I got picked up on Monday from Minobu Station by Damien, a french guy working at the ryokan.
This is where the Minobu Manju shop that’s featured in Yuru Camp is, and it had a lot of customers.
There was also a few posters on the window of the souvenir shop. All the vending machines around the town were covered in Yuru Camp wrapping too.
With the live action version recently aired, Heya Camp specials aring right now, and season 2 lined up for the near future, there was a lot going on for Yuru Camp here. For people that don’t know, Yuru Camp is a super wholesome anime, which is pretty much about girls that go camping. Sounds boring, right? It’s been described as “relaxing” and “cozy”, and if you want something more slower paced to watch, I highly recommend it. It’s set all across Yamanshi, particularly this part of the prefecture that I’m in right now, which is why there’s so much of it on display.
Because Damien can speak english he was showing me the ropes for the first few days. He would normally be doing a lot of hosting with foreigners because of his language skills, but because of the whole Covid-19 thing, most of them have cancelled within the last few weeks. So we’re spending most of our time doing dishes, cleaning, and making up rooms. Every so often theres a job outside to do, which is a nice break from being inside the whole day. The weather has been really good too, and there are blossoms blooming all over the place.
One of the days Damien and I were tasked to put up some lights to illuminate the cherry blossoms outside for the terrace at night.
I also found two rather lonely looking Yuru Camp memo pads in the gift shop.
There were a few cats wandering around the premises, and I caught this one sleeping in a box.
Yesterday on Wednesday, I asked for a day off so I could explore the local area. I headed down the path from the Ryokan towards the local village, and had a poke around the various souvenir shops.
I headed up the valley towards Kuonji Shrine, the main shrine of the village. At the bottom of the stair case there was a Yuru Camp display of all the main characters outside the tourist office, where I picked up a Yuru Camp map.
Some shiba inus at the entrance to the shrine.
After heading through the entrance I was met with a wall of stairs leading up to the main shrine area.
It was incredibly tiring climbing them all.
A view from the top.
There were lots of people around the shrine area for the blossoms, which were in full bloom. Beautiful stuff.
There were a lot of people with expensive camera gear, definitely out matching my decade-old Sony HX20V.
Some more shots around the temple.
I was thinking of taking the cable car to the top of Minobusan but a case of “I can’t be asked” suddenly overcame me and I decided to head back down to the ryokan. I hadn’t taken my hayfever pill yet and I was really worried some covid-19-like symptoms would worry people.
After taking my pill and having a quick break at the ryokan, I headed back to the village and decided to have a walk back to Minobu station, and check out the Minobu manju shop. While walking through the village I passed a few more shops supporting the local Anime.
This one looked like it had a particularly large amount of Yuru Camp stuff so I decided to poke my head in and have a browse.
The shop was owned by a cute old couple, and they invited me in to sit down and have some tea and shingenmochi (the food in yuru camp that you momi momi momi momi). There was a lot of merch inside.
It would be rude to not have bought anything, so I got a bundle of Yuru Camp branded plastic folders and set off towards Minobu Station further down the valley. The downside to backpacking is I can’t buy anything heavy.
On the way I spotted this very nice looking Subaru WRX. Plenty of JDM sports cars rolling around here by the way. I like.
I about was halfway to the station when I had another case of “I can’t be asked”. I was a bit worn out from walking around all day in the sunny weather so I decided to head back to the ryokan. I was waiting for the bus when, completely by chance damien passed by in a company car. So he took me back, which was nice.
It’s tough and repetitive work at the ryokan. But every so often something happens which spices things up a little. There were a few guests that evening having a birthday dinner with their gran, and we surprised her with a birthday (the boss’s special home made cheese) cake. It was just that family left in the dining room. A few of the staff and I turned off all the lights, and brought the cake in singing “happi basude”, and had a small round of applause after. She was so taken aback by it all that she started crying with happiness. The feels.
Right now I’m in the process of rewatching Yuru Camp. I was telling myself to just watch it but I can’t stop myself from screenshotting all the key locations, in case I want to, I don’t know, do some pilgrimages or something (cough cough)