My latest Post.

This view,this beauty
A tear unbidden
Creeps into my eye.

My stay is short
But I shall return to this place
If only my life is long enough.

Such beauty
Gazing upon it
I hope my years are many.

Bokusui Wakayama.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

SamaSama Beer Garden.

                                                                                                                                                                                           I was on one of my "reconnaissance rides" and had cycled to the southern border of Nara Park (Map Location) in search of the start of the "Yamanobe no Michi Path", a 35km trail that is incorporated into the "Tokaido Road" or, what is known today as the "Tokai Nature Trail". Once I found the start, and the conditions were in my favor - time/distance from home/weather - I decided to check-out the trail. When I reached the point where my cycle-computer was warning me that I was at "that point" (I cycle with the view that, every kilometer you cycle away from base,is 2km you have to cycle to return. In this case my cycle-computer read 35km, which is 70km + to get me home) I decided it was time to turn-around and head for home.
Map Location.
A nearby signpost allowed me the opportunity to lean my bike against while I checked-out my location (the brown post, with the three signs, is for the Yamanobe no Michi Path). It was then that my eyes focused on the placard behind my rear-wheel.
SamaSama Beer Garden.
  What was this? A Beer Garden? Here, in Japan? Here, in such an isolated location? This needed further investigation. The reason why I was so intrigued is that I thought these types of establishments didn't exist in Japan. The only thing that resembles a Beer Garden in Japan is Rooftop Style which are especially popular during Hanabi.
Map Location.

After a quiet ride through this quaint wee village, I arrived at another sign (the sign is on the other side of the road, I thought I would include this rodent in the photo for effect) directing me down a narrow lane. By now I'm beginning to think; "Is this isolated or what"?
SamaSama Beer Garden.
Map Location.
Then, as I cruised down the lane, there it was. 
If the gate and assorted furniture was anything to go by, at the entrance, I was in for a real treat once I went inside. The theme of the establishment is Reggae, if you hadn't already guessed, and is so un-Japanese. 

In one corner is a bank of huge speakers (in the right in this image) that pump-out anything reggae.
Then there is the bar. You name it, it's there (this is my kinda' place). The draft beer, or what the Japanese refer to as namabiiru, is especially nice ( as we were to discover a week later).
There is also quite an extensive menu at very reasonable prices. 
Mamasan & Daughter
Motokazu-san, Hugo & Yours Truly.
A week later I was to return, this time with my hiking friends Motokazu-san and Hugo. Like me, their first reaction was much the same;"This is so un-Japanese" but, once we sat-down with our first beer, we felt at home and totally chilled-out (for the previous 5-hours we had been hiking-along the Yamanobe no Michi Path and it was hot, This is Hugo's video of the days hike and is 10-minutes of Pure Japan Scenery). Three beers and a plate of Tofu & pickles later, we stumbled-out and headed for the J.R. Obitoke Station and home. 
   The name "SamaSama" is Mamasan's idea, it is Indonesian for Welcome, and that is putting the greeting we received very-mildly. Mamasan and Daughter were awesome hosts and their company was the icing-on-the-cake of what was already a great day.
   SamaSama is open from Wednesday-to-Sunday and opens for lunch from 12pm-to-5pm then the evening menu kicks-in until about 1am.
   Although there is car-parking, I suggest, if you plan to drink alcohol, you travel via rail. The attached map guides you from the J.R.Obitoke Station to SamaSama - "Everytrail".
  The attached video, I hope, will give you a better idea of the establishment. Enjoy.
   Throughout this blog I mentioned my hiking buddy Hugo. Well Hugo is a very experienced journalist and accomplished photographer (both with video and still camera) and has his own blog covering many aspects of Japan. Kyoto and Nara Dream Trips is his creation. Check it out.

   So, until next time, Sayonara.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog, Barry! Nice mix of your personal experience with information about the place that we all (hopefully someday!) can use. Keep up the good work and the beer research, too!