Hitachinaka has two Starbucks

Frost on winter grass

Hitachinaka. I’ve started my morning later than I intended. The dark winter mornings are proving challenging, or perhaps it’s the cold. Either way, I have been sleeping in more than I wish.

7:15. I leave my apartment and begin the 40-odd-minute trek to one of the two local Starbucks (スターバックス). The other is about the same distance away.

Starbucks, Sawa area in Hitachinaka

I think we’re pretty lucky in Hitachinaka. We have, at least, two of every major coffee house: Starbucks, Saza Coffee, and Tully’s Coffee. They are great places to spend time with friends, study, or just relax.

They all offer free Wi-Fi and the opportunity to sit undisturbed for as long as you wish. Of course, it’s always a good idea to buy something to drink/eat as you while away the hours.

Soy Kinako muffin and iced black tea with cream

8:05. I decide on the soy kinako (きなこ, 黄粉) muffin because I can’t have the current special: Azukinako (あずきなこ) latte. In support of a friend, I am doing a no coffee, no chocolate challenge (perhaps we should call it the “No CC Challenge”) for one month or so. It’s been going pretty well.

Lately, Starbucks has been offering more soy products, which I think is great. Actually, I have noticed more attention being given to providing gluten-free options in both cafes and supermarkets locally.

Closeup, muffin. I think those are raisins.

Today’s plan: meeting a friend at 11:00a.m. knitting on and off, evening yoga and early bed. Winter vacation is almost over.

Today’s goals: focusing inward and listening intuitively.

How about you? What are your goals for today? Does winter affect or challenge you in any way?

Thanks for reading.

D

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