Fine and healthy dining in rural Japan
star2.com -- Apr 08
As soon as the express train leaves for Yamanashi prefecture, west of Tokyo, you leave behind the suburbs and encounter forests where they say animals still roam in search of fruit.

The JR Chuo line express is a 90-minute ride through scenic gorges into inaka or rural Japan. Crossing into the Japanese fruit-producing region, you see a colourful part of the mountainous interior. The train tracks hug the side of wooded cliffs and pass over rushing crystal clear water which takes your mind away from hectic Shinjuku, the departure point.

The trip can even be a day adventure like mine; a speedy introduction, but I really should have found time to go walking, gaze at Mount Fuji or linger over the amazingly fresh cuisine. On the rail trip and driving around, I experienced autumn colours with red, burnt orange and yellows which we never see in our tropical forests, and forests a plenty there were. There are many reasons to seeing, tasting and enjoying this area, famous for its scenery, hot springs (onsen), vineyards and picking your own fruit, all within view of Mount Fuji.

After the 90-minute trip from central Tokyo, I got off the speedy and comfortable train at the peaceful town of Enzan. With my seasonal choice of late autumn, I could not try fruit-picking cherries (yes they blossom but early in April), peaches, grapes or strawberries. My friend who accompanied me (used to study in Wellington, New Zealand, where I also went to university) enjoys what we call "the countryside" and cuisine. It was a short drive from the train station for Malaysia's "national pastime" – eating.

News source: star2.com
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