October 4th (Saturday)
I honestly don’t remember much from this day, but I know I had class in the morning, then lunch at Saizeriya with Ching. Got a pizza this time! The ika (squid) and anchovy pizza. Oh gosh, Saizeriya is totally the place to be when you want cheap, salty food.
I was supposed to head to Harajuku and Musashi Koyama with a friend, but she decided to ditch me and she wasn’t the type of person to just go and look around (need an itinerary beforehand), so I pretty much stayed at home the whole rest of the day. Took a nap and did some homework.
October 5 (Sunday)
Lovely day before the typhoon hit on Monday. And I say that sarcastically, because the rain was pounding down. But there was a Hokkaido Festival at Yoyogi Park I desperately wanted to go to, so George, Ching, and I trekked through the storm to our destination. (And, yes, it’s the Yoyogi Park with Dengue Fever’d mosquitoes – but it’s supposedly safe now, plus it was raining so there wouldn’t be any mosquitoes while it came down) It was tough, since my umbrella had hole in it, and the water soaked through out clothes and shoes. I brought combat boots to Japan to double as rain boots, but there really just is nothing like having those rubber boots on your feet. Wish I brought them with me.
Surprisingly, the festival was filled with people, even though it was raining pretty hard. It was the last day and I guess other people wanted their fill of Hokkaido food, too. We spent some time walking around the booths (there was even a live entertainment stage) and glancing through all the products. I really wanted some ikura (salmon roe), but all of it was so expensive. It was also cold because of the rain, so we were looking for hot products (of which there was basically just nabe and ramen. Everything else was cold). We decided to save seats under one of the food tents first, then to take turns buying things while one person watched our stuff. I took the longest time, since I had no idea what to get, and when I bought my nabe (¥400), I forgot where we were sitting. Everything looked the same. I didn’t bring my phone with me either, so I was wandering around aimlessly until I finally found our spot. And by that time, my friends had already finished eating. George had bought some ¥1000 ramen with big chunks of lobster in it, and Ching bought the same nabe as me (which I toally regret buying. It wasn’t flavorful…). I waited and ate my nabe while the other two walked around. Ching brought back a grilled squid and grilled oysters on a stick. ¥700. I wish I bought that. I have still yet to have a whole grilled squid.
Anyways, I left to look around for more food, and I wandered into the sweets stands – because I’m a sucker for desserts. Everything was so expensive! But the sweets booth across from the first one I went to was having a ¥100 sale on everything! I was so happy and excited, though the sweets were like, breads. They had anpan, red bean paste, white bean, and pumpkin filled “pies” (pies here are basically layered crust pastries in the shape of circles or rectangles. Not like pies in America), and bread. Since everything
was ¥100, I ended up buying a pair of kobocha pumpkin and azuki bean filled pies, a loaf of organic bread, and a half loaf of oomori (supersized) bread. Keep in mind that a loaf of bread is still only like half a loaf of bread back in America. But so worth it at this Hokkaido Festa. Even though the expiration date was the day after (bread can still keep in the fridge…).
When I got back, George was back at our seats. I told them about the bread, dropped them off, then went off to buy actual sweets. There was an interesting booth selling half a melon with ice cream on top
for ¥1000, but it was too expensive for me. I’m not a huge cantaloupe fan, either. I decided to get one of the soft serve ice creams over the ¥500 for three strawberry daifukus. The soft serve was about ¥400 and I really wanted to try the bitter chocolate and milk flavors, but the booth I went to didn’t swirl them together. So chocolate won out in the end. But I wanted to get the most out of my money, so, even though I hate pumpkin, I got the pumpkin and bitter chocolate ice creams. And it was so worth. Sooooo good – I didn’t even taste the pumpkin, but the chocolate was amazing. I almost went back
for another ice cream cone, but I didn’t want to spend more money.
However, George and Ching spent a bit more on a kilo of onions (they sold groceries, too), which were really cheap at this fair. George also tried out the wine lottery, where you pay ¥1000 to spin a lottery wheel and hope you get the gold ball for 12 wines. But he got the white ball for 1 wine and chose a white wine. Then we left for the train back. I regretted not buying more, but hey, I did…save money, eh. I had more plans for the rest of the day, anways.
When Ching, George, and I got back to Hiyoshi, we went to Shimoda to drop off stuff, then headed to OK Discount Supermarket. I had never been there before, since it was quite a ways from Hiyoshi International House. But now that I have, I highly recommend it. Everything is so cheap there, it puts Union to shame. However, it’s like Aldi back in America, where they don’t provide bags for you (well, they do, but you have to buy them). Still, with their prices, bring a backpack with you. You can also purchase a discount card from the front counter for ¥100.
Headed home after, then went out again around 6:30 to have dinner with Sophia, who I met at my dorm’s orientation (she’s an international student at Keio). We went to Marimo, which I had always wanted to go to. It’s a cute cafe in Hiyoshi that I pass by everyday. I didn’t realize the prices were so bad, though, so I ended up ordering the second cheapest thing on the menu – the hot dog. And it was a tiny hot dog (Japan’s hot dogs are more like sausages). Sophia ordered the pilaf with everything but egg on it, which cost nearly double mine. But it came with a free salad. So while she ate her multitude of food, I ended up chomping on the sugar Marimo provided as a condiment.
Though it’s expensive, I plan on coming back for one of the ¥630 parfaits. They look delicious.
Well, we went to the Tokyu department store afterwards, where I had a good laugh seeing a sign romanize “jelly” as “jerry” in English.
Then, finally, home.