The Past and the Present

For a little bit of holiday traveling, I have decided to make my way up to Osaka. My friend Felix and I are leaving tomorrow morning bright and early from my home in Yashima to make our way to the JR Station in Takamatsu. From there we’ll hop on a bus and dig in for the three-and-a-half hour bus ride, most likely catching a few extra zzz’s on the way. So today and tonight has been consisting of tying up some loose ends so that I can fully enjoy my time in Osaka.

As you all know, Osaka is actually where I made my first appearance in Japan however, at that time I didn’t have the time, the energy, or the knowhow to go “do” Osaka, so now is the time. It should be fun!

Now for a little blast from the past. You all remember my trip to Tokyo right? Well, after posting about my trip there and my experiences in Saitama, I got a little sidetracked and skipped a rather large part… my trip to Tokyo! So here it is:

In case you forgot, the whole trip was a whirlwind of activity, constantly moving from one place to the next, always rushing to catch the next train. As soon as we had landed, we went to Saitama and spent two days and a night there. As the second night of the trip was beginning, we returned from Saitama to Tokyo by train; all of us were exhausted after a full day of ‘transportation and infrastructure’ seminars. After an hour or two we made it to Tokyo and went to go find our hotel. We found it very easily, considering it was a massive building with the name written on it, visible from everywhere. As soon as we had checked in and dropped our stuff of we were out once again. My friend and lab co-worker Yamada Tsunaki went to go meet his brother. That left my tutor Sone Shintaro and myself to go explore and find some desperately desired nourishment. We did that successfully! We found a cool little area full of lively bars and restaurants. The only thing left to do then was choose which. Here is a shot from the area:

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After some tasty food and a beer we decided to make our way back to the hotel. As we were returning, it just so happened that we ran into our professors who were crossing the street from the trail station, also on their way to the hotel. In case you forgot, here’s a reminder:

Left to right: Tsunaki, me, Shintaro, Doi-sensei, Kii-sensei

Doi-sensei was too tired do go out so he retired for the evening. The funny thing is, we had all been together upon leaving Saitama. We all got onto the same bus from the university but it was so crowded that when it was time to get off, Doi-sensei couldn’t get off and so we got separated. Once at the train station, Kii-sensei decided he would wait up for him and told us to go on ahead. They ended up getting sushi and beers in Saitama and got to Tokyo way later. But anyway, now our party consisted of three. Our goal then was to reunite with Tsunaki, but that proved to be a little more difficult than we thought. During our search we found one of the only green locations in Tokyo:

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Still not answering his phone, we decided to head back to the hotel area and get a drink. Once there, whadda ya know, there he was, with his brother. But he seemed a bit different than before….

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Once you reach a certain point in the night (level of drunkenness) it is somewhat of a tradition to relocate your tie. We got a couple beers and then decided to call it a night. We were all really tired and it was late…

The next day we woke up at a leisurely pace. Our homeward bound plane wasn’t leaving until 8 o’clock that night so we decided we would go sightseeing! Our first destination, the Tokyo Skytree and Asakusa Temple:

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Afterwards we got some soba for lunch and then I was asked where I would like to go. Because of my inner nerd and my lack of knowledge of the Tokyo area, I only knew of one place:

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The official home of all cheap electronics, every game known to man, and last but not least, Maid Cafés!

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After getting an overpriced coffee at the Gundam Café because I love Gundam Wing, we went back to the station and headed towards Tokyo Station!

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We did a little more shopping and sightseeing at Tokyo Station until finally returning to our home base, the hotel. We retrieved our bags from where they were being held for us and then we caught the next train to the airport and began our long journey home; which included a 30 train ride, an hour plane ride, and what should have been another half-hour bike ride but fortunately my tutor is dating somewhat from my dormitory so he graciously gave me a ride home so he could see her.

So there!

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