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At Yokono Falls, there is an interesting restaurant called Somen Nagashi (Flowing Somen). At this restaurant, you sit on benches and at each table, there is a bamboo chute. Water runs down the bamboo, and when customers sit at a table, noodles come down the chute in the water. To eat, you simply put your chopsticks in the water and the noodles will quickly pile up onto them and you can then dip it in one of the sauces or eat it plain (The somen noodles taste like angel hair pasta). There is a bowl at the end to catch the noodles that make it to the end of the bamboo chute, so of course it's sanitary! This was an interesting and fun new way to dine!
Note: Because you eat outside and the water can freeze, this restaurant is only open from April to November.
Updated Jan 6, 2009
In Tsuyama, on the "Sea Memorial/Festival" the people of Tsuyama go to Yokono Falls to celebrate and pay homage to the sea. This holiday was on July 21. There are no special rituals to perform at Yokono Falls, so it's not a "celebration" like a party, it is simply customary to visit the falls and perhaps eat at the restaurant.
Updated May 4, 2009
Favorite thing: While much of Japan's historical sights have been engulfed by Japan's large metropolitan areas, Tsuyama is a more quiet town where you can enjoy the historical sights without the tourist crowds. This is partly because it is in rural Japan, but also because the citizens have taken an interest in their city's history and culture, so they are well-preserved. Because of the history and culture, Tsuyama has been called "Little Kyoto". Joto street and the samurai house are from the feudal Edo Period, the Yayoi village is a recreation of some of the first settlements in Tsuyama (and there is a museum nearby that contains artifacts from the past), Yokono Washi (which is the traditional method of making paper in Tsuyama) still exists in Tsuyama, Kakuzan Park contains the ruins of Tsuyama Castle, Shurakuen Garden has been preserved from the 17th century, and of course there are many temples and shrines, along with many museums, so you can truly learn a lot about Japanese history and experience much of it firsthand!
One of the main reasons why people travel to Japan, is to experience its unique culture and to learn more about its fascinating history. If this is one of your goals, then Tsuyama will not disappoint you!
Fondest memory: The people of Tsuyama really made my stay there memorable. I lived with a host family for four weeks, and I have since returned to visit them.
Updated Jan 6, 2009