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Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Gardener's Lodge vegan cafe, Camperdown, Sydney

Vegan lasagna at Gardeners Lodge vegan cafe in Camperdown Sydney

You can't even tell it's vegan. Seriously. There's been a lot of hype about the lasagna at vegan cafe Gardeners Lodge. Believe the hype. It's every bit as cheesy and meaty as any Nonna would make. But vegan.

Outdoor seating in the park at Gardeners Lodge vegan cafe in Camperdown Sydney

You'll find Gardeners Lodge in the quaint sandstone building that sits on the edge of Victoria Park. You know. The huge park opposite Broadway Shopping Centre. On a sunny day, it's a glorious spot to soak up some Vitamin D and admire the tranquility of Lake Northam.

Vegan desserts at Gardeners Lodge vegan cafe in Camperdown Sydney

Otherwise you can take a seat inside the building, a mix of small tables and communal seating with a close-up view of the dessert shelf lined with treats.

Vegan zucchini fritters at Gardeners Lodge vegan cafe in Camperdown Sydney
Zucchini fritters $16

The menu offers a mix of cafe staples with Italian favourites. You'll find zucchini fritters on the all-day breakfast menu, alongside avocado bruschetta, cheese and (plant-based) ham toasties, and an acai smoothie bowl.

The fritters are generous with zucchini but perhaps not as crisp as expected. There's plenty of health-reviving zing on the plate though, with dairy-free feta, peppery rock leaves, fresh lemon and a good splodge of avocado to smear on sourdough toast.

Vegan lasagne lunch at Gardeners Lodge vegan cafe in Camperdown Sydney
Lasagne $18

The lunch menu kicks off at 11.30am. Ordering the lasagne is pretty much mandatory. You're score a magnificent slab of oozing lasagne that could almost pass as a meat version. It's satisfyingly savoury (hello umami), amped up with mushrooms, lashings of bechamel sauce and enough dairy-free cheese to make you want to kept digging that fork in for more.

It'll be no surprise to learn that there's some serious pedigree behind the lasagne. The recipe is by Marco Matino, the chef behind Gigi's in Newtown, the pizzeria that switched to an all-vegan menu in 2015 and hasn't looked back. Marco is the brother of Jessica Matino Ndibe, the co-owner of Gardener's Lodge.

Vegan Caesar salad with plant-based schnitzel at Gardeners Lodge vegan cafe in Camperdown Sydney
Caesar salad $14
with plant-based schnitzel $5

On the salad menu, the most substantial offering would be the Caesar with added plant-based schnitzel, over the mixed salad and the pumpkin salad. We're not quite sure what's in the smoky rashers nor the schnitzel but they're eerily uncanny in similarity of appearance and texture to bacon and chicken. There's a great crunch and toothsomeness to the schnitzel, although we probably could have done with half as many croutons.

Vegan mushroom sandwich at Gardeners Lodge vegan cafe in Camperdown Sydney
Mushroom panini $17

There are sandwiches too. Panini are made using Brickfields ciabatta. The mushroom one is worth trying, if not just for the dairy-free blue cheese playing off against pan-seared oyster mushrooms and the slight bitterness of crisp radicchio leaves.

Not convinced? Try the melanzane grilled eggplant, plant-based schnitzel or tomato and olive bruschetta.

Stools and water station at Gardeners Lodge vegan cafe in Camperdown Sydney

Vegan cheese fridge and groceries at Gardeners Lodge vegan cafe in Camperdown Sydney


Gardener’s Lodge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gardener's Lodge 
Victoria Park
Corner of Parramatta Ros and City Road, Camperdown
Tel: +61 (0)425 334 023

Opening hours
Monday to Friday 8.30am-3pm
Saturday and Sunday 9am-3pm


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2 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 9/03/2019 12:23:00 am


Monday, August 19, 2019

Dopa by Devon at Darling Square, Haymarket Sydney

Hokkaido uni sea urchin with tuna and salmon roe rice bowl at Dopa by Devon in Darling Square Sydney

Dopa? It's short for dopamine because the crew behind Dopa, Devon's newest incarnation, reckon you'll be hooked. On the menu you'll find Japanese rice bowls and sweets, everything from matcha profiteroles to black sesame puddings to kakigori shaved ice.

Donburi and milkbar at Dopa by Devon in Darling Square Sydney

Dopa takes up a corner site on the recently launched Electric Treat Street, part of the multi-million dollar Darling Square development. At its centre is The Exchange, an impressive building that looks like a giant birds nest. You'll find a who's who of food luminaries now open in the area. The Exchange includes Saga Lyte by Andy Bowdy, Boque by Tapavino, Hopper Kade, Mr Bao, Bubble Nini, FishbowlBau Truong and Pasta Wafu by Hamish Ingham, Rebecca Lines and Kerby Craig.

Wander down Electric Treat Street (and extension of Little Hay Street) and you'll find Gelato Messina, Shortstop Donuts, Kurtosh, and Filipino snack bar Rey Jr.

Chef plating up Hokkaido uni sea urchin to our rice bowl at Dopa by Devon in Darling Square Sydney
Adding Hokkaido uni sea urchin to our rice bowl

Dopa is one of the bigger eateries, an L-shaped dining room built around the open kitchen. The menu feels a little hard to follow in its overly spaced-out format but basically you choose your preferred protein on top of a donburi rice bowl.

You'll have to order and pay upfront at the register; a supplied buzzer will vibrate when your meal is ready to be collected, a slightly tricky task when balancing a tray of dishes in a narrow dining space.

Hokkaido uni don rice bowl at Dopa by Devon in Darling Square Sydney
Hokkaido uni don $49
Sea urchin roe, salmon roe, blue fin tuna sashimi with koshikari rice

Make sure you check the specials - written on a tiny blackboard next to the cash register - before you order. We make no hesitation in heading straight for premium territory, the Hokkaido uni don. Sure it's $49 but #yolo.

We're rewarded with plump petals of Hokkaido sea urchin roe and thick slices of blue fin tuna sashimi in ruby red. While the menu promises "caviar" we're provided with salmon roe which I guess is only slightly stretching the truth?

It's a luxe bowl that's generous with sea urchin roe. Our only quibble was the bowl was prepared relatively quickly but sat at the pick-up station for ten minutes while the rest of our order was prepared.

Wagyu steak, wagyu tongue, foie gras and fresh truffle ultimate don rice bowl at Dopa by Devon in Darling Square Sydney
Ultimate don $35
Steak, wagyu tongue, foie gras and truffle

We also splurge on the ultimate don, a decadent offering of steak, wagyu tongue, foie gras and freshly shaved truffle. The steak is particularly good, super juicy and tender. Foie gras and truffle are also an excuse to #treatyoself.

Pork katsu don set at Dopa by Devon in Darling Square Sydney
Pork katsu don $16
with miso soup, pickles and seaweed salad $5

It's not all fancy. The pork katsu don alone is $16 but you can turn it into more of a meal for $5 which adds miso soup, pickles and a seaweed salad.

Pork katsu at Dopa by Devon in Darling Square Sydney
Inside the pork katsu

The pork katsu is a winner, tender meat layered with fat and encased in a crunchy panko crumb. A soft-cooked scramble of velvety egg and a tangle of fried seaweed and fresh shallots round out a satisfying meal.

Other rice bowls on offer include karaage fried chicken, saikyo miso king salmon, salmon or tuna sashimi and a cheeseburger-style wagyu patty.

Dopa by Devon at Darling Square Sydney


Dopa Donburi and Milkbar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dopa by Devon
Shops 5-6, 2 Little Hay Street, Haymarket, Sydney

Opening hours
Daily 11am-10pm


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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 8/19/2019 01:20:00 am


Thursday, August 08, 2019

Terrace House "Opening New Doors": The 12 Karuizawa filming locations you should visit

Terrace House Opening New Doors housemates eating at Sasa soba restaurant in Karuizawa

Terrace House fans! Komban wa! If you're anything like me, you're hanging out for the latest season of Terrace House to drop on Netflix Australia. What's Terrace House? It's the Japanese reality show that's slowly gathered a global cult following. Each season features three men and three women - all strangers and usually single - living in a house together. Unlike Big Brother, they continue to live their lives and go to work or school while filming takes place. Even weirder, they can watch themselves on episodes while filming continues - some seasons run for as long as 14 months.

Terrace House offers outsiders a glimpse into modern Japanese society and the trials and tribulations of life. Some of it seems so familiar - the angst of unrequited love and the horror when oblivious housemates eat the special gifted food you'd been saving in the fridge - but other times it's a fascinating revelation into the Japanese psyche, like housemates' consistently diplomatic approach to bunk bed assignment (ask everyone's preference first and if there's an overlap, settle it with rock, paper, scissors) and the ongoing obsession for every new housemate to be asked 1. Are you single, followed by 2. What's your type (taipu)?

What makes Terrace House stand apart from other reality shows is the commentating team. As each episode unfolds, you get to watch them dissecting and analysing the developing relationships with equal parts invested intensity and wisecracking humour. Trust me. It's addictive.

So it goes without saying that a trip to Japan could conceivably incorporate a detour to the filming location of the latest (and hitherto best!) season, Opening New Doors. The fifth season was filmed in Karuizawa, a ski resort town of 20,000 people located about a 90-minute shinkansen ride from Tokyo. Yep, you bet I made that detour.

If you haven't watched Terrace House: Opening New Doors, disclaimer: the post below does include spoilers. If you have, read on and plan your next trip. ITADAKIMASU!


1. SASA Japanese Cuisine and Soba

If there's one place you have to visit in Karuizawa it's Sasa, the soba restaurant owned and run by Tsubasa's Dad. Karuizawa, and Nagano, is famous for its buckwheat, and Sasa prides itself on its soba noodles.

Entrance to Sasa soba restaurant in Karuizawa featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Entrance to Sasa

Local diners at Sasa soba restaurant in Karuizawa featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Local diners at Sasa

Tsubasa's dad, Tomio, with Tusbasa and Shion at his Sasa soba restaurant in Karuizawa featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Tsubasa's dad, Tomio, with Tsubasa and Shion at Sasa
(featured in episodes 3, 18, 19, 21 and 49 of Terrace House Opening New Doors)

Tomio, Tsubasa's dad, steals the show in almost every scene he's in. How could we not love the single dad who brought up two daughters on his own, and then named a soba restaurant after them?

Local diners at Soba combination set at Sasa restaurant in Karuizawa featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Sasa soba combination set 1700yen (~AU$22.50)

We order the Sasa soba combination set that's served with tempura, miso soup, konnyaku jelly and pickles.

Cold soba set at Sasa soba restaurant in Karuizawa featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Cold soba with assorted tempura, rice, konnyaku, pickled vegetables and miso soup

The tempura is textbook perfect, coated in a batter that's so light it's ethereal. The battered shiso leaf is a highlight. Seaweed salt and a dipping sauce made from katsuobushi (shaved dried skipjack tuna) and kombu seaweed add umami.

Karuizawa 100% buckwheat soba with ayu shioyaki grilled sweet fish at Sasa soba restaurant in Karuizawa featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Karuizawa local soba (100% buckwheat) 1100 yen (~AU$15)
with ayu shioyaki grilled sweet fish in salt 800 yen (~AU$11)

We also order the specialty soba made from 100% local Karuizawa buckwheat and grilled sweet fish.

Tsukemonomori pickled vegetables at Sasa soba restaurant in Karuizawa featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Tsukemonomori pickled vegetables 400 yen (~AU$5.50)

Of course we order the pickled vegetables too, a dish of impressive crunch that we enjoy just as much as Shion did. Maybe more.

Soba noodles dipped in tsuyu soy sauce at Sasa soba restaurant in Karuizawa featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Soba noodles dipped in tsuyu soy-based sauce

Cold soba noodles dipped in tsuyu sauce is just the kind of refreshment you need in summer. The noodles are chewy with a firm springy bite. Finely chopped shallots provide a counterbalance to the sweet and salty tsuyu soy-based sauce.

Karuizawa 100% buckwheat soba noodles dipped in tsuyu soy sauce at Sasa soba restaurant in Karuizawa featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Karuizawa local soba (100% buckwheat) dipped in tsuyu sauce

The 100% buckwheat soba noodles is a treat too, noticeably firmer in texture with a nuttier flavour.

Meeting Tomio Sato, Tsubasa's dad and owner of Sasa soba restaurant in Karuizawa featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Our brush with fame! Tomio Sato, Tsubasa's dad and owner of Sasa 

And yes, we got to meet Tomio Sato himself. And get a photo with him! TRIP HIGHLIGHT.

2. Konnyaku Park

Konnyaku Park in Gunma featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Entrance to the Konnyaku Park factory tour

You'll need a car to visit one of the most talked-about date venues of Opening New Doors - Konnyaku Park, a visitor centre for konnyaku, the high fibre and low calorie plant starch. And why wouldn't you visit? It's free entry to tour the factory as well as enjoy the free and unlimited buffet of all the konnyaku dishes you can eat!

Yui and Noah at the free all-you-can-eat konnyaku buffet at Konnyaku Park in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Yui and Noah at the free all-you-can-eat konnyaku buffet at Konnyaku Park
(episode 24 of Terrace House Opening New Doors)

I mean if it's good enough for Yui and Noah...!

Konnyaku factory tour at Konnyaku Park in Gunma near Karuizawa in Japan
Inside the konnyaku factory

Outdoor foot bath at Konnyaku Park in Gunma near Karuizawa in Japan
Outdoor foot bath

After touring the factory, you can take a load off and relax in one of the many outdoor foot baths.

More outdoor foot baths at Konnyaku Park in Gunma near Karuizawa in Japan
Outdoor foot bath space for everyone

Bag as much konnyaku as you can at Konnyaku Park gift shop in Gunma near Karuizawa in Japan
Pack as much konnyaku into a bag as you can for 500 yen!

And don't forget to take up Yui's challenge at the konnyaku gift shop - how much konnyaku can you fit into your 500 yen bag?


3. Prince Shopping Plaza

Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza map
Prince Shopping Plaza map

Need to buy a few things but don't have cash? Don't worry. Prince Shopping Plaza takes credit card. Even your Dad's!

Retail shops at Prince Shopping Plaza in Karuizawa that featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Some of the 230+ shops at Prince Shopping Plaza

There are over 230 outlet shops at Prince Shopping Plaza, conveniently located right behind Karuizawa JR train station.

Shion, Ami and Yuudai at Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Shion, Ami and Yuudai on their visit to Prince Shopping Plaza 
(episode 4 of Terrace House Opening New Doors)

It's during the housemates' car ride to Prince Shopping Plaza that we start to realise how sheltered Yuudai really is - yes he only brought $20 to go shopping at luxury outlets, and yes he did bring his Dad's credit card.

Prince Shopping Plaza is also where Takayuki and Shohei buy decorations and birthday party supplies for Ami and Shion (episode 14) and where Masao takes Risako (episode 49) to look at the Christmas lights (and hopefully at him).

Scenic mountain backdrop to Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza
Mountains and pretty flowers at Prince Shopping Plaza 


4. Tennentei Cafe

Tennentei Key Coffee Shop in Karuizawa featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Tennentei Cafe

Coffee stop? Head to Tennentei, a cute cafe with internal fireplace that would be oh-so-perfect in winter.

Masao and Risako having coffee at Tennentei Key Coffee Shop in Karuizawa in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Masao and Risako having coffee at Tennentei Cafe 
(episode 44 of Terrace House Opening New Doors)

Masao takes Risako to Tennentei Cafe after their Shiraito Waterfall date (and awkward Dad-and daughter-like selfie photo together). It's here that Masao reaches peak gushiness when he says he won't say he's drunk on Risako, but inadvertently does so anyway.

Locals having coffee at Tennentei Key Coffee Shop in Karuizawa that featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Locals having coffee 

The cafe is just as Risako describes, so "retro" with heavy wooden chairs that are lower than you'd expect. The linoleum flooring has been worn down to the cement floor from decades of footsteps and the speakers blare out a non-stop 60s soundtrack, everything from The Seeker singing Georgy Girl to the original Locomotion by Little Eva.

Millefeuille with coffee at Tennentei Key Coffee Shop in Karuizawa that featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Millefeuille with coffee 1100yen (about AU$15) or 650yen (AUD$9) cake only

We skip the brandy with lemonade (Masao's preferred "buzz") and settle for cake and coffee instead. The cakes are light and not too sweet. The coffee is on the more expensive side - almost AU$10 for a cup! - so get it with a slice of cake and pay AU$15 altogether.

Pumpkin cake with coffee at Tennentei Key Coffee Shop in Karuizawa that featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Pumpkin cake with coffee 1100yen (about AU$15) or 650yen (AUD$9) cake only

American coffee at Tennentei Key Coffee Shop in Karuizawa that featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
American coffee included with coffee set 
otherwise about 700yen (about AU$9.50) on its own

5. Karuizawa Kazakoshi Park Ice Arena

Kazakoshi Park Ice Arena in Karuizawa that featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Kazakoshi Park Ice Arena


Kazakoshi Park Ice Arena. It's where Tsubasa come alive as captain of the Karuizawa Fairies. 

Tsubasa, captain of the Karuizawa Fairies at Kazakoshi Park Ice Arena in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Tsubasa, captain of the Karuizawa Fairies at the ice rink in Terrace House Opening New Doors

There was so much emotion tied up in Tsubasa's connection to this team that it was hard not to feel a frisson of excitement when we turn up at the Ice Arena, set within a sports complex. The ice rink features in episodes 3, 15 and 18 of Opening New Doors. Ice hockey is life for Tsubasa. You can see it in her eyes in every scene.

Young ice hockey players training at Kazakoshi Park Ice Arena in Karuizawa that featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Young ice hockey players training at Karuizawa Kazakoshi Park Ice Arena

We arrive at the rink to find an ice hockey coaching session underway. Sugoi! The kids are young but already so athletic as they perform repeated drills.

Ice hockey training session at Kazakoshi Park Ice Arena in Karuizawa that featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Karuizawa Kazakoshi Park Ice Arena, host venue for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano

Karuizawa Kazakoshi Park Ice Arena was the official venue for the curling competition of the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. In doing so, Karuizawa became the first place in the world to host both winter and summer Olympic sports. The town also hosted equestrian events for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.


6. Ishokuan Enishiya

Entrance to Ishokuan Enishiya in Karuizawa that featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Entrance to Ishokuan Enishiya

We only have one night in Karuizawa and choose to eat dinner at Ishokuan Enishiya, a small izakaya (tavern) in Nakakaruizawa which is the fancier end of town.

Shion and Takayuki at Enishiya in Karuizawa in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Shion and Takayuki at Enishiya 
(episode 7 of Terrace House Opening New Doors

It's here that Shion confesses to Takayuki over several beers that he may be having feelings for Tsubasa. These feelings have steadily increased after their post-bath stretching routine together. Indeed.

Family dining at Ishokuan Enishiya in Karuizawa that featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Family dining at Ishokuan Enishiya

We excitedly skim the menu and realise it's entirely in Japanese. My Japanese reading skills only go so far and Google translate can't decipher all the kanji! When we ask if there's an English menu, the family behind us overhears and Otoosan (the father) comes over and speaks with us in English. The kindness of strangers! He saves us by recommending several dishes that are specialties of the restaurant, and then sends over a tasting of their cheesy potato wedges for good measure. So kind!

Maguro tuna sashimi and avocado at Ishokuan Enishiya in Karuizawa that featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Maguro tuna sashimi and avocado 540yen (AU$7.50)


Ishokuan Enishiya is popular for its unlimited drinks packages - the table of young men beside us were definitely there for the beer, not the food. We find the menu wide and varied and very affordable. While most izakaya tend to offer cheap dishes to supplement your drinks, the food here is simple but delicious, like the fresh and firm tuna sashimi with ripe avocado chunks, toasted sesame seeds and nori strips.

Pork kushikatsu at Ishokuan Enishiya in Karuizawa that featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Pork kushikatsu 250yen (AU$3.50) per skewer


Chicken tonkatsu at Ishokuan Enishiya in Karuizawa that featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Chicken tonkatsu 870yen (AU$12)

The pork kushikatsu is good but the pork tonkatsu is even better. The chicken fillet is supremely juicy, coated in a breadcrumb armour of golden crunch.

Juicy chicken tonkatsu at Ishokuan Enishiya in Karuizawa that featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Juicy chicken inside crisp batter

Soba pizza with miso vegetables at Ishokuan Enishiya in Karuizawa that featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Soba pizza with miso vegetables 880yen (AU$12)

We're also intrigued enough to order the soba pizza. The base is made using soba noodle dough, topped with local vegetables, miso and cheese. It sounds a lot more exciting than the actual result with the local vegetables tasting like sauteed choy sum. We do enjoy the light crispness of the soba pizza dough but it doesn't have the hearty satisfaction of a traditional woodfired pizza dough with its spongy but charred base and blistered bubbles around the edges.

Soba pizza base at Ishokuan Enishiya in Karuizawa that featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Soba pizza base

7. Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza Street

Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza Street in Karuizawa that featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza Street lined with souvenir shops
Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza Street is the town's take on the Ginza strip of Tokyo. It's a pretty street lined with small eateries and souvenir shops. You'll remember this street as the one where a very merry Seina links arms with Takayuki and Shohei after a big drinking session and together they skip to the next bar in the middle of the night (episode 16).

French Bakery in Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza Street loved by John Lennon and mentioned in Terrace House Opening New Doors
French Bakery where Masao buys a baguette to make breakfast for Risako 
(episode 48 of Terrace House Opening New Doors)

The French Bakery on this street is famous for being a favourite breakfast stop for John Lennon whenever he stayed in Karuizawa. And while the bakery isn't specifically shown in Opening New Doors (the shop itself has a strict no photography rule inside), it's from this bakery that Masao buys a baguette to make breakfast for Risako. 

FOG Bar and Burger in Karuizawa where Noah and Seina kissed passionately in Terrace House Opening New Doors
FOG Bar and Burger where Noah and Seina kissed passionately
(episode 32 of Terrace House Opening New Doors)

You know what else happened on this street? Only the raciest scene in Opening New Doors! FOG Bar & Burger, down a little side alley, is where Noah and Seina make out like nobody's business. Of course we happened to be in Karuizawa on the one day of the week they close, so no photos of THAT lounge, alas.


8. Trick Art Museum

Trick Art Museum Karuizawa featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Trick Art Museum

Where would you take a hot date you've had your eye on for some time? The Trick Art Museum of course! 

Maya and Kaito on their date at the Trick Art Museum Karuizawa on Terrace House Opening New Doors
Maya and Kaito on a date inside the Trick Art Museum 
(episode 40 of Terrace House Opening New Doors)

Maya and Kaito head to the Trick Art Museum for a date and seem to have way too much fun taking optical illusion photos. The Museum is located on Ginza Street but we were running out of time so couldn't head inside. From what we could glean, it's quite a small museum that would take an hour at most to complete. Entry fee is 1200JPY or about AU$17.

9. Suwa Shrine

Suwa Shrine in Karuizawa featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors
Suwa Shrine in Karuizawa

Have you really been to Japan if you haven't visited a shrine?

 
Housemates saying New Year prayers at Suwa Shrine in Karuizawa on Terrace House Opening New Doors
Housemates saying New Year prayers at Suwa Shrine 
(episode 12 of Terrace House Opening New Doors)

The Terrace House housemates appreciate the importance of shrines, making it a point to visit Suwa Shrina (only a short walk from Ginza Street) to say New Year prayers.

Suwa Shrine in Karuizawa featured on Terrace House Opening New Doors
Suwa Shrine, where Maya and Yui come in yukata to celebrate the summer Omatsuri festival 
(episode 37 of Terrace House Opening New Doors)

Suwa Shrine is much smaller than we expect, especially since we remember it featured in the Omatsuri festival where Maya and Yui dress up in yukata and come to watch the fireworks. Yui also shows off her goldfish catching prowess here.

Suwa Shrine in Karuizawa featured on Terrace House Opening New Doors
Suwa Shrine 

10. Kumanokoutai Jinja Shrine

Kumanokoutai Jinja Shrine in Karuizawa featured on Terrace House Opening New Doors
Steps at the entrance to Kumanokoutai Jinja Shrine where Shion buys a Katsumori victory charm for Tsubasa 
(episode 18 of Terrace House Opening New Doors)

Kumanokoutai Jinja Shrine is a much bigger shrine but a lot more difficult to get to, located at the top of Usui Pass which is 1200m above sea level. We drove past a few people walking up the winding road up the mountain. 

Kumanokoutai Jinja Shrine in Karuizawa featured on Terrace House Opening New Doors
Kumanokoutai Jinja Shrine located at the top of Usui Pass, 1200m above sea level

Kumanokoutai Jinja Shrine is where Shion visits to say a prayer on behalf of all housemates and and buys a Katsumori victory charm for Tsubasa in the lead-up to the 22nd Women's National Ice Hockey Championship. 

The shrine is unusual in that it sits on the border of two prefectures: Nagano on the left and Gunma on the right. The shrine is known by two different names according to which prefecture you're from. There are duplicates of everything within the shrine, including the two donation boxes above (Shion put his donation in the Nagano one on the left). 

Shrine at Kumanokoutai Jinja Shrine in Karuizawa featured on Terrace House Opening New Doors
Yatagarasu three-legged crow shrine at Kumanokoutai Jinja Shrine

Shion explains that Takayuki told him about this place which includes a shrine for yatagarasu, a legendary three-legged crow. In Japanese mythology, the three-legged crow is a sign of divine intervention in human affairs. 

Legendary giant tree at Kumanokoutai Jinja Shrine in Karuizawa featured on Terrace House Opening New Doors
The legendary giant tree at Kumanokoutai Jinja Shrine

The grounds of the shrine have a calming tranquility, especially as we wander around the area late in the afternoon with few people around. It's cool and green and peaceful.

It's here you'll find also find an enormous Japanese lime tree that's reputed to be over 850 years old.

Row of tiny stone shrines at Kumanokoutai Jinja Shrine in Karuizawa featured on Terrace House Opening New Doors
Row of tiny stone shrines at Kumanokoutai Jinja Shrine

11. Delicia 

Delicia supermarket in Karuizawa featured on Terrace House Opening New Doors
Delicia Karuizawa

Could we visit Karuizawa without visiting Delicia? Of course not.

Yuudai smelling an onion at Delicia supermarket in Karuizawa on Terrace House Opening New Doors
Housemates on their first grocery run to Delicia where Yuudai breaks new ground in smelling onions. Shion now does the same (conveniently photographed by Ami)
(episodes 1 and 11 of Terrace House Opening New Doors)

Please visit. And smell an onion, Yuudai-style. Shion did. I did too.


12. Kyu-Karuizawa Chapel 

Kyu-Karuizawa Chapel in Karuizawa that featured on Terrace House Opening New Doors
Kyu-Karuizawa Chapel

But look. If Sasa is the first place you must visit in Karuizawa, Kyu-Karuizawa Chapel has to be the second. 

Entrance doors to Kyu-Karuizawa Chapel in Karuizawa that featured on Terrace House Opening New Doors
What lies behind the impressive doors to Kyu-Karuizawa Chapel?

Inside Kyu-Karuizawa Chapel in Karuizawa that featured on Terrace House Opening New Doors
Inside Kyu-Karuizawa Chapel

We all know this scene...

Shohei's proposal to Seina inside Kyu-Karuizawa Chapel in Karuizawa on Terrace House Opening New Doors
Shohei's all-or-nothing "proposal" to Seina 
(episode 29 of Terrace House Opening New Doors)

OH YES.

THE BEST SCENE IN ALL OF TERRACE HOUSE OPENING NEW DOORS.

Stained glass windows inside Kyu-Karuizawa Chapel in Karuizawa that featured on Terrace House Opening New Doors
/Wipes a tear

MY LIFE IS COMPLETE.



Delicia Karuizawa
Kitasaku District, Karuizawa, Nozawahara, Nagano 389-0102, Japan
Open daily 9am-11pm

Ishokuan Enishiya
18-11 Nakakaruizawa, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District, Nagano 389-0112, Japan
Open Monday to Saturday 11.30am-11.30pm

Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza
Karuizawa, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District, Nagano 389-0102, Japan
Open daily 10am-7pm

Kazakoshi Park Ice Arena
182-3 Nagakura, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District, Nagano 389-0111, Japan

Konnyaku Park
204-1 Obata, Kanra, Kanra District, Gunma 370-2202, Japan
Open daily 9am-6pm
Entrance is free

Kumanokoutai Jinja Shrine
Kitasaku-gun, Karuizawamachi Tougemachi 2, Nagano, Japan

Kyu-Karuizawa Chapel (attached to Hotel Otowa no Mori)
1323-980 Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano 389-0102, Japan

Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza Street  
541 Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano 389-0102, Japan

SASA Japanese Cuisine and Soba
1058-16, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano 389-0102, Japan
Open Thursday to Tuesday 11.30am-3pm and 5.30pm-9pm

Suwa Shrine
865 Kyukaruizawa, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano 389-0102, Japan

Tennentei Key Coffee House
4-2 Karuizawahigashi, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District, Nagano 389-0104, Japan
Open daily 8am-7pm

Trick Art Museum
809 Kyukaruizawa, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano 389-0102, Japan


We only managed to visit a small number of filming locations featured in Terrace House Opening New Doors. If you have more time than we did, you can use this episode-by-episode guide and this filterable map to plan your fangirling tour.




Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Japan 2015: Toyama > Kanazawa > Nagano > Kyoto > Nara > Osaka > Kobe > Kagoshima > Hakata > Hiroshima and Miyajima Island > Sapporo > Otaru > Hakodate > Tokyo

Japan 2010: Tokyo > OsakaOsaka CastleOsaka Dotonbori > Sapporo Snow FestivalSapporo Beer MuseumHokkaido crabSapporo Nijo Fish MarketSapporo Susukino Ice Festival 
5 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 8/08/2019 12:39:00 am



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