It was pouring rain, but I decided to go to Nagoya anyway. Since my plans to go to Kyoto this weekend were ruined, I refused to sit in my apartment all day. I was itching to go out and do something.
My pants got soaked twice by the time I rode my bike to the station. I stopped off on the way to the station at the school, and hung out in Aoi Hall for a few minutes while I tried to dry off. Then when I headed back out again, I got soaked almost immediately.
I have a pair of North Face hiking pants that are supposed to dry quickly, and they do, but they also get wet quickly in a downpour, umbrella or no umbrella. Oh well.
Nothing Is More Refreshing Than the Rain
Meanwhile, at the station, JR Tokai was having its “Sawayaka Walking Tour,” or “Refreshing Walking Tour” of Okazaki event going on today. They are holding the event all over the Tokai region on various days.
I suppose it’s refreshing today, in the same way a cold shower while being fully clothed is refreshing.
I grabbed a train to Nagoya, and headed to the Mermaid Cafe for a quick bite because I skipped breakfast. Then I went to the information booth at the station to find the fastest way to get to the Tokugawa Art Museum. I started asking in Japanese, but she forced me into English.
I didn’t think my Japanese was that bad. Maybe her desire to use English was just stronger than my desire to use Japanese.
She showed me the city bus lines and the tourist bus lines. I decided on the city line, because it was cheaper, and because I thought it would be faster.
Back out in the soaking rain, the bus shows up at 2:35 instead of 2:20, and doesn’t get to the stop I want until 3:10.
Maybe the tourist buses would have been faster.
Also, every time the bus stopped, the engine cut off. Every time it got ready to move, the engine started up, and the driver announced that he’s going to move the bus.
That’s one major difference between Japan and the US.
The Tokugawa Art Museum
I got off at my stop and started trying to find the museum, and it was still pouring rain. I got soaked for the fourth time by now, I think. I found it eventually.
Here it is!
The museum had some really neat exhibits. There were swords from the 12th century on display, and a special exhibition of a lot of material from the Tale of Genji— manuscripts, etc., and they had a lot of tea ceremony stuff and incense burners on display, too. Actually, they had quite a lot of those on display.
If you like cultural stuff, then I’d recommend it.
The gardens are supposed to be really nice, but since it was late Fall and pouring rain, I can’t say one way or another.
You be the judge:
More Book Shopping!
At 4:30, I headed out and grabbed a cab to go to Ozone station. The driver was a nice guy. We had a nice talk about politics, in Japanese, of course.
Once again, I must reiterate the importance of speaking the language, wherever you go. You don’t have to be great at it, but people will generally appreciate it if you try to speak their language. I find I get a whole lot more out of living here by speaking Japanese. I can’t imagine living here longer than a few weeks without speaking it.
Also, talking to everyone in Japanese is great practice. And fun, too! I learn a whole lot more about Japan by talking to people than by reading books or watching TV. Maybe it’s my reporter background kicking in.
From Ozone, I took a JR line train to Chi-something, then grabbed the subway to Sakae to look at a couple of calligraphy supply shops. The first one was pretty good. It’s in one of the municipal buildings, and has a really good selection.
The second shop one was more of an art supply shop, and didn’t have what I was looking for, but it still had some nice stuff if you’re into brush painting more so than calligraphy.
After that, I headed to Osu again. I found a couple of used games, and did a little shopping at a book store where the music was so loud, I thought my ears were going to bleed. I stopped by Mandarake, because they have used games as well as interesting old toys, too. (Like old Godzillas and stuff like that. All ungodly expensive, but it sure takes me back!)
Then I went back to JR Nagoya, to check out Sanseido on the 11th floor. They have a nice collection of books for Japanese language learners, but it took me a few minutes to find it.
After that, I picked up some more doughnuts at Krispy Kreme, then stopped at Mokumoku for dinner.
I got home around 10:30 pm, by which time the rain had stopped, so my bike ride home wasn’t so bad. I got a full day in in spite of the rain.