December 19, 2015

Tokyo Day 3 ~ Kawagoe & Tokyo Illumination

Today I met with my friend Hideo and his wife Mihoko. They planned a trip to Kawagoe which is situated in northwest direction of Tokyo. It took us one and half an hour by train (subway and local) from Minato(Tokyo) to Kawagoe Station.
I was happy to meet them again and like always Hideo planned our trip in detail. He suggested to rent bicycles at Kawagoe Station to get to the old city. I was a bit nervous to ride a bike in Japan because there are no special bike routes, riding on the streets seems dangerous for me but on the sidewalks are too many people...
Nevertheless he lead the way to a city bike station. There you could get ticket so you can use these bikes everywhere in town. But they were very small... like childrens' bikes >.<
That was quite a challenge to ride with^^'
me on the small bicycle^^'
But forutnately the streets were huge and not so crowded so once you get used to the bike it was okay riding through the city. So in a few minutes we reached the first temple of Kawagoe.
temple entrance
snake altar
I pet a snake statue to get better health and you try throwing rings to get luck. There I also tried for health and for love. Surprisingly I hit the love mark with my first toss^o^
So next year I get a boyfriend, ha ha.

Then we went further to the old city. Kawagoe is famous for its old houses. But first we searched for good restaurant to have lunch. We entered a restaurant which was famous for chicken dishes. The lunch menue was pretty good^^
chicken skin on rice with miso soup, tuna salad and furikake
me & Mihoko walking down the street from the restaurant
Then we strolled around the streets. Kawagoe is also famous for sweet potatoes, so you find many foods made of sweet potatoe.
standing in the middle of the souvenir street^^
sweet potato stuff^^
We also visited the Kawagoe Festival Museum. In the middle of October a great festival is held in Kawagoe. There will be a pocession with beautiful floats and some were shown in the museum.
one of the floats^^
Mihoko & me XD
Afterwards we had a little break in a small café. There I could try murasaki imo cheesecake (violet sweet potatoe cheesecake). It was very good^.^
my sweet potato cheesecake (Hideo's sweet potato cake in behind^^)
Finally we returned to the bike station and went further to another temple. It was one of the Tokugawa dynasty. We could enter it and the interior was originally rebuild. It was great walking around the rooms^^ (unfortunately it wasn't allowed to take photos U.U)
We also wakled through statues of a Buddha class. Buddha had many studients, each one had its own statue.
temple garden
buddha's students
Then the last ride back to the station. It was... exciting^^'
Hideo came up with the idea to ride directly through the pedestrian zone >.<
What the hell! I always curse about cyclists and now I really know why. This is suicide! But anyhow we managed to get through it^^'
What a ride!

Then we had back to Tokyo Station where a grand street will be enlightened from 5 pm. It was really beuatiful, you saw white lights everywhere in the trees. We also entered some building where christmas trees were decorated^.^
at the beginning of the street
hello Santa^_^/
christmas stands
ice rink in a building
snow tree with illumination
After wlaking around Hideo chose a German restaurant for dinner O.o
Okay... will be nice to try. The speciality was Salisbury Steak (ハンバーグ ステーキ). I tried one with fried egg and baked potatoe. It was good but I had to spice it up with salt and pepper^^'
sausages / steak
As starter we also had 'vienner sausages' but in the end it was Nuremberger bratwurst XD it was served with self-made mustard (not very good) and sauerkraut (what a combination - seems like everything is treated like Bavarian veal sausage^^').

So it was okay but I definitly don't have the intention to visit a German restaurant in Japan again.
But I was surprised how many people really came there. It was really popular!
German restaurant
As finish we had visited the Glühwein booth on the lightning street^.^
I had to try the Glühwein here and it tasted surprisingly good! But Hideo chose a cocoa instead XD
me & Hideo with our drinks^^
Finally we seprated but I was so thankful for this great day^__^

I had really fun and I'm looking forward to meet them again next year. So tomorrow I will be with Kiki together again. I guess we will go to Odaiba because there is a kind of exhibition of Golden Bomber^.^

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