My bladder woke me early and I can't return to sleep. Today I should
look for yam chips or at least remember to keep an eye out. (post
note: I never did find any.) Some of the stores have automatic (some
with push buttons) sliding doors that take a while to close. I will
take me a while to learn the difference between those that the ones
that I have to close, since we usually go through the doors in large
enough groups that I don't get to see how the door was opened.
The futon is no worse than most super firm hotel beds, but I'm sure my
fellow travelers would disagree. the pillow is almost perfect for
me, so I'm glad that last moment I didn't pack my own.
I want to go shower, but not before more of the ryokan is up.
I wish I knew what time it was.
There is a luggage lock for our door, just enough security to quell
western fears I guess. I feel safe thought, even if I've been raised
in the a society where people being this honest seems against human
natures. The biggest problem with the windows not sealing is the
traffic noise. But since there is no honking, it's mostly tolerable.
I wonder what they use their horns for (post note: we did eventually
hear people honk at each other.) There are lots of bikes, which is
just better in my option. This would have been an interesting society
to grow up in.
I had a little trouble getting to sleep since I think the betting
works mainly on thermal inertia. (the comforter, futon and pillow are
denser than western equivalents.) Even though I was way too cold at
the start of the night, I'm quite warm now, though perhaps it's the
weather (post note: no, it was the bedding.)
Ok, now that I've unloaded some thoughts, I think I'll try to sleep
again since no one is stirring after all this time. Konbanwa er... I
I don't think that I can remember all of today. we walked around
Asakusa for a while, sow the tourist trap stores. I plated a koto
rhythm video game which was a lot of fun. We wandered over to the
temple where the pigeons were swarming for food and kids were picking
them up, since the pigeon pile was so dense and the pigeons so
trusting. A few pigeons landed on the people standing near the swarm.
There were lots of food stands (post note: darn, I never got my
takoyaki. Fooey.), including pink hello kitty chocolate covered
We saw a monkey doing tricks on stilts, including high jumps.
Go back a bit. I started my day with an on the fly, temperature
controlled hot shower. Very nice. Then I ventured out alone to the
Am/Pm to find mike, maybe. He showed up and we bought a little
breakfast, which was a steamed bun (chick and mushroom, it tasted
like, but was far more likely pork) which was of the quality you would
expect from a convince store. Not good, no horrid.
Back to the temple. We decided to head back from lunch, deciding on
Okanamiyaki, which I wanted to try. I twas a good choice, since we
were all cold and we could warm our hands by the grill. We first had
a local version which was a lot runnier. The woman put it on the
grill then scolded us when we pushed it into the middle in a
pile. Then, the next time around, she asked Mike if a woman shouldn't
try this time, so Mike asked me to and I instead of putting the
substantial ingredients down first and then pouring the fluid into
them, I started to pour the fluid and was scolded. Very embarrassing
and to timid to be loud enough with my apologizing to be heard.
Well despite my embarassement, the food was tummy. Mike took care of
it after that.
We then walked to Ueno park, whose trees were full of
ravens saying "Ah." The peony garden was open, so we 600 yen and saw them. They had hats
to protect them from the non-existent snow. I took too many
pictures.` They had jars with hot coals in them for us to warm our
hands over while you viewed the flowers.
We stopped near the end for hot green tea. It came in this specialized
cup which the tea in a reservoir at the bottom. You put the hot water
in and then squeezed the bottom a few times to make the water flow
through the leaves.
After that we wandered into the park where the was a Hiroshima peace
shrine. Hanging on it were color coordinated paper cranes. Next to it
were pictures. I had to fight crying. I felt embarrassed to be looking
at them since it was the US that did it. I'm really not sure how that
moment in history can be justified. Never again...
I don't know why I don't remember having seen the pictures before, but
I'm sure that the impact worse.
We then wander off to the museum where I saw some ancient art and
Japanese acheological artifacts. There was a collection of sculptures,
a general for each of the Chinese Zodiac signs. Quite the collection
of characters. I couldn't figure out which on I wanted to photograph
though, so I didn't get any of them.
I learned how samuri armor was put together and saw many examples of
ancient iron armor. They also had ancient fish hooks and ear plugs.
I bought a Japanese food book (just a what's what in English) and a
few other things at the gift shop. The museum closed at 5, so we
wandered off to dinner at a conveyer belt sushi place. It was good,
but not amazing. I hope I can still eat blue fin sushi when I get
back. There was a nice stallion ginger thing.
They had hot water spigots near each seat so you could make your own
We then bumped around the electronics alley. Lots of stuff I would
but if I had the money. I got to try donkey konga. It's amusing, and
not mot terrible expensive, but I think taiko fills the same space for
me and I already own that.
We'd left Sam and Lynda at a fast food place because they were bored
of browsing. we met up and with them and had a yummy tea soda. We
then went off to the game arcade, hoping for DDr. the arcade didn't
even have Pop n', just DM9/GF10. We talked Same and Lynda to the
subway then looked at games. They we headed to arcade close to the
Ryokan where Mike and I played some DM9 and I played pop n' for really
the first time (the only time before was the home game on a broken
controller. Which was not much fun.)
Pop n' is way too much fun. I will have to see if I can't afford a
controller before the trip is over.
I bought a card for Pop n' that I have no clue what it does (post
note: it seems to have kept my records and options), but I figured it
would make a good souvenir (maybe a little expensive at 300 yen,
I headed back, go some drinks (tea, cold, milk, sweet), bumped around
Japanese TV and now it's time for bed.
Oh, I played a game of taiko no tatsujin since I had to play the
arcade version at least once.
We also, in our store browsing travels, saw kuberick (lego guys,
essentially) version of the FFX-2 gang. There is something seriously
wrong with a kuberic Paine.