A night out in Nagano

We spent one night in Nagano as part of our 2017 road trip around Honshu and thoroughly enjoyed our short amount of time there. Our accommodation was the Matsuya Ryokan our first ever ryokan stay and we drove there following a day visiting the snow monkeys and Nozawa Onsen. The drive was very pretty and the sun was just starting to set:

We arrived in Nagano at around 5pm, checked into our hotel, and enjoyed some hot tea before heading out for the evening. This is the front of the lovely Matsuya Ryokan:

The accommodation was in a very old and picturesque area of the town and right next to the Zenko-ji temple. There were plenty of shops and eateries in the vicinity but they were all closing when we arrived so we decided to head towards the station for the evening. There were some very pretty sights along the way:

We popped into one izakaya for a couple of beers, it was early and relatively empty and there was a lot of Trump propaganda on the TV so we decided to head somewhere else to eat. Litre sized whiskey bottles:

Literally next door we found a slightly classier izakaya:

Upon entering we were pleased to establish that it was relatively busy with some large groups in, we opted to sit at the counter and promptly ordered two beers. The menu here was handwritten and very difficult for us to read, much to the amusement of the middle aged portly gentleman sat next to us who felt the need to repeat everything we said and giggle to the waitress. We couldn't quite establish if he was just generally interested in us and what we were doing or if he was taking the piss but once we'd ordered a few dishes he left us alone. This izakaya was our priciest meal of the trip but I stand by every penny spent there because we had a wonderful evening. I didn't photograph every dish we had but we were delighted to sample sashimi, grilled fish, fried oysters and ebi mayo (prawn salad). Towards the end of the night Tom even ordered some sake.

Suitably full and slightly drunk we wandered home to bed where our futons and a pot of warm tea were waiting for us.