In the spacious restaurant, there was no one else but us and a waiter. This place seems so other-worldly as if it was completely disconnected from the outside. The midday sun was shining fiercely; shafts of sunshine streamed through the thatched canopy and the glass window to finally land on us. My mind was utterly captivated by the reflection of sunlight on the water glass, making the time I was spending on waiting more distanced. On the other hand, I was totally enjoying the prolonged time and longing for an eternity of this moment. Sitting in front of the narrow bar counter drinking my hot sake, my ears were filled with various sounds. The melodic jazz music in the background, together with the sizzling sound of deep frying food that came from the kitchen behind me, became a symphony dancing in my warmed up body.
I was watching the dust dancing in the hot vapor rising from my cup. At this precise moment, I somehow thought the universe had appeared in front of my eyes. Looking at it blinking, I had this rare feeling of living in the moment. If God does exist, I believe I did see Him at that moment. Or else, who could have the power to create an image like this?
I have no idea whether I was smiling or really blank staring when the waiter brought me a big ceramic bowl. I took a sip of the hot soup and had a bite of the soba with mixed vegetable tempura. Its homemade taste was as delicious as I thought. I always like dipping the tempura in the soup so I can enjoy both the crispiness and the soup-filled softness. The slow passing of time was completed with enormous satisfaction. This would be the place I go all the time if it was in my neighborhood. The food here is simple but comforting, it is a taste that I would always crave for. Is it fair to say that among all things, food has the exceptional ability to elevate one’s soul? At least this is how I feel.
After we left, there was only an old Japanese couple in the restaurant. I began to wonder if it was a blessed moment that gave me this dreamlike experience. Our original plan was to avoid the crowd after visiting some tourist attractions up on the mountain. Getting off the bus, we wandered around the foot of the mountain for a lunch place. We saw a few thatched canopy and therefore followed the less traveled path, without expecting this spontaneous route would bring us to a famous restaurant in the Lake Kawaguchi area.
Perhaps this is, after all, a scenery not to be missed.
Fudou Chaya 〒 1222 Kodachi, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi-ken 401-0302, Japan