Friday, July 10, 2015

Japan 2015 Day 3 Part 1: More Exploration & Conbini Lunch

So, I was the one who stayed up the latest last night, right? So why was I the one who woke up at 2:30 am & couldn't get back to sleep, huh? Good grief.

Charlie & Brendan woke up around 6:30, so Brendan & I decided to get our Wil Wheaton fix & watched the latest installment of Geek & Sundry's Titan's Grave RPG show (on my laptop) while Charlie showered. We got the breakfast pastries out & ate when Charlie was done, & I was so busy watching the show I forgot to take pics of the yummy pastries (I had a cappuchino melon pan- wow!!), sorry :) I made tea to go with the pastries & Charlie peeled an orange he bought yesterday, & it was a very nice breakfast.

While Brendan was in the shower, Charlie & I decided to continue our exploration of the area around the hotel, but first we had to stop by Shinjuku Station & figure out our train for this afternoon & reload our Suica (train pass) cards. Shinjuku Station is huge- the busiest station in the world!- so we stopped at the hotel desk & asked where in the station we could find the Odakyu Line, which we knew was the line to take to Atsugi this afternoon. They drew us a map & it was very simple to find- thank goodness! About a 10-minute walk from the hotel, so we went out into a very warm, sunny day (it was already 72 degrees when I woke up at 6:30 am).

We found a help window & I managed to explain, in Japanese, where we wanted to go & what time we wanted to get there. The Odakyu Line has a "Romace Train" that is very popular, but I asked for the kyuukou (fast train) because we have places to be! :) Glory be, we figured out the train that will get us to Atsugi on time, & I even remembered to ask which platform. Then we asked a station staff person where to reload the Suica cards (still in Japanese mode) & he not only understood me, but showed us what to do- another win! Our work was done, so now we could play.

Charlie wanted to head toward a park he'd seen on the map, so we turned west out of the station. The traffic was noticeably light, both foot & car, so we could tell it was Saturday in Tokyo. We walked by the Tokyo Municipal Government buildings, which seemed to go on forever. They have an interesting, art-deco look to them. The park was just past the buildings, but we didn't really want to go in the park,  so as we walked back I took a photo of Charlie with the municipal buildings in the background.

On the way back to the hotel we stopped in a conbini (convenience store) & got a few things- I wanted more tea bags & found some bottled mugicha (roasted barley tea) which  love! It was really hot & we'd walked for about 40 minutes, so the air conditioning in the conbini made me a little dizzy. Time to go back to the hotel! It was only 10:00 am but it felt so much later (thank you jet lag).

Charlie & Brendan played another game of Chez Geek & then we decided to go out around 11:00 to a closer conbini to get lunch.

Charlie found a tuna sandwich on a sub roll, Brendan found zaru soba (like last evening's dinner), & I found 2 onigiri (rice balls with fillings) and some chips. Back to the hotel to eat!

Brendan really loves zaru soba :)

My rice balls were in 2 shapes- there was a shrimp+mayonnaise on that was long like a sushi roll & the other was the usual triangle shape, with salmon filling. Both were yummy! The chips have nori flakes on them :)

Rice balls usually come with a nori (pressed seaweed) wrapper, which gets kind of rubbery the longer it's in contact with the rice. They do a very cool thing to keep the nori fresh while it sits on a refrigerated shelf in the conbini. They wrap the nori separately, with a layer of plastic between it & rice ball, then there are instructions for opening the package so the nori wraps itself around the rice ball as you open it.

Cool, huh?

We leave to catch the train to Atsugi to see Momo, Hiroshi, & Aoi-chan, & to go to Aoi-chan's school festival, at a little after 1:00 pm. Part 2 of Day 3 will cover our adventures in Atsugi!

1 comment:

  1. That's ingenious, how they make those things unwrap and wrap at the same time! It's all about the containers, isn't it. Ha!