Saturday, 22 March 2008

厚木見物第一: フェアトレード Atsugi City Tour Part I: Fair Trade

Good Day to you!

I decided to start an Atsugi city tour, for all the people that live or will live in Atsugi at some point of their lives.
The other interns commonly say how boring and dull Atsugi is, but if you keep your eyes open, you will be able to find some nice little places. We will start the tour with two shops that grew very dear to me and place the first guide tour under the topic:

フェアトレード Fair Trade

Apa Kabar

Very close to the Youth Heim, where I live and on the way to the station, you cannot miss this wonderful little shop with its dreamy pictures painted on the wall and the warm music coming out of it on a sunny day.

Let's go inside

It mainly hosts second hand clothes, but also a variety of fair traded new clothes, as well as music, items of art, little gadgets and all kinds of other stuff you can see on the pictures.

The shopkeepers are really nice and good for nice talks, even if you don't buy anything. You feel very welcomed here, only for being there. This adds to the really nice atmosphere you will experience when being in the store. Be sure to give it a try =D.

晴れ屋 The Sunshine Store

I already talked about it briefly once, but now I gathered some more info and pictures about it! So I include it in the City Guide now.

It is close to the giant Satty. When you face the street, cross it and start walking the small alley, you will find it on your left side up some stairs in the second floor.

It is another Fair Trade store with some wonderful looking cloths mostly for girls. But there are also some nice bonnets, shirts, scarfs and other items everyone can wear.

At the center part you will find vegetables and fruits from Japanese ecological farmers nearby (Atsugi is actually quite renown for its agricultural products). The vegetables are usually that fresh, that the earth they came from is still sticking on them. Don't let your senses be deluded by tons of advertisements of oil polished vegetables, if you ever dare to taste these (after washing ^^), you can actually taste a large difference.
Apart from the fresh stuff, you will find all kinds of cooking stuff, like curry paste (even vegetarian yay!), pasta, rice and all kinds of other things.

Furthermore there is a little section for fair traded, animal experiment free cosmetics and toilet articles for everyone. They are a little bit more expensive from your ordinary supermarket, but still quite affordable.

If you take your time and walk through the store, you will find many more nice little things, like a stand with romantic dreamy postcards, toys, books and other items for dreaming.

The shop does not stop to amaze us yet. You can also have your dinner or lunch there, since part of it is used as a restaurant. The restaurant part will use its very own fair traded ecological tasty vegetables and products to make wonderful meals to normal Japanese restaurant prices for you, while you will be eating among really nice people always good for nice talks. As are of course the shops alternative personnel, who are always happy to talk to you and even speak a little English.

the restaurant part

the menu

Finally there is one last attraction to see. The shop has a really nice toilet, which was already recommended to us from the Costa Rica girl on the Atsugi International Festival. It is really nice decorated and is almost inviting you to spend some time in there ^_^.

and finally the toilet

you can even look at the world

or read Japanese articles about nutrition and fair trade, while being on the toilet

More Infos

Here is a map helping you to find both of the stores.

晴れ屋 has a homepage with some more info here:

And some information to Apa Kabar can be found here:

The root page has a list with Fair Trade stores in this area:

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