Despite the rainy weather, I took part in the Kodaira Walking Tour last Saturday, where I got a tour of the local shops and got to sample their products for free!
Naturally, being a sucker for free things (especially if it’s food!) I forced myself out of bed after partying the night before, and boy was it worth it!
An event organised by KIFA, I really wanted to attend this tour as I know Kodaira has many other shops apart from the major supermarkets/conbinis that I have not yet been to.
The tour started at 11am and we were split into several groups. The first shop we went to was a cake shop, which I have actually been to before. I went there in April to buy a birthday cake for a friend and I’ve always wanted to go back and try their other cakes.
When we arrived, we were told that we could pick ANY cake/biscuit from the selection to the right of the cream cakes.
There were so many to choose from and I couldn’t decide which one to pick. In the end I settle for the Kodaira blueberry bouche. It was creamy, with a sufficient about of blueberry jam which made for a very satisfying breakfast!
Next stop was the Japanese sweets shop. I do love my Japanese sweets, especially anything with red beans (anko) in it.
This shop had some dango (rice flour dumpling) prepared for us and it was SO good. They had 3 different types to choose from and I went for the one on the far right – Mitarashi dango, which is normal dango with a sweet soy sauce glaze. The one in the middle was just plain, and the green one on the left was yomogi dango. Yomogi is Japanese mugwort and I don’t really like the taste of yomogi, so even though there was red bean paste on top, the yomogi taste is quite distinct and too strong for my liking.
Our third stop was another bakery. Again, I’ve actually been to this bakery before, but I can’t remember what it is I bought… Anyway! We were handed a goodie bag of bakery goods, which I thought was a great idea as you get to sample a variety of products.
Shortly afterwards, we arrived at the rice cracker (senbei) shop. Not being a big fan of senbei I didn’t try any of the rice crackers, but I heard they were tasty.
Right at the end of the road, we stopped by the coffee shop.
The coffee is made from freshly ground coffee beans from Brazil, and the smell wafting out the shop was intoxicating. I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but it was still enjoyable to drink (albeit all the milk and sugar I put in my cup!).
The final stop was the sushi shop, just by one of the exits to Hitotsubashi-Gakuen station. My friend was telling me that they sushi here is half price in the evening, so I might pop back here sometime to get some cheap, but delicious sushi! I didn’t take a photo for some reason… sorry…
We actually ate the sushi back at the KIFA building, where they held a welcome party for us once everyone had returned from the walking tour. The mayor of Kodaira gave a small speech, and there was plenty of food for us to eat. I was asked to make a small speech at the end about the tour, which I was kind of nervous about because it had to be in Japanese. But I think it was ok in the end!
I love all these events held by KIFA and ISDAK and I think it’s great how they get us involved with the community. They give up their time to make our stay in Japan that much more eventful and fun, and I’m so grateful and lucky to be able to participate. Thank you so much!
Regarding future posts – we have now entered the rainy season in Japan and it has literally been raining non stop. It’s disgusting. I hate the rain. It’s often so heavy that cycling is a bit of a no-no as it’s dangerous, which makes me sad since I love cycling to university. Due to this awful weather, some of my plans this week have been cancelled, such as a BBQ in the park. Unfortunately, this means that my next few blog posts could be a bit dry and boring, but I’ll do my best to find some fun stuff to do! The rainy seasons lasts for a couple of weeks so I’ll hang in there!
Thanks for reading!