Monthly Archives: November 2012

Japan Day 57

Sorry, I’ve been back for over a week and I’ve been ignoring my blog. Last day in Japan, and it’s only a partial day. The plane from Narita to Portland leaves about 2PM (I never remember exactly when) but that means it’s easy to get breakfast, do some last-minute shopping, take a late-morning train to Narita, and then some quick shopping at Narita. I even got to see the beer machine. We started out the day by heading to the Paul Bassett coffee shop to get a breakfast set. Paul Bassett is an award-winning barista from Australia and he has a coffee shop in Shinjuku. They tend to be a … Continue reading

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Japan Day 56

My last full day in Japan. I’m heading back home tomorrow and I haven’t been back home since September. I’m feeling anxious and apprehensive and I remember the last time I went back to the US after a long stay (five years that time) I had complete reverse-culture shock. I’m sure that’s not what it is this time, but I am feeling apprehensive. It may just be that my dinner isn’t agreeing with me. In any case, we spent most of the morning wandering around near the hotel, buying some last-minute things for my cousin. Then we went to the Shinkansen station in Shinosaka and saw my mom off. So … Continue reading

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Japan Day 55

So today’s trip to the Instant Ramen museum was cancelled because I actually checked their web site and they said they were closed today. She also had another place she wanted to go and we had nowhere better to go. Also, it was supposed to rain today (and boy did it rain). But first, we went to Hep Five and rode the ferris wheel. It was only ¥500 for the 15 minute trip so it was a great deal for getting up above the city. Osaka Station City! I’m not sure if I ever knew that there’s a parking lot on the roof of the Hankyu Department store! Or on … Continue reading

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Japan Day 54

I forgot to show the picture from my expensive room during the day. Here it is. Today my sister wanted to go to a store called “Saro” so I decided to make my sister and Lim do some old-school Osaka sightseeing. A trip to Osaka Castle on the way to their store north of Shinsaibashi. The park was pretty and the day was quite nice. On the way in, we found that the castle had lots of volunteer guides and one told us why the largest stone in the wall, the “octopus” stone, has that name. The discoloration is from the iron in the stone and has been there since … Continue reading

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Japan Day 53

Today was another travel day, but the travel from Kyoto Station to Umeda Station in Osaka is only 29 minutes and ¥540 on the Special Rapid Train. My mom and I had an expensive breakfast in the expensive hotel in Kyoto. The view was impressive. The normal restaurant in the lobby was full, so we went to the “special” restaurant upstairs. The juice was a mix of some sort of fruit and bell peppers and other things I don’t remember. The slice of cheese on the salad was one of tastiest bits of sharp cheese that I’ve had. The yogurt was tasty as well. They asked what kinds of bread … Continue reading

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Japan Day 52

The youth hostel/ryokan my sister picked out was making me sad every time I thought about only having one coat hanger, not having any soap, being so loud, and my sister told me just to go find my own place, so I left. I was tired of following her around to her stores anyway and needed to get away for a while. It was good for me, since I got to walk around a lot like I usually like to do. But early in the day, Kyoto was feeling like a large pain in my ass. It’s like a giant Japan-Disneyland for dumpy foreigners. I thought Americans were dumpy but … Continue reading

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Japan Day 51

Today was a travel day from Busan, Korea to the Kansai International Airport, through Osaka and on to Kyoto. We got to Kyoto in time to see the ryokan my sister picked and then it was on to meet my mom at Kyoto Station. My mom forgot the paper that told her where we were going so I had to meet her on the platform. While I was out there, my sister and Lim had some ice cream. My mom and I got ours afterwards. The place my sister picked was more of a youth hostel than a ryokan. Check out the sign for the Dolphins. I should have said … Continue reading

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“Japan” Day 50

Today Sally took us to the fabric market. Actually, it’s pretty late (the dryer worked less well than we’d hoped) and I forgot to upload my pictures. So I’ll have to change the comments later and put up some short ones today. Also, we’re going to Kyoto and the only place my sister could find was a ryokan and I bet I won’t have any connectivity for a few days. Lots of non-problems here. On the way to the fabric market there were lots of street vendors and we got some goodies on the way. Of course my phone is focused on the back of Lim’s head. Traffic from the … Continue reading

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“Japan” Day 49

First, I have to admit something. I did not vote for Barack Obama. I didn’t vote for the schools. I didn’t vote for the library. I didn’t vote for whatever other liberal cause that would have raised my taxes like I usually do. I DIDN’T VOTE. Months ago I signed up to vote from Japan but I never got the ballot delivered to me. So thank goodness a lot of stuff went the way I wanted it to without my vote. Today’s update starts with my minimal selection from the Haeundae Toyoko-Inn’s free breakfast. My stomach wasn’t feeling bad, but it wasn’t feeling great either. I’m sure I could get … Continue reading

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Japan Day 48

So this must be how people who don’t speak Japanese feel like when they’re in Japan. I’m currently writing this from the Toyoko Inn in Haeundae-gu, Busan, Korea. I have no idea what people are saying. I have no idea how much this money is worth. I have no idea what areas are safe and what areas aren’t. Ah well, I was told there’s no manners in Korea (I have noticed there’s no such thing as lines or order and just to get out of the way of the little old ladies at the airport) so I should be OK. Today was mainly a travel day and my sister’s cost-savings … Continue reading

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Japan Day 47

Today it was mainly a day watching my sister and Lim shop. It was a trip back to Harajuku and Shibuya where we spent the whole day. I didn’t take all that many pictures because, well, I was just watching my sister and Lim shop. In fact, when we went by a shrine my sister just said, “Keep walking.” This is at the start of the Harajuku street-full-of-stuff-for-young-people-to-buy. Lim already posted this to her instagram and the only comment she got was, “Is that a real WWDC jacket?” I think these guys are from Portland. I thought my sister was going to make us just eat those small bread things … Continue reading

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Japan Day 46

Today was another travel day. I went to Tokyo on the Sh?nan-Shinjuku line and my mom and Mrs. Kobayashi went on to Toyama to visit the Kawasakis. Before we all left, we went to get ramen near Gunma University. I got to Shinjuku and I just wasn’t ready to deal with the crowds. I hid in my hotel room and sounds like my sister and Lim were doing the same. I had three days of update to do on my blog, and also updates to software on my computer. The intarweb connection in this hotel seems a bit odd; plenty of bandwidth but trouble with DNS. I’m not sure what’s … Continue reading

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