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Sunday, November 30, 2014


The train ride from Nagoya to Matsumoto was mesmerizing, with changing Fall colors and even snow:

But I'm here in Matsumoto to visit Pearl's Gold Koi.  You can click on that link for the details, but, in essence, while I was on one of my missions to drop Pearl's ashes at memorable sites, I happened to toss a gel cap with her ashes into the Matsumoto Castle moat, and a gold koi ate it!

It is a 20-minute walk, mostly uphill.  My first view of the moat was this:

There are, literally, thousands of koi, mostly black, with a few orange, but only one gold.  This could have been the highlight of my entire trip.

Matsumoto Castle:

I asked the info desk what was the ideal lunch in Matsumoto.  A soba restaurant was recommended, which was conveniently close to the walk back to Matsumoto Station.  Matsushita:

The soba was perfectly al dente.  The cost of the entire meal with hot soba soup and cold sake amounted to around $15.

The trip from Nagoya to Matsumoto to Tokyo is an easy one day trip involving five hours of train time:

I stored my luggage at the train station for $5 and had an enjoyable walk throughout Matsumoto.  The temperature was in the low 60's and it was mostly sunny.

Well, I'm back at the Tokyo Westin, and the staff at the Executive Club arranged for me to have a fugu dinner tomorrow night.  It is also known as blowfish, puffer and tetrodon.  In the 1930's a thousand people died, for the liver and ovaries are deadly poisonous.  Tetrodotoxin is 100 times more potent than potassium cyanide. In 1958 when chefs were first licensed, 176 died that year.  However, as recently as 2007, only three passed away, and those who succumb tended to be fishermen who catch the fish and cook it at home.  However, here is a news article of 7 falling ill in a Hokkaido restaurant by consuming the testicles.  There is a testicle story I'll re-tell tomorrow, for that is the item I especially requested.


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