Dec 1, 2008

Autum leaves, Waterfall, and a Sake in Niigata

On Sunday (November 30), I and my hiking company went for a hike for seeing autumn leaves in the western Tanzawa Area in Kanagawa Prefecture. We parked the car in the parking lot of the Nishitanzawa Shizen Kyoshitsu (literally translated into "Nishitanzawa Nature School"). The destination peak was Azegamaru.

First, we walked up along a creek. Although there were several erosion-control dams we needed to climb over, the walk along the stream was quite enjoyable. The water seemed clear and pure and even the entire ravine looked bright, which was maybe because of the white sediments of quarts diorite sands on the riverbed under the clear blue sky of the late autumn.

After about 50 minutes along the creek, we came to the point where the path to the peak left the creek, but before we left the creek we saw a waterfall named Hondana no Taki. We needed to walk up along the creed for a few minute to the waterfall, but I must declare that this waterfall is well worth seeing. This about 60-m high waterfall drops almost vertically, and the fall crest looks like a knife that is cutting the hard rock into two.

After seeing the waterfall, we continued walking along the mountain trail which was getting steeper. When we got close to the mountain ridge, we saw many Japanese andromeda trees. Each of theses evergreen trees looked getting ready for the next spring by preparing many small flower buds on their branches. When we reached the ridge, colorful autumn leaves were replaced with dry and dead leaves; winter was already more dominant than autumn on the ridge.

We continue walking along the trail on the ridge repeating several times of uphill and downhill walk. Since we could have a clear view of mountains around because of the fine weather, the walk on the ridge was a merry experience. In addition, there was very little breeze, so we did not feel coldness in spite of this late autumn season. Finally we reached the summit after needing about two-hour walk on the ridge. We had late lunch there, and went back the same trail to the car.

Today's Sake
Junmaishu Koshinotsukasa (Imayotsukasa Shuzo)
Junmai Koshinotsukasa was my most favorite sake of the five sakes I tasted when I visited Imayotsukasa Shuzo in Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture.
At this time, I tasted a junmai, junmaiginjo, junmaidaiginjo, junmai shiboritate nama-nama, and junmai karakuchi types.
Among these sakes, Junmai Koshinotsukasa had an excellent fragrance and is gentle but rich in flavor. It first tasted like a junmaiginjo sake rather than a junmai sake. Actually, it is said this sake was brewed in the method for making junmaiginjo sake using rice polished down to 65%, which is a little bit higher percentage value for making junmaiginjo sake.
After tasting this sake I purchased a bottle of this, and I plan to try drinking it warmed next time.
Rice used: Gohyakumangoku
Seimaibuai: 65%
Alcohol: 15 - 16%

No comments: