Monday, June 3, 2013

Tateyama's Broiled Seafood Bowl & Daifukuji Temple

"Fisheries town and flower town,
in the southern tip of Boso Peninsular."

Tateyama city
of Chiba Prefecture


Late January this year, I joined the rest of the Chiba Kun Ambassadors for our forth trip of the year. Our destination was south of Chiba prefecture - Minamibōsō (南房総) city and Tateyama (館山) city. Our trip to Minamibōsō city was to visit the flower fields of Shiramazu. After enjoying the beauty of the colourful flowers there, we headed to our next stop - Tateyama city.

But first, it was time to have our lunch.

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Palm tress line along the entrance to Ikoinomura Tateyama Hotel.

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This hotel offers a resort-like concept for its location by the sea.

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The beautiful wall art found at the hotel lobby.

Our lunch was to try Tateyama's brand new gourmet called aburi-kaisen-don (炙り海鮮丼), or broiled seafood bowl at Ikoinomura Tateyama (いこいの村たてやま), a hotel which is located facing the Pacific Ocean in Tateyama city. Although the building looks like a building built many decades ago, it offers a fantastic view of the ocean and a wonderful sunset from the public bath.

Tateyama aburi-kaisen-don made its debut in February 2012, based on the concept of omotenashi (Japanese hospitality). More than 32,000 sets of aburi-kaisen-don have been sold during this short period of over one year.

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Tateyama's sumptuous-looking aburi-kaisen-don.

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Four types of seafood on the most top bowl, such as the horned turban (サザエ), which are eaten by broiling them.

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The second tier, which has seasonal fishes, like the greater amberjack (カンパチ), Japanese sea bass (スズキ) and Japanese amberjack (ワラサ),
which are known for their thick meat.

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The bottom bowl which has chirashi sushi (ちらし寿司) designed using "flower" as its theme.

Located at the southern-most tip of the Bōsō Peninsular, Tateyama city is blessed with rich seafood throughout the year, making it well-known as the town of fisheries, as well as the flower town. In order to express these two elements through gourmet, aburi-kaisen-don was developed and introduced as the signature dish of Tateyama.

This meal uses a three-tier donburi (bowl), and the ingredients are arranged accordingly from the top to bottom. The most top bowl contains fresh seafood for broiling, followed by sashimi in the middle bowl, while the bottom bowl is filled with fresh, locally grown vegetables. There are four kinds of seafood found in the seafood bowl, and another four kinds of fish comes in the sashimi bowl, which gives you the chance to enjoy on eight different varieties of fish in one meal. It is a brand new seafood bowl, which has not been seen nor eaten anywhere else before.

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As everyone posed to the camera, some of us, including myself, were busy carrying out our job as ambassadors - taking photos lol!

One interesting element of this meal is that we get to cook the seafood on a small roaster over a flame by ourselves. There are currently only five restaurants in Tateyama city which serve this meal. Each restaurants offers different kinds of fishes in their menu, giving visitors a great chance to enjoy the abundance of seafood from Tateyama.

However, it is only limited to 125 servings in a day in total for those five locations. Therefore, to avoid any last-minute disappointments, it is recommended to place a reservation before dropping by the restaurants. Dessert is included for ladies who order this set. This delicious feast can be enjoyed at an affordable price of 1,500 yen. 

|| INFORMATION ||
Ikoinomura Tateyama
Check-in time:
15:00 p.m.

Check-out time: 10:00 a.m.
Lunch time: 11:30 - 14:00 (abura-kaisendon is only available during lunch time)
Closed days: None (except special holidays)
Number of seats: 200 seats
Number of servings per day:
Aburi-kaisendon - 20 servings; Hasshokudon - 10 servings
Parking spaces:
60 cars (no charge, no reservations required)

Address: 1495-1, Fujiwara, Tateyama-shi, Chiba Prefecture, 294-0224, Japan.
Tel: 
0470-28-2211        Fax: 0470-28-2215

Website: http://ikoi-tateyama.com/index.html (Japanese only)
Access:
Tateyama is located in the southern region of Bōsō Peninsular. It takes approximately 90 minutes from Tokyo; and 30 minutes from Tateyama Station by car.

 ***********

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The red building on the cliff is the Kannon Hall of Gake Kannon.

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This magnificent temple is located on top of Mount Funakata.

Another stop we made during this tour was Gake Kannon (崖観音), a Buddhist temple founded in 717 early in the Nara period. Officially known as Daifukuji (大福寺), this temple is well-known for its red Kannon Hall (観音堂, kannondō), dedicated to the Goddess Kannon. As the symbol of the temple, this hall is built on an almost totally vertical sheer cliff of the boat-shaped Mount Funakata (船形山) overlooking Tateyama Bay (館山湾). This is how this 1,300-year-old temple got its name - Gake-no Kannon (崖の観音).

In the rear of the hall is a 1.5 meter-tall statue of the Goddess Kannon called Magaibutsu (磨崖仏), which is said to be the oldest in Chiba prefecture. This statue is carved from rocks. The Kannon-dō is designated as a Tangible Cultural Property by Tateyama City.

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We have to climb up more than a hundred of steps to reach the top.

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The last sets of staircase before reaching the main hall.

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A small platform where you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the bay.

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The weather was clear and we get to enjoy the lovely view of Tateyama and its surroundings.

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That's a huge area of cemeteries at the foot hill.

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The well-maintained stairs that we climbed to reach the main hall.

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An antique wall of the main hall.

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This wood-carving looks like a tengu (天狗) to me.

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Another section of the platform to enjoy the view.

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A peace pole written in Japanese, which reads "May Peace Prevail On Earth".

More than thirteen hundred years ago, the locals built this temple, praying for the safety and good catch of the local fishermen. However, due to multiples fires and other natural disasters, the original temple was rebuilt several times. The current temple was built approximately 90 years ago.

As the temple is built facing to Tateyama Bay, it offers a strikingly fantastic view from the top. It is really a lovely place to just enjoy the view and relax. If you are looking for something awe inspiring, look no further. Gake Kannon is sure to amaze you!

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A group photo of the Chiba Kun Ambassadors at Gake Kannon.

|| INFORMATION ||
Gake Kannon (Daifukuji)
Address: 835, Funakata, Tateyama-shi, Chiba Prefecture, 294-0056, Japan.
Tel: 
0470-27-2247

Website: http://www.gakekannon.jp/index.html (Japanese only)
Email:
info@gakekannon.jp
Access:

Car: Tateyama Futtsu Expressway (館山富津自動車道) → Kisarazu JCT (木更津JCT)
→ (30 minutes) Tomiura IC (富浦) → (5 minutes) Gake Kannon; (through Tokyo Bay Aqua Line) Tokyo Aqua Line → Kisarazu JCT (木更津JCT) → (30 minutes) Tomiura IC (富浦) → (5 minutes) Gake Kannon
Train: JR Nakofunakata station (那古船形) on JR East Uchibō Line: 15 minutes by foot to the temple; JR Tateyama station (館山) (bus for Namuya, なむや)
→ (15 minutes) Gake Kannon-mae (崖観音前): 2 minutes by foot; JR Tateyama station (館山): 10 minutes by taxi.

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