Blogs from Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan, Asia


Asia » Japan » Saitama » Kawagoe March 21st 2014

Saitama prefecture sits northwest of Tokyo, so in an effort to reach Chichibu in the mountain range again to the far northwest of the prefectural border I went at it in what will soon become my natural anti-clockwise fashion. It made sense to approach Saitama first like this as when my journey / if my journey should draw to a close it will do so with the likes of Shizouka (Mt. Fuji) and Kanagawa (Yokohama), so after such gratuitous eye candy it would seem a drag to venture all the way over to Saitama, commonly known by folk as ‘dasaitama’ (uncooltama) due to its lack of attractions. So the draw was minimal. So it was now, later or never in which to venture around the prefecture. Never not actually being an option I chose ... read more
My 30% chance of precipitation on its way
Car Park

Asia » Japan » Saitama » Kawagoe October 1st 2013

I had today off because it was "Tokyo Citizens Day", so Rani and I went to check out Kawagoe, or "Little Edo", which was supposedly a half hour away from central Tokyo. Well, given our location and that by "central Tokyo" they meant Ikebukuro (which is not central Tokyo lol), it actually took us closer to an hour and a half to get there. Still, we left early enough that it was alright, and we were excited to see what the area had in store. Getting off at Kawagoe Station put us nowhere near the area we wanted to be, so we did some walking, which certainly wasn't bad. The weather was gray and it kept intermittently raining, but it wasn't enough to be really annoying and it WAS enough to keep the big crowds away. ... read more
kawagoe 012
kawagoe 013
kawagoe 015

Asia » Japan » Saitama » Kawagoe October 15th 2010

...and I didn't sound like an idiot!! In fact, the man (who is a staff member at TIU), told me 「あなたのはつおんはすごくきれい!」or "Anata no hatsuon wa sugoku kirei!" OOOOORRRRRRR "You're Japanese pronunciation is very pretty/clean/good!" (There are different meanings for the word "kirei") I was blown away. I had actually briefly met this man once before with a Japanese friend, Marina, but I didn't get past "hello" with him the first time. Obviously, when he approached me and said hello, I was already shocked that he remembered me... but then he started asking me about whether I'd studied Japanese before, and when: I understood everything he said, and I was able to reply in what I guess sounded to him like well-pronounced child's talk. Now, the Japanese are famous for their politeness, and also for their assumptions ... read more
Fuji: Morning After

Asia » Japan » Saitama » Kawagoe September 5th 2010

Hey everyone! I can already tell that writing these blog entries is harder for me. The free time that I would have been spending on it is now being spent on hanging out with either friends or my host family, which is great! So far, the blog has been a great coping tool for dumping a bunch of feelings and potential frustrations when I am going through culture shock moments and feeling a bit empty. However, right now, I'm finding enough to keep me occupied that I'm not as likely to want to just hide away and write for an hour... except for right now. Expect these to come about once every week, where I will recap what has happened, my loves, my frustrations, and my deepest desires (probably not those actually...) So! Disclaimer over! I ... read more
Me and Kaori
Going to TIU

Asia » Japan » Saitama » Kawagoe August 29th 2010

...with how stupidly hot and sweaty it is here. That will be all I say on the matter. Hello again! It's been a couple days and stuff is happening very quickly. First things first, my host family is AWESOME. It's a small family, but that's the way I like it. My host-mom ( I call her okaa-san) and my host-dad (otou-san) and my host-grandmother (obaa-chan) are all very gentle and fun-loving people. They are very careful to help me learn Japanese, and are incredibly patient when it comes to listening to me or trying to explain something. With host-dad's good-but-limited English, and my straight up limited Japanese, we are getting by alright. Okaa-san speaks very little English, so I hope to progress my Japanese enough that I can soon actually hold a conversation with her. There's ... read more
The bar!
More bar!
Me in the Kitchen

Asia » Japan » Saitama » Kawagoe August 28th 2010

Alright, I'm gonna catch everyone up quickly on what's been going down. Here are some random pictures that I haven't uploaded yet to illustrate. I'm sitting in my hotel room, it's 5:51 AM, I woke up an hour ago and I can't sleep. The mattress and pillow here are both super firm, and the underside of the later also seems to be filled with weighted beads of some sort. Either way, the sun's up, and sleep won't happen for me today, so it's ブログのとき!(Blog-Time!) Yesterday had it's highs and lows. I got breakfast at the hotel yesterday (something I'm eagerly awaiting this morning: que tummy rumble), and they came out with rice and fish(cooked) and pickled vegetables and sweet egg. Delicious! We were then taken on a train by our PAs (Japanese volunteer students) to TIU ... read more
Hotel Room Ignition 1
Hotel Room Ignition 2

Asia » Japan » Saitama » Kawagoe August 26th 2010

After a surprisingly short-feeling flight, filled with enough time for me to watch THREE movies (Einstein & Eddington, Green Zone, and Date Night), eat TWO meals (Bibimbap? Bimimbap? Can’t remember how to say it but it was a delicious Korean spicy rice dish), and try to take ONE nap (and failing), I emerged out of the plane doors into the oppressive heat of East Japan. After stumbling my way through Immigration, I came into what looked like a completely deserted baggage claim. I felt as if my plane had accidentally flown to the wrong Japanese airport. ‘Isn’t this Tokyo?’ I thought. ‘Aren’t people supposed to be everywhere??’ But looking at the incoming flights list, we were the only plane in this part of the airport. I’m standing there bemused, and I hear a small, nervous voice ... read more
Colin and Deanna

Asia » Japan » Saitama » Kawagoe April 30th 2010

Well......lots of things have happened since our last rendezvous. We checked out of our normal hotel and then went to buy a really cool camera we had finally decided on for less than half the amount you would pay in Aus. Yay! This took quite a while but was well worth it. The weather was quite cool and raining so we decided to head to the Toyota Salon and the Sunshine 60 buildings in Ikebukuro. We had some time to waste in the arvo as we couldn’t go searching for a love hotel till later so we decided to play some games in an amusement centre (games parlour). The one we chose was fairly small but it still had 9 floors of games with one floor dedicated to skill testers. Was good fun. We then decided ... read more
Hotel 03 - 2
Hotel 03 - 3
Hotel 03 - Vending Machine

Asia » Japan » Saitama » Kawagoe March 21st 2010

Having bought a do-nichi kippu (Sat-Sun Ticket), I was determined to get the most use out of it! So although I was tired from a long day in Mito the day before, I woke up reasonable early on Sunday too to prepare for another day trip! After a little research I discovered Kawagoe in the Saitama Prefecture. About a 20 to 30-minute train ride away from the capital of Saitama (also named Saitama) is Kawagoe, a city that blends modern and historical worlds. The part of the city I was interested was, obviously, the historical (which I will talk about in a moment). My shinkansen train was set to leave at 9:26 so I caught an 8:45 train, which should have gotten me to Sendai by 9, giving me plenty of time to eat breakfast. (Keyword ... read more
The Start of the Sweet Street

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