We will introduce you to some recommended events, routes and places to eat you can visit during Golden Week.
The lion dance of Kawaii Yakumo shrine – May 5th
Okutama has a long history (over 600 years) of lion dances being performed to bring good fortune, the elimination of bad luck and a good harvest. The lion dances have three lions, one female lion and two male lions. There are about seven stories in the lion dance, some of which are based on the male lions fighting each other over the female lion.
In total there are 12 lion dances performed around the area during the year, usually in mid summer.
The lion dance of Kawai Yakumo shrine (near Kawai train station) is held on May 5th.
The dances are performed throughout the day which gives you a chance to experience a traditional Japanese countryside festival.
Our ‘Course A’ is Okutama’s Historical Road. Before the dam of Lake Okutama was built, this was the main road from the mountains since ancient times. Follow part of this old road, rarely used by cars, as it winds through the deep valley of the Tama river. This time of year, the new growth on the trees have a striking contrast of light green against the darker greens of the cedar and cypress trees. With splashes purple – flowers of the wild wisteria, peeking through the trees.
During Golden week, there will be a lot of people, so popular restaurants and those easy to find on the internet will naturally be crowded…. So, we will secretly tell you the best places to avoid the crowds and enjoy a delicious meal!
Miyama-tei (Map Pg9 no 3)
This restaurant is located along the shore of Lake Okutama.
The restaurant has the atmosphere of a retro drive-in where time seems to have stopped since the Showa period. It may even seem like the place is closed. The restaurant is relatively empty. At first glance, the staff seems to be unenthusiastic and there is a bit of a wait time, but they are very kind, courteous and are highly skilled
This is a very good place to eat. We recommend that you visit the restaurant by 12:30 p.m., as they may run out of items during lunch time!
Nonkiya (Map Pg9 – No 2)
A handmade ramen noodle restaurant located along the shore of Lake Okutama. It is a very long-established restaurant that has been in operation since 1918 (Taisho 7). A strong smell of pork bone broth wafts through the air. When you try it, you will be surprised by traditional style pork broth and gentle soy sauce flavor.
The restaurant is popular, so there are always a lot of customers. However, the turnover is fast, so even if the restaurant is crowded, there is often not that long a wait. The most recommended menu item is “Teuchi Chuka-Soba Shoyu” + half a bowl of rice. Since the portion of ramen is rather small, we recommend that you add half rice.