One of my aims during this past trip was to visit the small city of Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture which was located just 30 minutes away from Ikebukuro, Tokyo by express train. Now about a quarter of a century ago, I actually had visited the city but only for a regional JET conference which meant that we teachers were basically restricted to a small convention centre for the three days. I didn't see anything else.
Cue ahead to the 21st century and I was doing my work translating travel articles for my other client when I was re-acquainted with Kawagoe. And this time, I was intrigued by the Koedo district within the city because of its old-fashioned style of centuries past, so I made up my mind and decided to keep one day open to visit the area. My former student was kind enough to accompany me to Kawagoe as well.
The weather wasn't exactly sunny but the rain mostly held itself off to a few drops here and there. It was quite nice walking through the various streets within the townscape of a little Edo.
Now, one of the reasons that I decided to head for Kawagoe was that there was an alley there selling dagashi (駄菓子...cheap sweets and snacks). There were quite a few shops there and I managed to buy a couple of bags of the above which were tiny yakisoba crackers. I thought it would make a nice contrast with all of the Kit Kat I would later purchase.
Of course, no loopy goth-loli suddenly attacked me with her theories on dagashi but I did enjoy the anime she starred in early last year, and I will be looking forward to her return in January.
Now, before I left on my journey to Kawagoe, my friend and I had bought something called a Kawagoe Premium Discount Pass at Ikebukuro Station for 950 yen each which would cover not only the round trip to the city but also provide discounts and even some souvenirs at restaurants and shops in the Koedo area.
And one of those restaurants happened to be an eel place called Unakko. And I do love me my eel...more than fugu. Dang, that was some fine unaju we had there. We didn't get a discount on our lunch but we did get some free tenugui.