Monday, 1 June 2015

One Day Trip to Karatsu (唐津日帰り旅行) Part 1

As you may have noticed, I've been rather stressed with school lately. So in a bit of forward planning that I wasn't aware of, I signed up for a one-day bus tour to Karatsu (in Saga prefecture). The tour was on Saturday, so it ended that week with two presentations (one of them a last minute one) and two reports, and let me relax before this week, which has one presentation, one report and one mid-term.

Who was it that said that Japanese universities are four years of no-studying?

Back to Karatsu. The tour was organised by my finishing school, which is called Finishing School Infini. So, the participants were mostly older women (including three teachers, the principal and one staff), and only three guys.

We had this really cute pink bus though:

I took this partway through the trip.
Sadly, it rained the whole day, although that did give us some unexpected positive signs. But yeah, starting the trip in rain wasn't that exciting, and the whole "everyone is going to come to the front and introduce yourself" thing was quite scary for me. But when I went to the front, the enthusiasm of the principal and the teachers was catching, and I let myself be persuaded to do a short introduction in English first.

And because it was a one hour bus ride, we were given food and drinks, in typical Infini style:

I love the fact that they gave us a cup! (If you're wondering,
I took the photo after I came back)
Our first stop was, lunch! It's at this restaurant called 「季のかおり」(toki no kaori) and it was actually a 100 year old traditional house before it got turned into the restaurant. It's in a neighbourhood, and really picturesque!

The inside of the house/restaurant was really pretty as well! I didn't take photos of the food because whipping out my DSLR for every course would have been a bit embarrassing, but rest assured, the food was great!

Dining room

I love the pictures on the doors! 
And the conversation was really great too. I was fairly near the principal and one of the teachers, who teaches Kimono, and it somehow got into a kimono discussion and quite a few people offered to give me kimono :D I have one (and two Yukata), but apparently, the kind of Kimono you can wear depends on the season and all that. It sounds interesting.

Another point they made was that when I was in Singapore, it's fine for me to modify the kimono to make it easier to wear (I was talking about how difficult it was to put it on properly). Apparently, there are even people who are turning Kimono into Western clothes, and even the teacher thinks there's nothing wrong with doing things your own way. I still want to take the class once I've finished the basic course though, it would be fun to learn how to choose an appropriate kimono and put it on myself.

Cake shop. I thought it looked kinda Totoro-like magical, but then again,
I've been wanting to go to Nukumori no Mori.
Next to the restaurant house was a cake shop called 「たまご色のケーキ屋さん」(tamago iro no keekiya san). It was highly recommended by the teachers, and to be honest, everything looked so good that I ended up ordering about one slice of a bunch of stuff (which wasn't much, just four things haha - I did practice some self-restraint). Because these are cakes, they let us order before/just after lunch (it's about two houses away from the restaurant, and the two owners seem to be former students of the school), and then pick it up on the way back.

From top left, going clockwise: Chocolate Cake, Pudding,
Earl Grey Chiffon Cake. (Not pictured: Roll cake)
And the cakes were fabulous, especially the cream. I had the chocolate cake yesterday, and normally, I leave the cream at the side, but this one tasted like vanilla, and I think I preferred it to the cake (the cake was good though)

Anyway, I've just realised that if I type out the whole trip in one post, I will end up not sleeping because I'm only halfway done with my presentation slides (I consider this "break time"). So I'll stop here, at the food, and go on to the pottery part/actual tour either tomorrow or Wednesday, depending on when I have time.

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