Thursday, May 7, 2009

Kawagoe


Hi dear sisters ...... long time no talk, I feel so bad for being ‘lazy’ but I really try to take things easy on the Bae front. Mercy me that every time I look at our gorgeous man, my weak heart will start pounding a little harder, my poor head spinning a few more rounds and that’s definitely not helping my situation here. Hehe but that doesn’t mean I have been lounging around at home in my pajamas and foam hair rollers counting how many birds in the sky would fly by my balcony every day. But I do have to say judging by the amount of 'souvenirs' they left on my balcony floor, there are quite a few culprits out there :)

Hehe, enough nonsense from me. This is Japanese Golden Week and we went to a small town in Saitama Prefecture called Kawagoe (川越市), just a 30 minutes JR train ride from Tokyo. (Note : hehe just for my record only, take #1/#2 bus from Kawagoe eki or walk through Crea Mall from Hon-Kawagoe eki to Nakacho) Kawagoe is known as ‘Little Edo’ because the town still preserves its traditional old structures and bell tower, creating a nostalgic atmosphere from the Edo period.

Kawagoe used to be a prosperous commercial town with timber, rice and commodities trade. The main street Kurazukuri Dori is lined with historical arts, pottery and kimono shops :


Kurazukuri (蔵造り) style architecture is a unique Japanese architecture found here in Kawagoe. These warehouse style structures were constructed with massive fireproof walls in several layers for wealthy merchants to store their valuable goods. See how thick the window wall is :


Toki no Kane - the Bell Tower was first built in 1624 and today the bell chime still rings 4 times a day :

Hehe, 2 famous local food are imo (sweet potatos) and unagi (BBQ eel). This unagi specialty restaurant near Candy Lane was recommended to us, called Unakko :

Our delicious and healthy lunch! I remember Yong Joon also had unagi dinner at Masuya in Saitama, guess he likes BBQ eel too, yum yum :)

Just caught sight of a pretty house in the neighbourhood ...

The nearby Kashiya Yokocho (Candy Lane) in Kawagoe comprises of a dozen old traditional Japanese candies stores, a very colorful street ......

These hundreds-years old stores still turn out old-fashioned handmade candies and snacks in their back kitchens

The candies are really pretty, delicate and colorful. I am not a candy person but the sight and smell on Candy Lane is just heavenly .....

After we 'breathed' in enough fragrance from Candy Lane, we proceeded to Kita-in Temple, a historical landmark first built in 830 A.D.

Sure, Kawagoe cannot be compared to Kamakura or Nikko since the latter two are much grander and of more historical value, but the charm is it's relatively not as touristy and remains pretty local and rustic. By now, I got pretty exhausted and dizzy from the sun and all the walking, so we decided to head home. Haha of course, I save the BEST for last! We picked the JR train back to Ikebukuro, a very popular Tokyo hub for Asian tourists. Why? Because 'yours truly' have another agenda in mind. Tada! OIOI Marui (it's not 0101 nor oi-oi as most tourists pronounce it, ok?) Ikebukuro Face Shop corner ......


I asked the 2 middle-aged male staffs by the escalator and they pointed me promptly to the right spot without even blinking for a second. When I walked past them, I vaguely heard them whispering and giggling behind my back. Yikes, I must have the word 'obasan' written all over my forehead! I didn’t really have time to analyze that as my heart has already flown to this guy @@
The promotion in Japan - you will receive this gorgeous poster if you buy 3500yen of products.

To get this precious postcards set, you have to buy another 5000 yen of stuffs.

There were a few fans already who had their shopping bags filled with rolls of posters with a big smile on their faces. While I asked hubby to snap whatever shots he could on anything Yonsama, I was busy scouring through the shelves tried to come up with 8500 yen worth of creams and soaps. Since I am not a Faceshop gal and those skin care products for the more 'mature' women are already out of stock (haha, surprise surprise!), so I comforted myself that I don't really need another poster of Yonsama :( You know what I should have done? I should have just carried this standee home, he would look gorgeous at my front door greeting my guests :)

31 comments:

Yee said...

Hey Lady,

Welcome back to our Bae circle. So glad to know that you are feeling better to take a short trip to this beautiful small town with full of traditional things. Thanks for the details.
When I see the Face Shop, the poster you sent with Khin comes to my mind and put a smile on my face. Thanks very much sis, you are very thoughtful.
Have a Happy Mother's Day !!

love,
Y.

gosijo said...

Hello my dear Jaime,

Thanks for recommending yet another interesting destination (or two). Glad to know you're out and about a bit but still wise enough to take it easy.

Take Good Care, my dear sister!

bb said...

seems like a nice place for me to visit when i go there next!

me too adore these quaint little places that are so full of the olden-days charm... (but gotta confess i can only do 1-2 day trips for these places, other days of the trip i still stick to the bigger, busier places, hehe!)

p.s. good to hear you've been out and about :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Chinggu!

Glad-der me to read another updated post from you after some 2 week absence. Just a reminder-- if you need another set of hands to carry the standee, I AM VERY MUCH AVAILABLE- that is, you will allow me to have the better-er part(as in the whole standee?) heheheheh!

Nice to know that you are back and keep healthy and thank you for this wonderful post!

Love, judy

Jenny said...

Dear Jaime

I have waited for you to blog, if did not see your blog this week will email to you cause worry of your health.

Anyway happy to hear that you have been out for a walk and from here we know that you are ok and on the way to recovery. Be patient, is take time.

Take this opportunity to wish you and all others bae sisters ( married sisters he he he ) " HAPPY MOTHER DAY" and "HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND WITH YOUR FAMILY"

May god bless you and take care


Jenny

jaime said...

Hi Yee,

Thanks for your kind thoughts. I am glad you enjoy this little town. Hehe, I think we have the same FS poster - I still like it the best :)
Please take care!

love .. jaime

jaime said...

My dear gosijo,

so happy to see you here again. I am feeling much better these few days and can go about my normal life again. Thanks for caring, talk to you later! Happy Mother's Day!

love ... jaime

jaime said...

hehe princess,

You will have so many places to choose from by the time you come and visit. Have you been to Daikanyama where Michelangelo is? You will love that area with all the swanky shops and cafes :) Will write about it soon, thanks for leaving me a comment!

love .. jaime

Anonymous said...

Dear jaime

Just want to add to the other sisters' joy to know that you were out and about.

The posters and postcards haven't come to S'pore's FS yet. Must say I'm quite surprised. But it's OK for me. I'll wait for a new hairstyle and look he..he..

S'pore fan

jaime said...

Hehe chinggu,

Thanks for your offer. OK, you can have the standee if only I can have the REAL thing, hahaha! I really wish they could make thousands of copies of those and distribute them to the fans :) Love to hear from you, please take care!

love ... jaime

jaime said...

Dear Jenny,

Thanks for being so kind and please don not worry about me, I am feeling better now. How's the typhoon situation there? The news said Emong will be landing today in the Philippines. Chinggu told me the situation is getting better now, I hope you and your family are safe from the rain and wind. Please take care!

love ... jaime

jaime said...

Dear S'pore fan,

Thanks for your kind thoughts. Really, I thought the FS overseas campaign started from April 29. I read that China FS also have Yong Joon's face everywhere. Hehe, I am with you, I hope to see some MinHyung/Insoo kind of look too @@ That's why these new posters didn't really stimulate my buying urge. I guess it's the same with you, huh?

Thanks for writing to me, Please take care!

love ... jaime

bb said...

me planning to visit tokyo with my bestie (but she ain't a fan), so may not enjoy the bae-trail, if you know what i mean...

so... haha, maybe i should stay on awhile longer after she's gone so that i can complete my 'pilgrimage' :p

jenny said...

Hi Jaime

I am from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and not from philipine. Anyway glad to hear that the situation is better now. The weather here is very very hot sis.( 38'C ). Do not want to go out for lunch also. He he he

Have a nice weekend and cheers.

Jenny

jaime said...

Oops Jenny, so sorry, forgive me for my dementia. I got everything mixed up these days. Oh, that means you'll see Xiaoyi and Yokee at BMF gathering on May 16? Hope you ladies will have fun!

love ... jaime

jaime said...

hehe princess, do stay longer lor cause you may want to go to Nagoya or Morioka too, right? Hehe, hopefully your bestie will enjoy it too :) love ,... jaime

chakachan said...

helloo ms. jaime,
i am happy that you're able to find time to write your wonderful trips in japan..it means that you're in the pink of health. Candy Lane is very interesting!! Imagine..all the hand made candies?!..fun...i would surely love to visit japan. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the first places that i would love to visit, but these added bonus from your trips..it would surely help me alot. There's a couple of Face Shops here in Manila that i frequently visit. I am a big fan of their face mask and body scrubs. As for the posters, you guys are lucky, because they don't have his pictures in the FS stores here yet..i was wondering why they still have KSW's face on their posters???!! but it dosen't matter..as long as the products are great..and they are!!! ha ha ha...by the way..HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO YOU Ms. Jaime and to... all my baesisters' mommies...have fun this sunday!!

God Bless and Take Care!

yudi said...

Dear Jaime,

No sorry at all, although I would like to see your new post, but your health is far more important, and we all have a busy day to day life. I am glad to see you slowing down and taking care of yourself, just like the Chinese saying “细水长流”, we all know that, isn’t it?

Thanks for the beautiful new post. I wonder if all Japanese town are like that, so rustic and harmony with a sense of mystery.

yudi

Anonymous said...

Hi Jaime,

I'm so happy to hear that you're already feeling a lot better to be able to go and visit those nice places.
I miss your witty writing.
I would like also to have that standee but I'd put it in my room to great me every morning.

jelen

Anonymous said...

Dear Jaime

I agree with Yudi. Please don't feel obliged to blog often. And no need to reply to every comment of mine. Your health is much more important.

I also love the MinHyung/Insoo look.

Best Regards
S'pore fan

vegas said...

My Lady Jaime!

It's great to see you are out and about. I trust you are feeling better. I really enjoyed reading about your journey to Kawagoe. (I know of someone with the last name Kawagoe.) The architecture is amazing and I love seeing the temples. I can only imagine the wonderful aroma of the candies...

Thanks so much for sharing and for he "TFS treat".

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!

Take good care!!

Yoko said...

Hi, Jamie!

I also visited TFS in my neighbouring city,Kakamigahara during the holiday. It's in the mall called ION. That was my first coz I just found out it was there a few days before. Seems like the size of the shop is the almost the same as the one you visited and the shape is the same, I mean triangle. I went through its products again and again to sum up at least 3500yen, but didn't find enough products to get presents and and what I want to get. I'm a practical type of person and don't like to buy what I don't need. If I had not get a present for my mother and birthday presents for my sisters yet(their birthdays are in April and May), I would have buy enough products. But honestly speaking, I don't think they would love them. Anyway I left the mall without any TFS products, saying to myself I can visit anytime I want and those posters are so familar so let's save for their next presents.

I forgot to bring my camera but I don't know if I have had whether I would take pictures. It's really OK with me to take any pictures when I'm traveling, but it's very rare that people take pictures when they come just for shopping.But of course, if there is something that I really want to share with fellow sisters,I'll be brave enough to dare to do.

The other story you told us is also very interesting for me. Yes,about Kawagoe. My faorite drama is set its location Kawagoe. It's NHK's every mornig drama and a very funny one.

I don't have children so on this day I really envy you mothers.

love Yoko

jenny said...

Hi Jaime

Yes Yes Yes we will be having our BMF 6th anivesaries gathering this saturday ? Looking forward to see all our bae sisters. Actually this is my first year joining them.

What is your mother day activities ? As for me I have dinner with mum and sis.

Love

Jenny

jaime said...

Hi Hi chakachan,

sorry for my late reply. I am happy that you enjoy the 'travelling' in Japan with me :)

Glad you find products you like in Face Shop. Hope the shops in Manila will change to BYJ soon :)

love .. jaime

jaime said...

Hi Hi yudi,

sorry for the late reply too. Yes, there are many rustic little towns in Japan, especially if you travel far from the big cities. The beauty of Japan is the mix of its old traditions and modern convenience. Hehe, even in the middle of nowhere, you can still find a vending machine! So there's no reason to be dehydrated :) Thanks for reading!

love .... jaime

jaime said...

Hi Jelen,

Thanks for dropping by and leaving me a comment. Hehe, should I try to kidnap that Face Shop standee for you? Looks like you can put it to good use :)

love ... jaime

jaime said...

Hi S'pore fan,

Thank you so much for your understanding. I will try to take it easy.

love .. jaime

jaime said...

Hi HI Lady Vegas,

Happy Mother's day to you too! I am sure you had a great day with your wonderful son. Miss you! Please take care!

love ... jaime

jaime said...

Hi Hi Yoko san,

Thank you so much for sharing your Face Shop outing with me. Yeah, with so many superior international skin care lines in Japan, Face Shop has a lot of tough competitions here. I am the same as you, I cannot switch my skin care line overnight to Face Shop. Therefore the only purchase would be gift sets for family and friends in order to get his posters :)

Hehe, I think we always see the fun aspect of the other side. When I look at a single lady, I sooo wish I had her freedom and independence. I hope you had a wonderful Mother's day with your mom and sister.

love ... jaime

jaime said...

Hehe jenny,

glad you had a great time with your mom. I had a very peaceful day at home with my son, which is what I love. Please take care!

love ... jaime

Yoko said...

Thank you for your considerate and warm-hearted reply.

Love Yoko