Monday, March 22, 2010

Nagoya, more like NAG, Oh Yeah!

First real day in Nagoya is really finished! Today was rather non-eventful, but I guess I saw somethings that kept me amused. Let me relate them to you all.

Well, off to a late start due at least in part to the separate room thing, Ben and I went around and grabbed some lunch -- bento (basically lunch boxes, stores that specialize in these are common everywhere in Japan). This is important because my bento was something called "Kuma-San" which roughly translates to Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss Bear. It came in a container shaped like a bear head, and the top had a little face. It was adorable, delicious, and a surprisingly decent amount of food. Ben and I enjoyed our meals in a park, and then basically just walked around. There was a loose goal of finding me shoes (my somewhat recently purchases laces broke this morning, which somehow made me more urgent in this...even though they still tie and can be bought separately), which was not successful, but did lead us to an area near Central Park (hahaha) with dinosaur-shaped bushes, an NHK character store, a Pokemon Store (with union room) AND a Shonen Jump Store! Pretty impressive stuff, you know. I also almost bought shoes, but chose to wait and try to find better ones later.

From here we kind of wandered out again, somewhat aimlessly. At a certain point Ben decided to go one way and me another, which was roughly we got sick of dealing with each other and neither wanted to follow the other. This happened in Hiroshima, too, with the park...but this time had a lot more lead up and was much more smooth a separation. Anyway, afterwards I kind of wandered all over the place. I went down to Nagoya Station, which has some cool buildings (especially the spiral tower!) and some malls, then wandered out to Ennoji shopping street, which had lots of slippers but no shoes I could use, and finally ended up exploring Nagoya Castle area. This is important because not only is it the 400th year anniversary of the castle, but the castle was closed when I got there and left me with a ridiculously long walk back with nothing of real interest on the way. I found a shoe shop, but they stop stocking shoes at like...2 inches short of mine. Oh well. The areas I walked through were pretty, but the only really interesting thing was a somewhat ugly park with giant stones just sort of set up in it. I forget the parks name, but it was referred to as a forest, in Japanese, and a park, square, and garden as an English translation of forest...which was really funny to me.

The last really interesting thing that happened today occured when I went to the station to get back to my hotel. A random Japanese woman just kind of walked up to me when I was about to buy my ticket and, in Japanese, told me that she was giving me her day-pass because she could not use it. It is possibly the most confusing, spontaneous, and nicest thing that has happened to me in Japan. Needless to say I am in a good mood now.

As for the future, tomorrow Ben and I have outright planned to explore separately. I think he has taken to heart some of my suggestions, too, so I guess we are going to an Onsen tomorrow, and maybe Karaoke the next day before our bus. Other than that, I kind of want to go to Nagoya Port, at some point, possibly return to the castle, check out this ferris wheel near our hotel, check out a shoe store near our hotel, and possibly check out this british pub/live music venue...also near our hotel. We'll see how much I care to stick to.

1 comment:

  1. Apparently Ben does not know how to use the internet, so I will help him. Repost from Buzz:

    Benjamin Holt - I want to remark on something cool I found today in Nagoya after I left Dan to look at a scenic walk-way. I continued to explore by arching around back to the hotel (took about 1.5-2 hours), and when I neared the hotel, I found the "Free Cafe." Most of the time in Japan, English is used in a weird way where the words and meanings don't match up. But the cafe was actually free. They served Japanese rice crackers and drinks, including some awesome coffee. And I do mean awesome; I was majorly disappointed when I could not buy any beans to take home with me. I encourage anyone who visits Nagoya to drop by. It's in the Sakae station area, delicious, and, best of all, free.12:04 am