Alright, now that I’m all rested up it’s time to continue The Tale of Last Week. Where was I?
Oh, right. Andy and I decided to go to Tokyo.
Having read all of my previous blog posts about Tokyo’s craziness, he felt that a trip all the way to Japan without at least seeing the megopolis would be a waste. But he didn’t want to go alone, and with my upcoming trip to Korea I could hardly afford the significantly overpriced bullet train ticket there and back.
Lucky for me, the Japan Rail (JR) employees don’t check the dates on expired “all-you-can-ride” passes quite as carefully as they should.
Ain’t I a stinker?
So, I mentioned in my last post that Andy and I managed to blow through the necessary Kyoto sights at hyperspeed. I was pleased to learn that his style of travel is almost exactly the same as mine; he likes to cover as much ground as possible in a short period of time.
But somehow that’s not what happened when we hit Akihabara, the nerd capital of Tokyo. I guess the nerds inside both of us just felt right at home among all of those electronic goodies. So we took our time.
Among the products we sampled were $1,000 toilets with automatic seat-raisers/lowerers, 70″ plasma televisions, singing/dancing animatronic stereo components, and yes, massage chairs.
Yet even with all of these fabulous inventions, do you know what Andy seemed to find the most amusing? The Japanese store clerks dusting leaves on the store’s decorative plants one-by-one.
Apparently cleanliness isn’t quite as emphasized in China as it is over here in the land of the rising sun.
Aside from our day in Akihabara and a few other brief excursions, the highlight of our trip to Tokyo was – as always – the nightlife. I would like to state that neither of the two nights we spent out on the town worked to hurt Andy’s positive perception of this country.
Quite to the contrary, in fact.
Let’s just say that even in an enormous 2,000+ person nightclub the gaijin still somehow never suffer from a lack of positive attention.
But as all good things, our trip finally had to come to an end. Andy wanted to make sure that he had the opportunity to stay in a capsule hotel at least once before leaving the country, so we got our butts in gear and pushed through one of the more challenging days I’ve experienced in awhile. Here’s how it went:
12:00am) Enter Club Vanilla.
6:30am) Leave Club Vanilla and return to our hostel. Eat numerous ice cream bars at a convenience store along the way. Ramble to each other in an intoxicated fashion.
7:30am) Somehow manage to get completely packed and stumble onto a subway to Tokyo station. Board a bullet train for Kyoto.
9:02am) Dizziness turns to headache. Ramble to each other some more.
11:45am) Arrive at Kyoto station, board a bus to my apartment.
12:45am) Andy re-packs all of his bags for the trip back to China.
2:00pm) Sleep for one and a half hours.
3:30pm) Ride a bus back to Kyoto station, and an express train to Kansai Airport. Eat at MOS burger along the way.
6:30pm) Reach the airport. Ask seven different information desks about where we can find a capsule hotel nearby.
7:15pm) Board a train going back in the direction we just came from. No capsule hotels by the airport.
7:45pm) Arrive in Downtown, Osaka. Check Andy into a capsule hotel. Laugh together at the silliness of the concept.
8:15pm) Say goodbye. Board a train back to Kyoto.
9:15pm) Arrive at Kyoto Station. I have missed the last bus of the day that will take me all the way home. Get on another train to Hanazono, the closest station to where I live.
9:35pm) Begin walking home in the snow with only one glove. I guess packing your bags still drunk from an all-night club isn’t a fool-proof endeavor.
10:15) Arrive. Sleep. For fifteen hours.
And yet another of my strange adventures in Japan has come to a close.