Monday, May 22, 2006

Here’s how I’m going to do the daily posts.  I’ll start out with a little summary paragraph and then mention more details after the “more” link.

After having breakfast at the hotel, walked around the city for a couple hours.  Then we went off to the Studio Ghibli museum and stopped over at Akihabara.

Breakfast was interesting.  It was the first time I used chopsticks to eat a whole meal.  First time ever using them was on the airplane at one point to pickup some fruit.  Wasn’t really that difficult since I knew how you held them and such.  Had oniguri (rice ball) and some sort of soup and green tea.  Green tea was a whole lot better than the stuff I make at work, although I guess when you watch how long you brew the tea it tastes better.

After breakfast we walked around the city for a little bit.  It was still opening time for businesses so you see everyone walking around in full three peice suits.  Which gets broken by the occasional group of school kids all in their little sailor uniforms and same backpacks going off to school.  Another thing I noticed is people really wait for the walk signs when crossing.  Even if there are no cars coming for a while.  It’s really odd when you just see people in the states not even really paying attention to that and just walking.  Also the whole thing about what side to walk still confuses me.  It seems like on street level people walk on the right, but a lot of the train stations we go into have arrows pointing to go down the left side of the stairs.   Another interesting thing that I heard before but was neat to finally see was the raised flooring on the sidewalks for blind people.  Normally there are tiles that have a raised bar and run in the direction you should walk.  Then once you reach some sort of obstruction like a crosswalk or stairs it will change to raised dots.  You see this everywhere, even inside the ghibli museum.

That brings us to our next stop, the Ghibli Museum.  Once we arrive there we have to get on a bus that takes us to the museum.  You can tell when you are at the right spot by the large Totoro bus sign.  The museum was really nice.  We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside but I got a few outside though.  It was, of course, targeted more towards kids but I saw only a handful of kids.  Most were either really old, around my age, or tourists.  A lot of it showed how the production of an animation is done and how films work and such.  There were a ton of production artwork around.  There were a few storyboard books from a few differen animes.  Stopped at the store and wanted to find something from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and unfortunately they didn’t really have much from it.  Was trying to find the foxcat, if you remember that in the series.  They really didn’t have much from it all.

After the ghibli museum we did a little walk back to the train station and then intended to go back to the hotel and rest.  At the train station we were a little lost and trying to figure out how to get back and deciding which way would be best and a random strager, speaking ok english, came up and asked if we needed help.  She didn’t work at the train station.  That’s something you’d never see in the States.  It just so happens we had to transfer at Akihabara…

We decided that while we were there might as well look around a bit.  O man I thought I went to heaven.  Store after store of electronics, anime, computers, you get the idea.  Now I know why I wouldn’t want to come to Japan, I’d practically live in Akihabara.  Although the prices on most things aren’t all that cheap for most things.  Especially for DVDs.  I knew the prices were high but a typical new dvd is going to cost 3500 yen (about $33 or so)  Some of the anime got into the $70 range and up.  We’re definately stopping here later in the week.  Stopped and ate at a curry shop.  It was really good, and a lot more filling then in looks.  I have no idea how to explain it, just google curry and you should find a description.  So after that we get back to the hotel.

So it’s become really apparent that we can get a lot done without knowing that much japanese.  Although I admit my cousin has been doing most of the translating when talking to people.  I know a lot of basic stuff, but as soon as I really need to use it I just freeze up.  It’s really annoying.  I’ve already gotten use to the currency, though.  Guess it comes from going to Canada a lot and having a pocket ful of change.  Not sure what the plans are for tomorro, guess we’ll find out then.

2 Responses to “Monday, May 22, 2006”

  1. traat Says:

    mmmmm ghibli……….

  2. Erik Says:

    mmmmm curry……

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