There's a part of me that would have considered my visit to Obuse already worthwhile if, after visiting the Ganshoin and Hokusai Museum, I then had spent the rest of my day trip (from Nagano, which is just a 35 minute train ride away) strolling around this picturesque town. As it so happens though, Obuse is also famous for chestnuts; so I decided that I should have some while I was there. And as it turned out, I also found time to visit two out of three of the local sake breweries that are open to the public along with a couple of residential gardens which also are open to the public by way of an "Open Gardens" scheme that I think speaks to how safe as well as welcoming the town is, and how lovely Obuse is overall! :)
A row of Jizos along a section of the "main road"
leading from Obuse train station to Ganshoin
In addition to Hokusai, Ganshoin also is associated with
Fukushima Masanori, a daimyo whose mausoleum towers
above the final resting places of others in the temple's cemetery
Puppet Ponyo preferred to lie down on the stone steps
leading up to nearby Jokoji rather than hike up to see the temple
(and, after the previous day's exertions, I felt similarly)!
In addition to chestnuts, grapes are also grown in Obuse
-- and I saw plenty of evidence of that on my visit!
My substantial lunch set of kuri okawa (steamed glutinous mochi
rice with chestnuts) along with stewed pork belly and bamboo,
assorted pickles, handmade soba, and a huge bowl of miso soup! :O
Sake for sale -- and available to sample -- at the
I also sampled some sake -- and this time
free of charge! -- at Matsubaya Honten
open to the public in beautiful Obuse :)