing to do around their area – not even a convenience store to check out. So I checked if the revered ATSUTA SHRINE was nearby… and it was! I walked for 15 minutes and reached one of the side entrances. I was trying to find my way to Hongu, the main shrine, but all signs were in kanji so it was up to my gut feel again.

Lo and behold, I was right again because I easily found my way to the main shrine.

It is said that the sacred sword Kusanagi-no-tsurugi, one of the Imperial symbols, is enshrined here. Atsuta Shrine is also revered throughout Japan, ranking second only to Ise Shrine. This probably explains why the building in the main shrine looks like the one in Ise Jingu.

Atsuta Shrine is dedicated to Atsuta-no-Ookami who blessed mankind with love.

When it was 15 minutes before my scheduled lunch at Atsuta Horaiken, I left the shrine and made my way back to the restaurant.

The employee I met earlier gave me the thumbs up to go inside and wow, I was just blown away when I saw the garden and main door because it felt like I was entering an old but well-taken care of traditional Japanese house.

Inside the resto, I waited for a bit before I was accompanied by one of their staff to the 2nd floor where a table was assigned to me. I ordered the hitsumabushi which was priced at (¥3,900). My meal arrived after about 20 minutes – big bowl with rice and unagi, small bowl of soup, pickles, small jar with ocha, and a container with nori, wasabi, and green onions.

Hitsumabushi consists of a big bowl of rice, topped with unagi, and there are three ways to enjoy this.

1) As it is – take a spoonful of rice and a slice of unagi then place them in the empty bowl

2) With the condiments – do #1 then add nori/wasabi/green onions

3) With broth made from tea and dashi – do #1 then add the broth

After trying all three, you may now enjoy the rest of the food with whichever method works best for you.

I used the small empty bowl the resto provided so that I can decide later on how I want to eat the remaining portion. But, I couldn’t choose only one so I did all of them repeatedly, without any particular order.

I didn’t get to finish the rice because the serving size was like good for two. ☹ I went back to the hotel afterwards to do a final check on my luggage then went to the nearby airport limo bus stop. The bus ride to Chubu Centrair was about an hour and I did a last-minute souvenir shopping – bought two sets of uiro from the famous Aoyagi Uiro.

Had ebi fry for dinner before my flight back to Manila…

Can’t believe one week in Japan just went by. During my first day, my thoughts were about having lots of days to explore Japan. By the last day, I was already thinking when my next trip to Japan will be. Still undecided where to go next but I am sure it will be another awesome adventure! ❤

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