Awaji Yume Butai is a complex of resort facilities located in the northeastern part of Awaji Island. Westin Hotel Awaji, which is one of the main facilities, organizes 1-day bus tours where you can enjoy splendid dishes packed with seasonal Awaji ingredients.
The name of the tour is “Ranranranchi higaeri bus tour” (‘Lunlunlunch 1-Day Bus Tour’).
This time we will introduce 4 of the tour’s charms!
(1) Easy access to Awaji Island from Kobe!
The bus departs from JR Kobe Station Bus terminal. Even those who are visiting Awaji Island for the first time can rest assured when taking the bus. The bus takes the expressway, and then crosses the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, after which it heads towards Awaji Island.
Along the way, the bus stops at Awaji service area for a break. The service area offers an impressive view over Akashi Kaikyo Bridge!
The travel time from Kobe is around 1 hour. With the tour staff’s interesting guidance, it feels like you reach the hotel entrance in no time!
After arriving, an exquisite lunch is served at the restaurant within the hotel. You can choose either Japanese kaiseki cuisine, or a Mediterranean French course. (Participants choose when making their tour reservations.)
While the Japanese cuisine is served in Awami, the Japanese restaurant on the 3rd floor, the French course is served at Coccolare, the “fun dining specialty corner restaurant” (see photograph below).
Both course choices include 5-7 dishes!
The photograph below shows an example of the French dishes, with Nage of Tai (red sea bream) and Sea Food in the foreground. Nage means ‘to swim’, and the dish is created in the image of the seafood taking a dip in the sauce. The dish is garnished with fresh Awaji Island grown vegetables.
The Japanese Grown Beef Steak with Rapeseed Blossom and Carrot Puree seen in the background is served with mashed potato under the meat and rapeseed blossoms on top, and you can enjoy it with two types of sauces, such as the carrot puree. It is a splendid dish where the savory Japanese beef and Awaji Island-grown vegetables are in perfect harmony.
The menu changes every month to fit each season.
For example, the course title for March 2015 was “Springtime Vegetable Course: a Feast of Japan & Europe”.
This, Zenshibanko (‘Multitude of colors’), is an example of one of the Japanese dishes.
(Picture by Westin Hotel Awaji)
Placed on a gilded bamboo leaf is: firefly squid and an umani (dish made by stewing the ingredients in a thick, sweet sauce made of soy sauce, mirin and sugar) of colorful prawn, as well as snap end green peas, Awaji-grown new onions lightly clad in moromi miso (a salty and chunky fermented soybean paste, usually with added grains of rice or barley), charming temari sushi made with salmon and sea bream, Brussel sprouts that fill your mouth with earthy flavors, and lastly strawberries dressed in sesame sauce, among other dishes, each a carefully made, refined gem.
Another example of a Western dish is this Fresh Norwegian Salmon Carpaccio.
In addition, you can also enjoy other special courses that match the season such as the Early Summer Vegetable Course from June, the Tanabata Lunch from July, the Autumn Vegetable Course from October to November, and the Christmas Lunch in December.
3) You can enjoy a walk at Awaji Yume Butai!
The tour has been created so that the stay at the hotel (including meals) is a calm 3 hours. After the course meal, please enjoy a walk in the hotel’s surroundings!
Awaji Yume Butai, the group of buildings (no entrance fee) and the greenhouse Kiseki no Hoshino Shokubutsukan (‘The Greenhouse of the Star of Miracles’) designed by Tadao Ando, a well-known architect (https://setouchifinder.com/ja/detail/565), are adjoined with the hotel and the bus tour includes a special offer that allows you to receive a 20% discount off the greenhouse entrance fee.
Furthermore, from April to May in 2015, a 1-day bus tour is offered with the option of taking a tour of Awaji Kaikyo Park and Awaji Flower Gallery, the grounds for the 2015 Awaji Hanakaku Hana Midori Fair, before and after lunch. (*The 2015 Awaji Hanakaku Hana Midori Fair is being held from March 21st (Sat) 2015 to May 31st (Sun) 2015.)
4) You can customize the point of departure and destination!
In addition, if you are a group of 15 persons or more, you have the option to customize the contents of the course, such as the point of departure and the destination.
Concerning the point of departure, as long as it’s within Kobe city, the bus will come and pick you up from your desired location. Depending on the number of participants, and access restrictions, a smaller bus can also be arranged.
As tour staff members are familiar with all the charming spots of Awaji Island that can be enjoyed throughout the year, they are happy to suggest the most appropriate courses for those less familiar with the island. (Additional fees include, in principal, only the actual fees such as expressway and entrance fees.)
You can have a good time within the bus, as well, as a quiz competition will be held on Awaji Island’s vegetables among other topics – the winner receives a prize!
We recommend the bus tour for company and group events, as well!
This concludes the article on the 4 charms of the 1-Day Lunlunlunch Bus Tour.
Dear readers, how about a taste of the first-rate hospitality and the blessings of the earth, surrounded by flowers, greenery and the sea at Awaji Island’s Westin Hotel Awaji?
1-Day Lunlunlunch Bus Tour
Planned and Organized by: Awaji Yume Tours (within Westin Hotel Awaji)
Location: 2 banchi, Yume Butai, Awaji city, Hyogo prefecture.
Tel: 0799-74-1119 (Reservations & inquiries)
Tour fees: from JPY4800 (for 1 adult, includes lunch course and bus round trip)
(* The fees change according to tour contents)
Guide Homepage: http://www.awaji-yumetours.com (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Hironobu Matsuoka
Hironobu Matsuoka / Photo-writer Born in 1974 in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, and currently living there, Hironobu is the president of Mediapolis Inc. "I travel around the country in Solar King, an eco-camping car that has a solar power generator, and film the beautiful scenery of Japan in high-definition. I want to move around the country as much as possible and leave behind videos of precious Japanese nature and scenery for future generations to enjoy. Although I travel all over the country, I love my home area of Setouchi." 'Healing Japan TV' - Traveling virtually around the country through 'healing videos'.
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