⟨ Secret Place ⟩

Fudou Chaya

If God does exist, I think I did see Him at that moment.

Words & Photography / Jas Tse
Translation / Iris Heung

倘大的店居然只有我們與一位店員,像走進不存在的地方,一剎與外間隔絕的錯覺。正午的陽光很猛,從茅草簷蓬下穿過玻璃窗來到我們面前、映在玻璃杯上,眼睛直勾勾朝著杯的倒影出神,等待的時間也好像被拉得很遠。卻享受時間變長、想要沒完沒了。在窄短的吧檯前喝著熱sake,聽著爵士與背後廚房的料理聲響,音樂柔柔與油炸物的滋滋作響,一下下敲進耳窩,與漸漸溫熱的身體,這刻大概有什麼在體內舞動著。

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.

也就這刻,看著杯中熱氣騰升,在光暈裡看見塵埃飛舞,怎麼、幾乎覺得自己看到了宇宙的模樣,那樣一閃一閃,是鮮有地感覺自己活在當下的瞬間。如果有神,我覺得那一刻我看到了。不然有誰能創造這刻眼前的畫面呢。

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?

沒留神是否一直微微笑著,還是就一直恍神,店員端來了陶瓷大碗,我喝下一口熱湯,雜菜餅天婦羅蕎麥麵是想像中的日式家常味。偏好浸透了湯、泡得軟軟的天婦羅,由它的新鮮鬆脆吃到軟腍。緩緩的節奏,卻每一口都滿足。如果住在這區,這必定是會很常來的地方吧,簡單又溫潤滿腹、想重溫、會想念的味道。食物比什麼都要鼓動靈魂,這樣說可以嗎?至少對自己來說是呢。

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.

我們離開後,也就只剩後來的一對日本老夫婦。我都開始好奇,那是不是某個被眷顧的瞬間,讓人活得不真實,也讓人體驗到真實能這樣。本來只是到了附近山上的景點又實在想遠離人群,下山後想隨便找個地方吃午飯、下了公車看到很多茅草屋頂、在沒有很多人的路上走著,才到了原來是河口湖的名店。

或許,那本來就是不會錯過的風景。

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