Saturday, May 8, 2010

Broke in Marugame

My recent excursions to Tokyo and Osaka have left me a little broke for the rest of the month, so I had to come up with creative ways to entertain myself in Marugame. And let's be honest here, my town is very countryside, so it's kind of a challenge for me to come up with fun ideas that do not involve Starbucks or art galleries. Armed with only my lovely bicycle and a few yen in my pocket, I cycled around to find the best of Marugame for a bored (city) girl on a tight budget:

{A delightful spicy ginger tea at my favourite café, where I get to make small talk in Japanese with the friendly owner. For its small size, Marugame has lots of really nice little independent cafés.}

{A delicious bowl of cold udon, perfect for a hot day, and so cheap and filling. My prefecture, Kagawa, is famous for its udon. Yum!}

{Another claim to fame: Marugame is where most paper fans in Japan are made, so I hit the paper fan museum. It's free, it's tiny, but you can make your own fan!}

{Marugame castle. It's a hike, it's gorgeous, and you can have picnics under the trees on a lazy afternoon}

{Marugame has a lovely harbour. I've never lived by the sea, so I'm always amazed when I cycle around it. I love running by the water}

Living in a small town can be challenging, but it can also be very charming. I really appreciate my little getaways, and I also feel like I'm experiencing the 'real' Japan- something I would not get to see if I lived in a bigger city. Also, may I point out that in the short time I've been here, I can speak more Japanese than some of the foreigners I met in Osaka and Tokyo, who have been living there for one or two years? Living in the countryside is great for learning Japanese, and I'm very thankful for that!


Anonymous said...

I love this post! Living on a budget can be challenging, especially when you're in a foreign country. But for some reason I really like coming up with a budget and the challenge of sticking to it, while I'm out on the road for a long vacation. But when I'm at home, forget it.

A Girl in Asia said...

All these things look and sound fun! Seems like a charming town!

{lovely little things} said...

I feel ya, I'm kind of worried I'll blow my Japan budget right away! Those udon noodles look yummy. What's are some of your favorite must-try foods in Japan (aside from the regular staples I might find in a guidebook?)

Vivian said...

Michelle, you've inspired me to write a post about my favourite foods in Japan :)
And don't worry about your budget... I promise you, it's possible to stay on budget while traveling in Japan... I could write another post about that.... Tokyo for cheap!


French lover said...

<3 Sweet post.