2008-08-05

Kunitachi is the place to be.... and Tachikawa fireworks

So, back to the posts about our Japan trip...

On the last Saturday that we were there, Alina took us to two of her favorite places, which both happen to be in Kunitachi. Kunitachi seems to be a bit of an anomaly in Tokyo, as it seems more laid back, casual, relaxed. The feeling of the people on the streets and in the restaurants and stores is just calmer. Kunitachi is famous for a long street that is lined with cherry trees - which of course were not in blossom when we were there - but the sight is amazing in the spring. There is also a university there, so there tend to be more foreigners in this section of Tokyo. There also was a music conservatory here, which was connected with a high school and music community center which are still in Kunitachi.

Anyway, first of all, we went for lunch to the Squall Cafe. As you will see from the pictures, this place could easily exist in SE Portland - the atmosphere, decor and food selection (for the most part) would all fit in really well. The food was amazing - I had green leek fried rice with simmered pork, and I think Trina had chicken and herb noodles.

















From there, we walked back to the train station and caught a bus over to the other end of the long street with the cherry blossoms, and then walked a little ways to Alina's favorite coffee shop. The shop is owned by an older lady, and it's a beautiful shop. We think it must have been built as a tea shop, as that's what it looks like, and it still smells like a tea shop. There's a little garden outside in the front, and behind the counter of the shop looks a bit like a laboratory. The shop feels very peaceful and calm and the lady who owns it is very quiet and sweet and feels very comfortable with what she's doing.















We just sat and drank coffee and ate Meiji chocolate covered almonds for a couple of hours until we had to leave to go to Tachikawa to meet the Sakumuras for fireworks. It was wonderful to be able to share those couple of places with Alina, to get to see the places she finds restful in Tokyo.

From there, we took a train back to Tachikawa, which is closer to Alina's place, and went back to the Palace Hotel, where we had seen the flamenco show earlier in the week. We met the Sakumuras in the lobby, and then went out onto the veranda with them. We sat at a long table, and after a little bit the waiters started bringing out food. We sat and talked and ate food and had some drinks, and a bit later two of the teachers that Alina teaches with also showed up.

After a little bit, people started filling into the square outside the hotel:







Once it was dark, the fireworks started!



















We all had a great time talking and laughing and watching the fireworks:





Here are a couple videos of the fireworks:





After the fireworks, we all went upstairs to the bar and had another drink and talked some more, and Mr. Sakumura gifted me his fan, which is really nice, and I'll be glad to have it to remember them by, they were wonderful to meet and get to know a little bit.

Finally we all broke up and headed home - we left with Alina's two teacher friends, whom Alina was busy teaching the phrases "holla!" and "oh, hey!", and then separated at the trains. All in all, it was a wonderful day.

1 comment:

  1. Foreworks, train, oh, it is a whoooole other planet for sure!!! (not that we don't have firworks and trains here, but it is like Disneyland monorail there!!) I would have had to have rented a container to get back all my purchases! How did you guys do it??

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