It’s Saturday, and for once it’s not raining. It’s not really sunny, but it’s not raining. I’ll take what I can get. My electronic dictionary is dying, so I’m off to Nagoya to buy a new one, among other things.
I got a bit of a late start, because I felt like lying around a little bit and just generally loafing around the apartment. There’s a good Japanese verb for this: ごろごろする (gorogorosuru). It just means to loaf around. Yep. I did that until about 2 pm or so, then headed to the station and grabbed a train.
First stop was the Mermaid Cafe, to grab lunch. I wanted something simple, because for the past few weeks my stomach hasn’t been in top form. The Mermaid just does simple sandwiches and some basic pastries, and none of it is very greasy. I love their iced cocoa.
Finding a New Electronic Dictionary
Then it was off to Bic Camera, to stare at row upon row of electronic dictionaries. They have changed a lot in the 4 years since I bought my last one. Lots of color screens now, and lots of extra features, most of which I do not need. It was frustrating trying to find one dictionary that had all of the features I want, without a bunch of stuff I don’t.
The features I want are no longer available, and the dictionaries I want, I have to pay extra for. I wound up forking over 38,000 yen for the Casio Ex-Word business model. Handing over that kind of money is painful, but it has a lot of the stuff I want in it, and to be honest, I’m going to use it for at least the next four years. So I’ll pay extra to get that later.
If I think of it as a stack of 10 really useful dictionaries, and another 20 or so useful-ish dictionaries, in a form factor that’s searchable across all of them with relative ease, it’s totally worth it.
One thing it has that I really want is a working NHK accent dictionary that pronounces words through the little speaker. It’s awesome. Now I can get the pitch accent right if I’m inclined to worry about it.
I’ll review the Casio later, when I’ve had time to play with it more.
I spent a good hour or so staring, reading, poking, and buying.
When I think back to using paper dictionaries when I first started learning Japanese, there’s just no comparison. Electronic is the way to go. Even a cheap electronic dictionary is faster and easier than the best paper dictionaries.
Done with buying at Bic, I headed back to JR Nagoya, and it was really pretty in the afternoon light:
After that, it was off to Osu (大須, おおす), a big shopping district with a giant covered shopping arcade and a famous temple. It’s a lot like Osaka’s Dotonbori area, or Tokyo’s Ameyokocho, with some Akihabara mixed in.
I spent a few hours wandering around in there, just looking at shops. I stumbled across the Osu Kanon Temple at some point. It’s pretty famous in the area. I snapped a couple of photos.
As I was leaving the temple, I lucked out. It was just turning 5 p.m., so the giant clock was striking, and a little exhibition or play of sorts was starting.
The reflections in the window were pretty bad. The IXY just couldn’t handle them.
Sort of like mechanical dolls, set to music. They did their dance, and everyone enjoyed it.
And then it went back to being a clock again.
I went back to strolling. I found a pretty big electronics store that was pretty cool. It had all kinds of stuff, most of which was cheaper than Bic. Including the electronic dictionary that I just bought. (Ouch.) Same color and everything. (OUCH!) About 10,000 yen cheaper. (Ouch, OUCH!)
On the first floor, there was a sort of a community market of electronics and random stuff, where people just set up stalls. One guy had a bunch of great old shortwave radios. Oh how I lusted after his radios, but they were hideously expensive. He knew he had good merchandise, and it was priced accordingly. There were also guys selling old vacuum tubes– you name it. It was a lot like a mini-Akihabara.
If you wander to the street just north of the covered street markets, you’ll find a few used video game stores and some manga stores and the like, if that’s your kind of thing. There are some games I want to buy, but I’ll probably wait until I’m in Tokyo to buy them, because I can probably get them cheaper there. (I will probably learn to regret this.)
There’s also a Mandarake if you like toys and other collectibles. (Who doesn’t like toys?)
After that, it was off to Hisayaodori for some book shopping.
On the way, a couple of snaps of the Nagoya TV Tower. Yes, this shot is blurry, but I LIKE it:
Less blurry but not as cool version:
I picked up a few things to read, then went back to the station.
Couchin is Japanese for “This Chicken is DELICIOUS!”
I was hungry, and it was getting late, so I decided to head back to the area around Nagoya Station. I went back to the 12th and 13th floors of Takeshimaya, because there are a ton of good restaurants there. This time, I went to a place called Torigoten, because it specializes in Nagoya Couchin, which is a special kind of chicken that’s supposed to be super delicious.
I was feeling kind of run-down anyway, so chicken anything was on my radar. All of the restaurants had huge waits. This restaurant had a relatively short wait. So I sat for only 25 minutes until I got a seat at the bar. That’s not too bad for Nagoya Station on a Saturday night.
I ordered a Couchin set meal that consisted of a really good Oyakodon (chicken and egg rice bowl, with some chicken broth), and some kishimen (a flat noodle that’s a specialty of the Nagoya region) in a chicken broth served with cooked chicken.
Just what I needed, because I was still feeling crummy from my cold that I had a few weeks back. Still feels like there’s a frog in my throat.
After that, I missed the 8:42 train juuuust barely, but it was okay, because that meant I could get a seat on the 8:58 train home. I got back to Okazaki at about 9:30 or so, then got home at about 9:45 or so.
Long day, but fun.