It’s Sunday, a day for laundry, and for going to Nagoya again.
I have this really long metal pole that hangs horizontally in the middle of my apartment, over the TV. It’s suspended from the ceiling by two other big metal poles.
Apparently this is my clothes dryer.
I come from a country renowned for its household appliances. We have machines that wash dishes, machines that dry clothes, and ovens so big you can stick a dinosaur-sized bird called a “turkey” into it.
Alas, you will find none of these mythical machines in my apartment. They’re generally scarce in this country.
Well, I have an oven, but I don’t even think I could fit a chicken in it, let alone a turkey.
If I want to see a dishwasher, I can just look down. I have two of them sprouting off of my arms.
And while my washing machine had some misleading text that implied it could also dry clothes (wouldn’t THAT be awesome?), sadly, I am left with metal pole for my drying needs.
But I bought clothes that all dry really fast, so I just let metal pole do it’s stuff while I head to Nagoya.
This time, I need some JLPT prep books for N1, and for some accessories for my Canon IXY. And, it’s a good reason to get out of the house and do some exploring!
Before I headed out, I tried to find the Kinokunia I went to four years ago near JR Nagoya. I couldn’t find it anywhere on Google Maps. I did find Maruzen.
Before I left, I took a few test photos with the IXY. Here’s my apartment’s front door, and here’s my bright green bike that I’m renting from Yamasa.
Isn’t this a lovely shade of green?
The price on the bike isn’t bad. It’s 9,000 yen for 3 months’ use. That’s around 750 yen/week, if my math is correct. Yes, I could buy a bike for that much, but what would I do with it when I was done? I would have to sell it, and that would be a royal pain in the butt.
I headed to JR Okazaki (again), and along the way, I took this photo of the rusty clock/sign thing near South Okazaki Hospital. I’m a sucker for a rusty sign.
I got on the train to Nagoya, and saw some interesting looking ads. There’s a lot of stuff I want to do while I’m here, and whenever I see stuff like this, I want to be able to record it. What better way than with the IXY? They came out a little blurry, but I wanted you to get the idea:
Buying Camera-Related Stuff at a Camera Store, What a Surprise!
When I got to town, I headed to Bic again to buy some stuff for my camera. Mainly I was looking for a strap set of some kind. Something I can use to hang it around my neck, or maybe a wrist strap. I also wanted a nice case for it, too.
I found a strap set after some digging around, but I never really found a case I liked. I managed to find a clear plastic cover for the LCD display. I used up a bunch of points to knock the price down, then went back to the station to find out what happened to Kinokunia.
I asked at the info booth, and apparently, that location closed. Bummer. Well, there’s Maruzen. Google Maps said it’s near the Fushimi station on the Higashiyama Line.
The Nagoya subway system uses a card similar to the Suica card I use in Tokyo and here to go back and forth between Okazaki and Nagoya. Both cards work the same way– you fill them with money, then tap them at the wicket to get in/out, and it automatically deducts the proper fare.
Sadly, the Suica card won’t work on the Nagoya subway, so I had to buy a card for myself. It took a few extra minutes, because I had to give the nosy machine all kinds of info so my card could be returned to me in case I lost it. It’s kind of a pain, but it’s worth it to know I can get it back.
Google Maps Is Great, Except When It Isn’t.
Card in hand, I hopped on the Higashiyama line, got off at Fushimi, and wandered around for about 15-20 minutes before I realized that Google Maps was dead wrong. There was no Maruzen there of any kind. There were many things that weren’t Maruzen, but Maruzen was not among them.
So I went back to JR Nagoya, asked at the info booth, and they told me it was in Sakae, one stop over. Sure enough, as I walked past the Maruei department store, I could see the sign for Maruzen.
That’s pretty cool.
Google Maps was a bit of a disappointment, because I have had generally good luck with it. But that mistake cost me about an hour of wandering around and asking questions.
Maruzen is a nice bookseller, with solid inventory. It took me a few minutes to figure out where all of the JLPT prep books were. Oddly enough, they were in the Foreign Language section. I guess because foreigners need it more than Japanese people do? Dunno.
I picked up the new Kanzen Master N1 series. All of them. I’ll need them for the upcoming N1. Looks like it’s a bit different from the old Kanzen Master books.
I spent a lot of time just wandering around the store as well, looking for more books, just in case. But I decided to keep it to just the JLPT books for now.
Then I headed back to JR Nagoya, and back home to Okazaki.
It was an exciting afternoon, in that I had an adventure! Those are always fun.
Oh, and when I got back, my clothes were dry!