Well, we had a nice sleep in this morning, followed by some lounging around cleverly disguised as 'watching TV in order to practise our Japanese'. Then Rie took us to a local bakery (called Boulanger Vague, tres amusement). This was a revelation - dozens of decadent buns, croissants and doughnuts with all sorts of fillings for 105 yen (about $1.20) apiece. We bought up big and ate most of them for lunch... mmm, camembert and walnuts baked inside bread rolls...
Next Kiyo drove us all to Kawagoe, a nearby Edo-style village. There are about a dozen ancient wooden buildings constructed using a special layering technique that renders them almost completely fireproof - their facades are all scorched black but the structures are sound, and really quite beautiful in an austere way. The tourist shops were surprisingly cheap, too, and we picked up some small gifts and knick-knacks (including a $10 fob watch!).
Kiyo was keen to show us 'Sweet Street', a side road filled with lolly shops of all descriptions and mobs of visiting schoolchildren buying everything in sight. Nerdia enjoyed a few cigarette lollies (long since banned in less smoking-tolerant Australia). The area is known for its sweet potatoes so they are in everything... including the local beer and icecream, which we duly sampled before heading home for a rest.
In the evening we took a bus to a local chain restaurant - and ate ourselves stupid. Plate after plate of delicious morsels arrived and the four of us approached our task with great gusto. Our dishes included chicken skin sausages (rolls of mincemeat and vegies covered in chicken skin - sort of Japanese KFC?!), 'biggu' pork katsu (English translation on the menu was 'whopping'), cherry tomatoes wrapped in bacon and more. Much, much more.
Beer was followed by cocktails. Nerdia strenuously denies attempting to sip hers through the swizzle stick.
The meal culminated - well after we should really have finished eating - with what can only be described as meatloaf schnitzel. Stuffed with cheese. Oh yes, it really was crumbed and deep-fried meatloaf.
Now we're back home (buses run all the time here!) and contemplating going to bed early. Meatloaf schnitzel makes you sleepy... or maybe it was the beer...
Oyasumi nasai from Plane Boy and Nerdia.