October 18, Saturday
After class, I went with Ching to buy lunch at 7/11. I bought a couple of raisin-chocolate bread sticks and a cheese steam cake. We both took a train headed back to Hiyoshi and made stop at Musashi-Kosugi to take a train headed to Minato-Mirai. My Case Analysis class had a field trip/get together and I was supposed to meet up with them at Kikuna, since I had to come late. Ching was headed to Minato-Mirai, though.
At Kikuna, had to make another transfer to Motomachi-Chukagai, which is famous for Yokohama’s Chinatown.
We didn’t go to Chinatown, however, and just made a stop at a canopy to see the view. Then we stopped at a Diwali Festival and had a short break, in which I got to buy a
small, ¥300 mango lassi. They sold regular lassis, too, which I kind of wish I tried. However, Wikipedia says the original is a savory drink, so I wasn’t looking forward to drinking that.
When we all met up, we decided to take a ferry to Minato-
Mirai 31. The ferry was relaxing and it was nice to see the bay from the middle of it, as opposed to the pier. But once we got there, we all separated. I followed Juu and Mandy to the Cup Noodle Museum nearby, where we got to watch a short film on how Cup Noodles were invented and see small exhibits. Also got to make our own Cup Noodles! We spent the longest time on drawing on our cups. We took 3x the normal amount of time, and I literally covered my cup in color. Then we got to build out noodles – we chose the soup base and the toppings. And that was basically it. We weren’t in the
actual, probably more pricey, area where you actually make everything – including the noodles, yourself.
Lastly, went to the gift shop. Did not buy anything, but they actually did have some decently priced souvenirs.
Juu and Mandy wanted to get dinner, and I was fine with it -provided it was cheap. But they were so indecisive and had no idea where they were going that, when they finally decided (on an expensive place), I just left.
And made yakisoba.
October 19, Sunday
The Kawagoe Festival. I didn’t know that there were plans to go to this, but Ching asked me about it, so I went. I had an interview for an English conversation class in the morning, which lasted about an hour. Two other exchange students also went through the process, which was less an interview, and more a brief. But we were treated to lunch afterwards, which was nice~ I got a soba, tenpura, and sushi set.
Then I took a train to Ikebukuro and another to Kawagoe Station, where I met up with Ching and Sunny. The location was pretty far from the station, and the streets were crowded with people coming to the festival. Lots of stores were holding sales, and there were a bunch of food stalls selling takoyaki, okonomiyaki, ramen burgers, and chocolate covered
bananas. Everything was at least ¥300. The first thing I bought was taiyaki, but I don’t think it was real taiyaki, since it was more of a Japanese pie consistency. It was flakey and the strawberry cream was akin to yanyan strawberry cream. When we finally got the the Edo-period buildings, Ching found a stall selling Purple Sweet Potato soft serve ice cream. The stall claimed that Girl’s Generation and CNBlue love their soft cream. We just had to try it. I got full-on sweet potato ice cream, rather than the mix of vanilla and sweet potato. I hate sweet potatoes, but the ice cream really wasn’t bad. It had a strange flavor, but I would eat it again. It’s just not my most favorite flavor. Totally forgot to take a picture of it!!!
We then had to wait a while for Kyuu, Kungqi, Zakk, George, and Juu to find us. They were all pretty tired by then and took a rest at the shrine nearby. Ching pointed out a famous shrine nearby for fated marriages, so we headed in that direction and saw a couple of floats along the way. They had fortunes at the shrine that you fish for, and various omamori for study, love, safe travel, etc.
I ended up buying a であいこい mamori （笑）
We also waited in line to see the inside of the shrine, where the shrine god’s residence was. There was also a tunnel of wooden, pentagon shaped wish panels. We went through and read a few of them. They were really cute and some were kind of funny. Kungqi wondered why they were
all wishing to meet someone – he didn’t know the shrine was famous for love. Apparently, the princess met and married one of the shrine men.
After we had our fill of exploring the shrine, we went on the long journey back to the station. Along the way, I bought grilled squid (finally!) and a chocolate banana. The squid was so tough to eat, because of how chewy it was, but it was delicious. The chocolate banana, however, did not have enough chocolate on it. It just tasted like banana. We also made a stop at mask shops for the guys to buy masks for Halloween. I really wanted a fox mask (reminds me of Hotarubi no Mori e and Midorikawa’s works), but they are the MOST expensive design for some reason. For dinner, Kungqi, George, and Juu bought humongous actual ham-hamburgers and Zakk and Sunny bought ramen burgers.
Hopefully I can figure out an effective way to put in pictures, but get ready for a barrage.