Japan 2023: Day 21

My last full day in Japan. I thought I’d take it easy today because I really overdid it yesterday and my leg hurt more than usual this morning. But did I succeed? Of course not.

I had breakfast at Hoshino Coffee, my favorite. Unfortunately this year the close one doesn’t open until 9AM! And I also forgot one of the features of the store:

IMG 0408

Yeah, it’s in the basement. No elevator. But they did have Egg Slut back on the menu! Mashed potatoes and a brown sauce with a coddled egg on top. It’s so good. Unfortunately I think I could eat three of them without much trouble. But they’re so good. And they have these weird half-booths for single patrons. There’s a little sign that says something like, “Please only stay for two hours.” Coffee shops are a place to rest and hide. Luckily this one has good coffee and pretty good food.

IMG 0410

And then I limped my fat ass over to the tourist information bureau in the bus terminal and asked if he could recommend a train or a bus I could just ride on for a while. He had to think about it and kept telling me to ask someone else, but finally he said, “Did you think about the Toden tram?” That’s a small tram that I’ve been meaning to ride eventually. It’s the only one left of an extensive tram system that covered Tokyo and goes from Waseda in northern Shinjuku City to Minowabashi in Arakawa City in the middle of goddamn nowhere. Also it was a bus ride from Shinjuku Station to Waseda which not only took a while, it took me 45 minutes to get 50 feet because off all the construction in the old Odakyu department store.

I also found that there are a LOT of old people riding the tram and even though it hurt my leg, I had to give up my seat because the guilt of sitting while little old ladies were standing would’ve killed me. I saw a young woman just pretend to be asleep but I can’t do that.

IMG 0411

Once I got to Minowabashi, I felt like I was back in the middle of the countryside of Japan. There was nothing there. I decided to take a bus back because that sounded more interesting. What didn’t seem interesting was a 20 minute ride to the Akasaka area, so I took the bus the opposite direction on a nice 1 hr 46 minute ride to Nakano station with two transfers. Fortunately there were enough seats on the buses that I didn’t have to give up my seat, but lots of old people riding the bus in the middle of nowhere too. First bus took me from near Minowabashi to Oji station which was much more lively and even had a McDonalds. Then it was on a bus to Koenji but I transfered near Kita-Nogata station to a bus directly for Nakano.

I didn’t do all that much in Nakano (like go to Nakano Broadway) but I did see a Yakiimo festival going on!IMG 0412

Huge lines for some of the food but I got in a shortest one to get just plain yakiimo.

IMG 0415

But they said I could get french fried yakiimo and that was more like a snack.IMG 0413

It was honestly quite good but so starchy and sweet! I couldn’t finish all of it.

IMG 0414

And then it was back to Shinjuku for more frustration. I usually save my shopping until the end because I don’t want to carry a bunch more stuff around with me. I should’ve done more in Osaka. The Muji on the whole other side of the station has split off into two stores. One with stationery and home goods (where they had everything stuffed into one building before) and a new one with clothing. And the big signs are on the side where you can’t get in because it’s just a loading dock. They were out of the pajama color I wanted in my big fat guy size too. At least the guy at the Tax Free counter was funny. He had an accent but he kept using American idioms. Turns out he lived in Utah for ten years!

Then I went to Kinokuniya to buy some calendars. The one I wanted was the only one that sold out, of course. And then I found out that the store wasn’t even Kinokuniya. They’d given up selling calendars and left it, and the dry goods like pens, to someone else. I should’ve done this shopping in Osaka as well. Then it was across the street to the Bic Camera/Uniqlo complex which WAS NO LONGER A UNIQLO. The Uniqlo used to be huge, too. So I resigned myself to trying the one in Takashimaya later in the day.

I went for dinner at Katsukura on the upper restaurant floor of Takashimaya and the line was huge. But it started moving quite quickly. Turns out I mis-ordered and the fancy pork is from Yamagata and the stuff I got was from Chiba. I wondered why it wasn’t as good as last year (not that it was bad). They were out of the Yamagata pork filet anyway. The whole thing was confusing but it’s definitely worth eating there.

IMG 0417

Uniqlo was a couple of floors down and not that large, but they had what I wanted. They were quite nice as well.

And then I got the bright idea to buy another power bank because my iPhone 15 Pro tends to eat battery. I spent about an hour and a half looking for Daisos that weren’t where google said they were and finally gave up and bought one at Bic Camera.

And that’s about it for the day. I didn’t end up packing because I was busy being an idiot and I might’ve walked even more than I did yesterday. Double idiot. We’ll see how that affects my plane ride home and my short SEVEN HOUR layover in Seattle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.