Oct 042011
 

I decided to head to Nagoya one more time today, to pick up some odds and ends.

Before leaving town, I stopped by the Post Office to take out some money. The postal ATMs are a great deal. There are no fees, other than whatever your bank charges, and there’s English support if you need it. I don’t usually need the English help, but it’s nice to have for those “not-so-proficient” days.

When I parked my bike at the massive bicycle parking lot at the station, I had a brilliant idea:
Remembering where I parked it.

I would photograph where I parked it, so I wouldn’t forget!
D3. Yep. It's in D3.

Ok, that’s kind of sad.

Anyway, I headed to the platform, and waited. While I was waiting for the train at JR Okazaki, I took a few photos:
Nagoya-Bound Platform at JR Okazaki

Nagoya-Bound Platform at JR Okazaki

Yes, I like train-related stuff. I’m not obsessive about it, but I like it. I think I like the industrial charm of it.

Around here is where you wait if you want to get in the first car.

I’m in the Front Row!

Lately, I’ve been riding in the front of the train, because I can look out through the front window. The downside is that I can’t sit down, but I do enough sitting as it is.

This time, I took some photos from the front of the train:
Train ride to Nagoya from Okazaki

Train ride to Nagoya from Okazaki

It’s a little loud when trains pass each other. It’s also startling when I’m just dozing off in a seat like everyone else. When I see them coming, it’s not quite as surprising, but it’s still impressive, when you start thinking about the sheer mass of these things.

Train ride to Nagoya from Okazaki

Train ride to Nagoya from Okazaki

Train ride to Nagoya from Okazaki

Train ride to Nagoya from Okazaki

Aichi Prefecture, from the special limited express to Nagoya!

Wait, You Can Read This Stuff?

When I got to JR Nagoya, I decided to go to Junkudo, a book store chain a few blocks away.

But on my way out the station, I took a little detourĀ  and wandered a bit, and found this building:

Mode Hal Isen Building in Nagoya

It had this really cool vent thing:

Mode Hal Isen Building in Nagoya-- Vent

Then I headed back towards the station:

JR Nagoya. Still Big.

And saw this:

Prada sign

Which almost made me dizzy, then I went back towards Junkudo.

I spent a good hour or so in there, looking for JLPT books, but didn’t have much luck. They have some grammar books, but nothing really overwhelming.

While I was prowling, a woman asked me in halting English, “You can read these books? They’re all in Japanese, you know.” I explained that I knew that, and could read them just fine. (Okay, I can read them just fine as long as I have a dictionary with me for the odd word. Still, I don’t see the problemĀ  here. )

I tried very hard to be distant, but polite.

But really, if I pulled that on you in the US, you’d probably sue me. And with good reason. The question implies: 1) I’m too stupid to know where I am, 2) I’m too stupid to know the difference between Japanese and English, and 3) I’m too stupid to read Japanese.

Any way you slice it, I come out looking stupid in that woman’s eyes, and I hate that sort of thing.

After being insulted based on ill-informed stereotypes, I went back to shopping.

I bought a couple of Nagoya city guides and an Aichi Prefecture guide, so I can maybe find some fun places to go in my spare time.

It depends on how much of that I’m going to have, though.

And since they’re filled with pretty pictures, I won’t need to decipher the strange symbols plastered all over them in some mysterious language. (Here’s where I roll my eyes.)

That XL Isn’t As X Or L As You Think

I headed back to JR Nagoya, by way of the underground mall that stretches out all over the place. It’s pretty neat. I found the North Face store there, which was one of my targets for the day.

I have discovered that I’m short on shirts. I packed too little, and probably too lightly. For now, I can alternate between short and long sleeves, but the nights are already getting cooler. I want something with long sleeves now, so I don’t suffer later.

Also I just need another T-shirt, because I’m doing laundry all the time.

The guy at the store was really nice, and explained to me that unfortunately, Japan’s XL isn’t close to America’s XL. But I decided to take a chance on it anyway, because I really need an extra shirt.

What I really needed was a Japanese XXL or something like that, I guess. It’s a bit tight in the chest. I suppose I have a goal, huh?

What Do You Call a Coin Purse In Japanese?

My last objective for the day was to find a coin purse. Most red-blooded American Men would not be caught dead with such a thing. We just let coins accumulate in our pockets, then dump them in the cupholders in our cars. Generally, we don’t carry change, because it slows up the line. All that counting and counting… and then the clerk has to recount it. Agh! Just hand the clerk a twenty and be done with it!

I digress.

Unfortunately for my manly American self-image, I need a coin purse, because 100 yen and 500 yen coins exist. I can’t really shove them in my wallet, and I hate having a pound of change just floating loose in my pocket.

Most importantly, I don’t have a car, let alone a cupholder to dump it all in.

So I need a coin purse.

I started looking around Takashimaya… okay, that was a mistake. The cheapest ones were 4000 yen. That’s a lot of money for something to hold my change with. And I didn’t even like the way they felt.

So I went to Tokyu Hands.

It took me a while to find them, but I found them. I picked one in a nasty orange-yellow color, so I can find it easily, and it won’t be mistaken as someone else’s. 777 yen. Much better.

I suppose I could have used a Ziploc bag, but even for me, that would be a bit much. Also, Ziploc bags eventually tear. I wouldn’t want that to happen to my bag o’change.

One last shopping trip to the kitchen section, to purchase something to make coffee with, and a mug with the Japanese names of vegetables on it. I wanted the one with the fish kanji, but I couldn’t find it. Oh well.

Then it was back home to Okazaki for some conbini dinner before going to bed.

We have orientation tomorrow, so maybe I’ll learn how to do trash?

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