Wakayama has very delicious ramen, and we stopped at a place with very peculiar ramen. Can you spot why?
A: black ramen noodles. We even had black gyoza (dumplings). They were pretty good.
The coastline was lovely with views of the deep blue sea. A few lighthouses dot the coast too. We ended up seeing rainbows several times over the course of the trip, thanks to the quick-changing weather. This one was my favorite:
One morning we got up super early to check out Nachikatsuura, a town with grand shrines, waterfalls, and winding trails through the forested mountains used for pilgrimages. Because it was so early, places were empty and quiet, and the rain clouds formed mist around the mountains, giving everything a mysterious look.
(resembling Machu Picchu?)
In Mie, we checked out the Iga-ryu Ninja Museum. I was skeptical at first, but I learned a lot of things about ninjas that I never knew. They have a ninja house set up there, and they demonstrate the various tricks ninjas used, such as hidden hiding places, escape routes, and places to hide weapons. Most ninjas disguised themselves as day-to-day farmers, since they were skilled in raising and mixing herbs and plants. Others could pretend to be wandering priests or entertainers. Also, did you know that ninjas didn't eat meat? They were vegetarians to keep lithe and not give off odors. Detection by scent was just as important as sight and sound detection. Here's some various styles of shuriken (throwing stars):
Our next adventure hasn't been planned yet... the big London trip in a few months and winter looming to make travel a bit treacherous. I hope we can squeeze in a few more trips if possible!