Skip to main content

Just an Eating Day

So today both my job and my free time were centered around the consumption of food.
I went to one event this morning, at the shinto shrine, Kanazawa Jinya, located inside of Kenrokuen. There was going to be a blessing at the shrine of this year's humuro-manju, which are a kind of Japanese sweet (think a sweet bun filled with red bean) and are eaten on July 1st in Kanazawa.

The manju are a little hard to see in this photo, but on the black tray there are pink, green, and white blobs...

And that was the only event I attended today. Around one I took the reporter who was sorta just assigned to keep me occupied in the afternoon, Mr Shimizu, to a cafe called Cafe Dumbo which was right behind the office building (but he'd never heard of it, surprisingly). I had a really solid pastrami sandwich and a heavenly chai tea latte.

According to Shimizu, I suit this kind of cafe and he took this photo to illustrate how I look like a painting...

The heavenly latte in question.

I'm amassing quite the knowledge of local, artisan coffee shops in Kanazawa. I'm more or less making it a point to track them down and try them, rather than Starbucks. The coffee, food, and atmosphere are ALWAYS better, and it's just nice to relax in places that are off the main grid. It makes me feel like a local and like I know some secrets that even the people that live here full-time don't know. With half of these places I wish I could just transport them to New Haven because the only unique coffee shop there is Koffee? and it's quite a hike from JE. But I digress.

After lunch since it was raining and because we had nothing else to do Shimizu drove me to Higashi chaya (tea district) and we got some ice cream...

Green tea ice cream, red bean, a little bit of sweet mochi, and some gold just for good measure.

And that was it. I had nothing else to do and got to go home around 4:15...tomorrow I'm going sightseeing with Zoey and her host mom to a traditional village not far from Kanazawa so that's exciting! And then I just have to survive three days of work before my chuukanyasumi i.e. my 6 day vacation. WHOOT. Hard to believe I've already been here more than three weeks...


Popular posts from this blog

Final Touring Excursions

Tomorrow is my last day. It felt strange to write that sentence, knowing that I've been gone six weeks, which feels like both no time at all but also forever. Even though this is my fifth time coming to Japan (and the fourth for an protracted trip), the coming-and-going is something I don't get used to. Just as I start getting over my "ugh, I just want to go home" hump and settling in, well, it actually IS time to go home.

What have I done the past few days?

Well, on Sunday my host family and I took a drive to Yamanashi prefecture (re: near Mount Fuji) to visit the Oshino Hakkai, the Eight Sacred Ponds of Oshino. According to the signage, when people used to hike up Mount Fuji for pilgrimages, they would purify themselves in the ponds before starting their journey. And having stuck my hand in an (acceptable) corner of the main pond, Wakuike, it was FREEZING. Some other ponds have specific purposes, however. One was for people who wanted a good marriage, for instance.

Cat Cafe

Today I went with my host brother to a cat cafe for "research". Yes it is a cafe and yes it has (canned) coffee, but also I really really really wanted to go to a cat cafe. By doing a little research, I found one off a convenient train station that not only didn't require a reservation in advance, but had free drinks and was actually significantly less expensive for more time than other cafes. On to Nyankoto!

For cat lovers, this is paradise:

This shop had fifteen cats, each with their own names and personality described in a photo book:

This cat's name is Kinta and he's a mix--though most of the cats there were breeds I was unfamiliar with and had fur of various kinks and degrees of fluffiness. 
They were all very social, active cats as well.

Kinta greeted my host brother by literally jumping on his back. 
The other cats often ran around chasing each other (one was a very energetic kitten, so he was always pouncing on the others) or flopping down to be pet in co…

Shibuya and Ebisu

The past few days I've been in the Shibuya and Ebisu areas (think: south-west side of Tokyo) to check out some of the up-and-coming cafes, as well as wander around the neighborhood. I've decided that wherever I go, I'm going to find something to do in addition to spending 3-5 hours in coffee shops--while the research and the people I meet are incredible I do regret that I don't get to spend as much time exploring the other aspects of Tokyo. 
Yesterday in Shibuya I checked out The Local Coffee Stand, Coffeehouse Nishiya, and The Theater Coffee. The Local is a pretty unassuming space, even though it is on a main street. It's goal is to be the sort of jumping-off point for people just getting in to specialty coffee: they showcase beans from local roaster and run a website called "Good Coffee" in both Japanese and English to help people find "that local spot" in a neighborhood near to them. I'm including a link to the site, HERE. CLICK THIS.