On our way back to Sayama after the Nagano trip we made a stop at the Someya Apple Orchard in Numata, Gunma. A matsuri ( festival ) of sorts was going on, celebrating the year’s bountiful harvest, with drinks all around ! ( ok, the booze wasn’t really flowing that liberally but the food was free. )
(above) A view of the Apple Orchard and close up of a blooming Apple flower. ( below ) A sudden deluge had put a damper on the party but thankfully it stopped as quickly as it arrived. As the clouds cleared I could see the snow capped mountains in the far distant.
(above) Slices of fried apple served with a little whipped cream. Crispy on the outside but sweet and juicy on the inside. It was really, really tasty.
(above) Another vendor serving up delicious apple treats roasted in his special ovens. ( below ) A (Nabe) hot pot prepared from the meat of…a fell bear. The hunter ( see picture below ) told us his story of how the bear trespassed the orchard in search of food and how he had to take it down to protect the apple trees. I didn’t try any of the Nabe.
(above) Bottles of tasty apple juice ready for packing and shipping. I was quickly reminded of the Bean’s Alcoholic Apple Cider in Fantastic Mr Fox.
(below) The festival crowd gather around for Mochitsuki; the befuddled expression on that kid in the middle is just priceless. I took a shot at Mochitsuki a few years back at Takeshi’s house. It’s a lot harder than it looks.
(above) My hosts Takeshi & Kojima enjoying the food and festivities.
And the festival was great fun. Here’s the website for Someya if you ever think of visiting.10