[TOKYO] Hiking Mt. Nabewari: from udon to ramen

Hiking Mt. Nabewari - day trip from Tokyo 2

Dear Food Diary:
You might have noticed by now that my idea of an Saturday morning adventure is trying a new dish or cuisine. StalkerBoy however loves the outdoors and being active. He also knows how to lure me into going hiking with him.

You see, at the top of Mt. Nabewari sits a famous udon shop, run by an old man who for decades have carried water and all the ingredients daily on his back, all the way to the peak. With that, I was hooked and even “excited” about going hiking…

Hiking Mt. Nabewari - day trip from Tokyo 3

Two subway transfers plus a bus later, we arrived after noon and got a late start. From what we read, the hike would take about 6 hrs to and from, which seemed reasonably doable.

FULL DIRECTION

Hiking Mt. Nabewari - day trip from Tokyo - follow signs

Hiking Mt. Nabewari - day trip from Tokyo 4

Before arriving to the start of the path,we walked through a neighborhood full of vegetable gardens.

Hiking Mt. Nabewari - day trip from Tokyo - vegetable stalls
Each house had their own vegetable stand run by honor system. We got some really good greens and eggplant before heading home at about $1 a bag.

Hiking Mt. Nabewari - day trip from Tokyo - views 2

Totally ready… off we went…

Hiking Mt. Nabewari - day trip from Tokyo - follow signs 2

Everything was ok as long as we followed the signs…

Hiking Mt. Nabewari - day trip from Tokyo - follow signs 3
It was over 90 degrees, though shaded, I was sweating as if exercising in a giant sauna, hence that hello kitty towel.

That lion sign creeped me out. But I was willing to take my chances for a good bowl of udon.

Hiking Mt. Nabewari - day trip from Tokyo

Hiking Mt. Nabewari - day trip from Tokyo 6

Nice views along the way kept my excitement up, though after a while, I realized this was anything but a leisurely walk! Actually, it’s pretty hardcore, at least to a Chubby like me.

Hiking Mt. Nabewari - day trip from Tokyo 7

More than two hours later, my spirits kept up, but as the path went from rough to almost killing me, StalkerBoy had to remind me of the hot prize ahead…

Hiking Mt. Nabewari - day trip from Tokyo - views

Hiking Mt. Nabewari - day trip from Tokyo - follow signs 4

The udon man asks nice folks to help bring water up… hmmmm, no thanks! I can barely get myself up.

Hiking Mt. Nabewari - day trip from Tokyo 8
Met some fuzzy friends along the way, no leeches thank goodness! (some folks have encountered it on a wrong turn).

Hiking Mt. Nabewari - day trip from Tokyo 5
At some point closer to our 3 hr mark, it just seem to go up, up, up! And my legs were starting to give up…

It started drizzling and the sky was getting darker. As fellow hikers came down, they assured us another hr or so to go with an excited and encouraging tone. Really?! How is that encouraging!? I was too tired to think about udon at this point, but still going…

Hiking Mt. Nabewari - day trip from Tokyo - 3 hours later
The rain came down, the sky gradually scarier and the climb got harder. It didn’t seem smart to keep going any longer. There was no way I could do three tough hours downhill in rainy conditions.

More than 3 hrs in, we turned back defeated… The ones who’ve made it to the top bragged about how “oishii” aka delicious the udon was *sigh*.

Trust me, I tried and even contemplated to just make it on top and play it by ear in the dark, but StalkerBoy promised we would come back earlier another day and more prepared. My knees weakened at the thought of another 3 hr + getting down, but I had no choice.

Hungry and disappointed we hopped back to the bus towards the subway station. Right before the station I spotted this little ramen place, I don’t have good eye sight, but food always seem to become full focus.

No udon for us, but hey, ramen was a pretty sweet consolation, right?

 

Ajari Ramen – Hadano,Kanagawa

Ajari Ramen - Hadano, Kanagawa

Ajari Ramen - Hadano, Kanagawa - wall of fame - miso ramen
Aside from the usual vending machine, there was a huge board of fame. They serve Shoyu (soy sauce), Miso and Shio (salt) based bowls. We both picked miso.

Ajari Ramen - Miso Ramen - by Shibusawa Station
I got mine will all the works. ‘Cuz I totally worked for it, darn it!

Ajari Ramen - Miso Ramen - Hadano, Kanagawa
Miso, pork broth loaded with pork belly, bonito flakes, seaweed and Kakiage (deep-fried ball of onion, carrot, burdock, green beans). I’ve never had this in a bowl of ramen, made me wonder why. The depth of that rich broth with all the topping was just so perfect. So many textures and flavors. Maybe not for the purist, but I was a happy hiker.

Ajari Ramen - Miso Ramen - by Shibusawa Station 2
StalkerBoy’s simpler rendition was just as good. His miso had a kick to it (he likes it spicy).

Ajari Ramen - Miso Ramen - Hadano, Kanagawa - pork belly
I love how the Japanese aren’t afraid of fat – which is clearly synonymous to mucho flavor! This was chard all around and so fatty and meaty. Loved it.

Ajari Ramen - Miso Ramen - Hadano, Kanagawa - noodles
The yellow noodles were springy and al dente. Resistant to the deep flavors. Great match up.

What a good bowl! It hit the spot like no other. Maybe the 6+ hours hiking had something to do.

No udon, but this miso ramen was phenomenal. I would take two trains there just to have another bowl again.

P.S. Chubby’s Rating: chubby rating 5

Yanagi-cho 1-13-2, Hadano City, Kanagawa Prefecture
3 minutes walk from Shibusawa Station (Odakyu Line)
Closed Monday. [Tuesday-Friday] 11:00 – 15:00, 17:00 – 25:00 [Saturday/Sunday] 11:00 – 21:00