June 29, 2015

The Afternoon with the Sweetest Dog Ever


I'm no dog whisperer...but I know a sweet dog when I see one!

I went over to my friend's place last weekend for a housewarming get-together. But we all ended up oohing and ahhing over the newest member of their family, Chocolat (pronounced the French way, of course!).

She is just two months old and absolutely darling, falling asleep on my feet one minute, jumping around to play the next. I nearly passed out from cuteness overload.

On my way back home, I actually looked up apartments in my neighborhood that allow pets. I even checked to see what kind of dogs were at my local pound. But I'm barely home long enough to take care of my plants, much less a real live animal. And I never ever want to be an irresponsible parent that neglects their pets. So for the time being, I'm going to have to be satisfied with being Auntie Kaori to all my friend's dogs.

Personally, I don't mind being the fun aunt that gets to spoil them at all :D


Here are some photos of Chocolat:










Do you have a dog? Or are you an auntie/uncle like me?

June 13, 2015

The Afternoon in Chichibu


Chichibu may be famous for their matsuri and Shibazakura, but there is much more to this region.

Even if just around the train station.

On my way back from Hitsuji-yama Park, I had a little time to wander. I discovered a city surrounded by mountains, filled with interesting temples and local shops. The streets were quiet but full of charm.

The temple I stumbled upon was Nosaka-ji (野坂寺), which is the twelfth temple in the Chichibu 34 sacred temple pilgrimage. This temple may be one of my all time favorites because it was so quirky.

Right at the entrance, you come face to face with a lovely Azukari Kannon (預かり観音), a Kannon that will gather your worries, anger, sickness, and whatever else may be burdening you. There is also a gorgeous wood carving of the Mountain God. I won't mention everything but there was just a lot of interesting things to see, you'll have to go discover for yourself.

A piece of advice. If you ever discover a temple with a cemetery on the side of a mountain, climb to the highest grave. You won't regret it. I loved seeing the view from above. My ancestors on both my parents sides have a great view from the family grave, which we took full advantage of this new years. I'm sure they won't mind sharing a view with you for a while, especially if they haven't had visitors in a while.

I passed by a beautiful shelf of white wisteria (which I didn't even know existed), a large elementary school with a great view of Mount Buko, and retro shops that were so cute that I had to stop and snap photos of.

Then I discovered an amazing local bakery, where I ended up buying much more than I could eat. The bakery prides itself in using natural yeast, domestic flour and other organic produce. If you, unlike me, have self restraint and only get one thing, I would suggest the Aosa Bagel. I didn't even know this existed but it was delicious!

I'm already looking forward to my next time in Chichibu. x

Have you been to Chichibu? Isn't it charming?


NOSAKA TEMPLE (野坂寺)
2-12-25 Nosaka-machi Chichibu-shi, Saitama JAPAN
埼玉県秩父市野坂町2-12-25

1-18-12 Nosaka-machi Chichibu-shi, Saitama JAPAN
埼玉県秩父市野坂町1-18-12
TEL: 0494 25 7373
HOURS: 10:00am-6:30pm (Closed Tuesdays/Fridays)