In Gunma prefecture, there is a small town called Ueno village. It sits between Gunma and Saitama prefecture. It is not far from Tokyo to visit.
Every April and May, especially late April to early May, there is Golden Week (GW) in Japan. GW is a period where many national holidays fall on. For example, April 29 is the birth day of the former emperor, May 3 is memorial day of passing the first law, May 4 is green day and May 5 is boys day. GW is the best chance to go on a long vacation.
I was planning on taking a trip with my husband like everyone else. But it turned out everything from accommodation, flight tickets would be very expensive. What is more, every place must be crowded during GW. We decided not to travel this time, but another time.
I looked for a part time job instead and worked during GW. Just staying at home doesn’t make money. I have to make money for my stuff. It may sound different that you will purposefully work during the holiday. But I thought it would be a good experience in my life. I would not have known the place if I didn’t go work. I chose Ueno village to work and here I will show you great things that I found in Ueno village.
A lot of greenery, full of Nature
Ueno village is more of a remote area on mountains. The nearest train station is far away, it is 30minutes car ride from the village. You never see high buildings, many cars and lots of people in Ueno village. Not many restaurants, café, shops either. It is great to walk around in a good weather. When I took these pictures, it was very nice weather for exploring the village. I felt nice breeze, sounds of birds singing and river flowing. Everything will take your attentions. You can disconnect yourself from digital world here and you will know it is sometimes good.
Shigeko’s little snack shop
There is a woman named Shigeko san selling home-made snacks. She sells karinto and cookies. Karinto is a Japanese snack which is a bar of flour and it is fried and seasoned with brown sugar all over it. But her karinto is a little different. Instead of brown sugar, it uses sesame called Egoma all over it. Egoma is a specially of the village. The karinto is not sweet, but still tasty and healthy. Also her walnut cookies are great. There are only two kinds of snacks that she sells, karinto and cookies, but you will know she takes time and effort for making them. I bought them and soon finished eating them up. They were really delicious.
Road station Ueno, full of local specialty
If you like to meet their specialty at once, the road station Ueno is the best place for you. They have everything from local snack, food, ingredients to local crafts. I really like wooden crafts, so it was a paradise for me. Don’t miss them. If you like one, then grab it before it is gone. Ueno village is also a visitor’s area for drivers, many people visit the road station. It is always lively inside with people buying and window-shopping.
Here is my favorite desert at Ueno road station. Big soft cream with plum source over it. I really love it. Sour plum source really goes well with sweet soft cream. The soft cream was way too bigger than the typical one. But you can eat it in no time because it is so good. I had it twice in a week. haha
If you love walking, then go walk more to the next city, Kanna town to get this.
Organic and eco-friendly lunch plate
For over few years, people have been getting aware of the importance of health. In Kanna town next to Ueno village, there is a restaurant where you can have organic lunch plate. It is inside Kanna town dinosaur museum. The town is known for the first place where dinosaur footprint was found in Japan. They mainly use vegetables that are grown and harvested in the town and that do not use a chemical. They also use no-genetic-recombination meats too. They take good care of both nature and human.
Look at the plate carefully. Their chopsticks, wet towel are also eco-friendly and reusable. The most surprising thing for me was their wet towel. I have never seen handkerchief used for wet towel at restaurant. That was inspiring and eye opener. The design was cute. It made me happy as soon as I noticed it. The plate was so delicious that I became full right away.