It's a beautiful winter's morning. Ideal for a walk in Ashiya City - our home in Hyogo Prefecture in Japan.
A walk in Ashiya
I know many people love watching videos of other people doing everyday things in other countries - like Japan. (I'm one of those people.)
I was popping into town, had a few errands to run, but as it was such a glorious morning I thought you might appreciate a little walking film.
Stroll with me as I explore a local bamboo grove, Rios' bakery, quiet wealthy residential back streets, the Studio Ghibli-like Cafe Roku, finishing at JR Ashiya Station.
The bamboo grove
There's some natural bamboo growth here and just down the road here there's a small bamboo grove. I noticed there was a path going up into the bamboo grove and I've never been up there so I just thought I'd check it out.
It's only a short walk it comes out into a small park of children but it's just quite an interesting little diversion, so I thought we'd have a look along there this morning.
It's quite windy by it's not so cold. I think it's going to top out about 10 degrees today. It's been pretty cold the last few days.
You can probably see behind me do some nice houses, and up here some pretty nice apartments. It's fortunate that it's our home here in Japan.
Ashiya is Japan's wealthiest city I understand. It's kind of like Bel-Air in the USA, or Kensington and Chelsea in London.
Winters in Japan
It's absolutely beautiful today. A good day for a walk in Ashiya. This is what I like about winters in Japan compared to England. These sorts of days are a rarity. I mean literally for in a couple of months in England it's quite often overcast, grey you rarely see the sunshine.
So that's why our plan at the moment is to spend winters here in Japan, where they're nice and sunny; and the summers in the UK where, you know, they're not hot - but, you know, they're decent enough.
They're dry and they're sunny most of the time. Okay, make that some of the time!
I just wanted to show you here on the right hand side this place is a great little bakery and cafe called Rios. You can read a bit more about Rios' here: I've written a small article about the place and the guy that runs it.
A lot of the bread that you get here in Japan is that really inch-thick, completely white, not the best bread in the world frankly. But in Rios you can get some decent bread.
So I've just stepped off the main road and as soon as the traffic disappears it's absolutely silent here, it's lovely.
Cafe Roku is like something out of a Studio Ghibli film
A little bit further up here on the right hand side is cafe Roku. It's tiny and they don't do much in there, other than they've got a bar which has quite a good selection of beers and spirits and stuff.
They do really really good freshly ground coffee, and a couple of times I've been there I've had the Colombian coffee it's really gorgeous.
Nice thing about it is when you get close to the cafe, as you're walking up to the door you can actually smell the coffee before you open the door! It's lovely really enticing.
One of the best things about it (apart from that great coffee) is it looks like something out of a Hayao Miyazaki or Studio Ghibli film, because the roof of the cafe is completely covered in grass.
During the summer it's not unusual to see the owner up in the roof cutting the grass! It's just so cool and cute, as well obviously very eco friendly - which is good to be like eco friendly.
It's open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. I think it's seven days a week and that's the extent of the menu. A gorgeous little place. Cafe Roku - a lovely place, well recommended.
We end our stroll arriving at JR Ashiya Station. I hope you enjoy the walk.
What stood out most for you on this walk? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
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