Sunday, December 22, 2019

Japan trip Winter 2019 - Learn to play Go in a Go cafe

When we were browsing through the Airbnb Experiences in Tokyo, this one caught our eye - Go strategy Game in Tokyo! We've heard about the game of Go before, but neither of us has ever learned how to play. This seemed like the perfect opportunity and we were really looking forward to visiting Hidamari!
The nearest station is Nagahara station and its just a handful of blocks from the exit. Look for the glass windows on the second floor.

Our host and owner Mayu was available to greet us immediately and showed us to a playing table that was already prepped. There is a drawer on each side where the pieces are kept and where she also placed a cup of tea for each of us.
Mayu sat on a chair at an adjacent table and started explaining the basics of the game. As an introduction to the game, we used a small 6 x 6 board. You take turns placing stones with black going first, and at the conclusion, compare who has the most number of spaces captured.

We played a few rounds under Mayu's supervision and then when she decided we were ready, we moved on to a 9 x 9 medium sized board. By this time we were able to play a bit more on our own and Mayu would go to attend to other cafe patrons (orders for coffee or food), but would always come back to check in with us in between and offer her wisdom.

When our 90 minute lesson came to a close, Mayu gave us some last tips, we cleared the table and then we moved to seating near the windows for the meal included with our Airbnb Experience. I really enjoyed looking out at the view!
First, we were able to pick any drink on the menu under 700yen (there are many choices!). I decided to go with just a coke and my husband got a matcha latte.

Next, Mayu brought us a salad which apparently neither of us took a photo of but my husband enjoyed both his and mine lol. And then the main dish which was curry rice and super delicious. Everything was really tender and it was a good portion.

Last was zenzai (azuki soup with mochi) which was served with a side of konbu to balance the sweetness. I had never thought to each them together and really liked it.

When we were done with our meal, Mayu presented us with a souvenir from our visit included a printed photo of us she took at the table and all the information about the cafe and experience. It was a really great way to close out the whole thing!

I'm still not confident enough to explain all the rules of Go as an authoritative source, but if you're interested in the game, you should definitely check out Mayu's Airbnb Experience or Hidamari cafe in general! We had a really great time during our two hours there (both game and food) and it was one our favorite things we did on our trip.

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