The weather forecasted sunny/cloudy in the morning and rain in the afternoon. I got up early to make us breakfast bentos (boxed breakfast) of sato-joyu (soy sauce-sugar) coated spam, rolled egg, pickled ginger and ume (pickled plum), 5-grain rice mixed with genmai (brown rice), some shiokombu (salted seaweed) and sliced apple (I actually peeled the skins off and left it attached at one end, so that it wouldn't get too brown. In Japan, a lot of farms use lots of chemicals to produce "perfect" fruits & vegetables, so we usually don't eat the skins.)
About 3 stations away in between of the Yamamoto and Nakayama stations is the Aramaki Rose Garden.
This garden is 1.7 hectares (about 4 acres) and boasts 10,000 stems with about 250 different varieties of roses and the best part is it is FREE!! (Not many things are free in Japan!) They weren't lying...We were speechless when we arrived at this garden.
There were so many roses (some blooms as big as our hands!) and at the time we arrived, hardly any people.
We quickly grabbed a bench and enjoyed our breakfast amongst the fragrant rose blooms. After breakfast, we leisurely strolled around the park. And as we were leaving we noticed that the crowd had picked up--I think there were actually tour buses dropping people off! Their website says that they will be open in the autumn for the autumn blooms so we're looking forward to checking this garden out again.
We then made our way back to Minoo and went to a place called Mensho Hanamichi. This shop serves ramen. Ramen is a chinese style noodle in hot soup. There are about 4 different types of soup bases (that I know of)--shoyu (soy sauce), tonkotsu (simmered pork bones and root veggies), shio (salt) and miso (soy bean paste).
I ordered something different, it is called the kenbi-tomato-miso. Kenbi is not a Japanese word but just two chinese characters playfully put together to mean healthy and beautiful.
This ramen boasts high collagen (from the pork) and lycopene from the tomato paste mixed in the tonkotsu soup. Diced tomato, lettuce and a hanjuku (half cooked) hard boiled egg garnished the top. It was very good. Not too salty, I think the tomato sauce balances the saltiness. The gyoza (pot stickers) in the background were Satoshi's--although I had one :)
Hope you are enjoying your weekend.
Aramaki Rose Garden
3-1-13 Segawa, Grandia Kashima 1F