June 08, 2005

Lazy Freakin' Weekends

Things to learn how to do while touristing:


The weekend before last we decided to go on a beach hike to an onsen/spa/health garden place. Which was okay. Only an umbrella and towel, plus camera, wallet etc. For lunch = Conveyor belt sushi (only ¥100 a dish - excellent - even if you only eat corn and mayo, or cucumber and wasabi nori rolls -- almost mistakenly at eel うなぎ because it looked like chicken).

The beach cliff hike was awesome. It was very much like home, except greener, the many shrines just along the path, and the lack of fences along the most sheerest of drops (but surprising great big あぶない!! signs along very innocuous looking spots). It was really nice. The onsen was difficult to find, expecting a small little villa/hut. Instead we were eventually directed towards this big fecking health resort-apartment complex with its own children's park and aviary --- the odd facial reactions as a I asked "where is the onsen" to local japanese (in 日本語) as they pointed to the towering building a block away and said "over there". As if it was very hard not to notice it (plus the big Japanese flag flying too). I didn't actually go to the onsen, bit to soon in this journey to be getting naked with a bunch of strange Japanese men - but the park surrounding the onsen was very nice. And full of children playing and catching small bugs and crayfish.

Also witnesses grass sledding. Sadly, it looks like a kids only passtime :'(

This weekend was Tokyo time. We went to Yoyogi park and the surrounding malls of Harajuku, stayed in a casule hotel and visited Senso-ji in Asakusa, and then rounded off the journey with a visit to Denki (Electricity) Town in Akihabara to buy an adaptor plug for Helen and a watch for me (plus for me to drool over the combination of electronic goods, computer games, manga and sex shops in this amazing heaven-like district).

However the journey was dampened by us having to lug very heavy bags everywhere. Now used to Hitachi, I was expecting the far more colder than it was - and thus had overpacked with undershirts and jackets -- only to be greeted with 26 degree weather. How on earth the Gothic chicks at harajuku gate managed to stay cool in all those layers of black is beyond me.

At the capsule Hotel, I did actually go to a communal bath (the only one available) - though at a time when it was not very communal. But it was on the ninth floor of the building, with nice clear glass open for all the world at Asahi HQ to see into. The baths here are very nice. Very hot. Possibly worth being surrounded by a bunch of naked middle aged Japanese men.

And yay for Japan's wonderful blaise attitude to smoking. I have now inhaled so much nicotine and tar from hotel lobbies, manga shops and restaraunts that I can feel my trachea shrivelling up. Maybe the Nazi's were right about some things.

PS - Is anything worth beng surrounded by naked midde aged Japanese men?


At Wed. Jun. 08, 03:55:00 am AEST, Anonymous john cowart said...

Reading your blog contiunes to reveal a Japan I'd never imagined before.

At Thu. Jun. 23, 04:26:00 pm AEST, Blogger Chris C said...

Have you got your mobile phone yet? Look carefully before you buy- Vodafone is cheapest, but coverage is poor. However, one of their phones (601t- which i have) comes with a Japanese-English dictionary built in-(12,000 words!). AU do a phonr with a 2megapixel camera and an MP3 player built in (you store music from CDs on a memory card which you put in the phone). It's a winter wonderland of mobiles here.

At Fri. Jun. 24, 11:01:00 pm AEST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sry to hear about the kids hun.

i miss the random convo's.

ciao bello.


At Sun. Jan. 01, 05:59:00 pm AEST, Blogger underpanter said...

hi there


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