Finally we reach the conclusion of this series summarising the events I’ve gone through over the past two or so years. It has seen many delays over the course of the last half a year which I will go into at parts in here. There isn’t much else to note before going in, so I’ll just move on to actually continuing on from where the last part ended, around Christmas.
It should be noted that some of the information given in this post may be “gross” or “too much information” (more embarrassing for me than anything else), so you should keep that in mind going in. Other than that, I’ve done all the prefacing I feel I need to do in the first part, so let’s get right into continuing on with the story, shall we?
So. I’ve not posted an update on the site in a long, long while. As one might guess from the title of this post, my excuse is that I had been, until recently, preparing for an entrance exam for nearly half a year – that, and the fact that I am a lazy sod. Whatever you think of my excuses, I care not for I am here to give you, the reader, an account of my recent adventure to the city of Joensuu. But first, I’ll say a few (paragraphs of) things about my studies.
You know how Christmas is the time of year that you’re meant to spend time with the family and just stay home? Yeah well, I spent a couple of hours geocaching before lunch. The lighting was great (the sun was actually visible for once), and the snow seemed like it was going to be gone soon enough, so I had to go get some pictures as well.
Having never parked around the area, I spent a good ten minutes thinking of how I should be parking my car when I got there. With the initial difficulties out of the way, I decided to wander in to the forest in hopes of getting a few good pictures before starting to hunt for the geocaches in the area.
I woke up quite a while before even the first of my alarms started ringing, at around 06:00. I quickly put my laptop away after getting up and began getting ready to check out and leave for the train station. Some fifteen minutes later, I was ready to go and went ahead and double checked that all of my stuff had been packed up before going out and checking out.
There was one thing that I left back at that hostel locker: my lucky umbrella. We had a good month together, but it just had to come to an end at some point. Hopefully someone makes use of it rather than throwing it away.
The walk through Iriya (入谷) and Ueno (上野) was pretty quiet and uneventful in the early morning. It still seems quite weird to me that such a large city, a metropolis, can be so quiet. With the walk to the station done, I headed to the ticket machines.
I woke up early-ish with my throat feeling a lot worse than it had the evening prior. I got to procrastinating, stuck to it for a while, and at some point I received a message from Brendan; he was asking if I was up already. After answering positively, he got out of his capsule and said that we should go for breakfast. I agreed and stayed behind to finish up my business as he went to check out.
I followed after Brendan, but instead of checking out, I decided to stay for one more night – something that Brendan had suggested. I handed over my keys after paying and we were on our way to get something to eat.
We walked towards Akihabara (秋葉原), searching for a place to eat breakfast at as we went. We eventually ended up going to a cafe to get sandwiches and coffee at the Akihabara station (秋葉原駅). With our breakfast dealt with, we started wandering around and looking at things. In the end, we didn’t find anything too interesting and ended up heading to see the Tokyo Skytree.
After having walked a little while after getting out of the metro station, we found ourselves at the Skytree. We decided not to get on top, so we just walked some more and stopped by a street performer called Stephen.
The morning began with the familiar pain that I’ve – for better or for worse – started getting used to, followed by the usual procrastination – something I wish wasn’t as familiar as it is.
The day’s agenda was to go to the zoo for a second round with Jess and a few other people she had invited. Due to a pub crawl the night prior, we decided to meet up at 14:00 instead of 11:30. I also intended on going out to Roppongi (六本木) with my friend, Brendan, at a later point in the day.
Procrastination went on until about 13:00. That’s when I decided to go and take a shower and start moving towards the station. Pretty much right after getting out of the shower and having gotten clothed, I went out to walk towards the Ueno station (上野駅)… that is until I noticed that I was missing my wallet and my passport. I quickly returned to the hostel to pick those up and got back to walking towards the station.
On my way there, I remembered that I actually hadn’t had any breakfast, so I stopped by a place where I expected to get a quick burger to get the hunger out of the way – it took me fifteen minutes to get the burger and it tasted of disappointment. I continued onwards.
I woke up at some point in the morning and was reminded of the lovely sunburn in the back of my neck as I moved my head slightly. I procrastinated for a while before heading out to have a somewhat painful morning shower. After having showered, I headed out to get some breakfast from the Indian restaurant, Sewa (世話).
It was another lovely day with no clouds in sight and with the sun high in the sky. I walked for a few minutes until I got to the restaurant and, as always, ordered the spiciest things they have. After enjoying my meal, I headed back to the hostel to work on my blog.
After having worked on my blog for a while and after a little bit of procrastination, I came to the realisation that I had no plan for the day whatsoever. I knew that I wanted to walk around, so I decided to head out to wander aimlessly in Akihabara (秋葉原).
I wandered around for a while, going through various stores and their wares, but not really finding anything that I want to buy. When I got outside and started fiddling with my phone, I encountered an old man; a Buddhist monk scammer.
Getting out of bed has been getting more and more difficult over the past few days – must be because I haven’t been hurrying from a place to another for days. I got up around 11:00 to get myself some breakfast and more money to pay for my stay until Monday morning.
Instead of the normal breakfast I have, I took a light one with a couple of rice balls and some chicken. With it I take a bottle of mineral water. After getting my money and food, I got back to the hostel to pay my dues and started heading east to find a park by a river to stay and just chill at.
I walked, looking at the map every now and then to navigate towards the nearest park by the river. After a while of walking, I started getting hungry; thankfully I reached the park soon.
The morning was the usual one with a bunch of pain everywhere, some procrastinating and writing here and there and then heading out. This time I was going to the Imperial Palace – or that’s what I thought, at any rate. Before that, however, I had to go and break some bills to pay for an additional couple of days.
My hiking boots were still quite soaked, so the walk to get some breakfast / break bills was somewhat uncomfortable. I ate some curry at Sukiya (すき屋) and got back to the hostel to pay for another few days of staying. After this I sat back and relaxed for a moment before I headed out to Imperial Palace.
Before I headed for the palace, I decided to go and post some of the post cards that I had. After a short walk I found the closest post office. With my business done, I started heading towards my destination.
With my socks and hiking boots wet, the seven to eight kilometre walk was as uncomfortable as you’d expect for it to be. At least the weather was nice. After walking a while longer, I got myself some rice balls to eat for a snack.
I decided to take a different route through Akihabara (秋葉原) and so found a couple of stores I would’ve not seen otherwise; one of the stores was an airsoft shop – this thing made me feel like I should start airsofting again. There was another interesting one that was mostly dedicated to ‘moe’ army girls.
After having passed Akihabara (秋葉原), I walked past several shops that I had seen the day prior, so I knew I was going in the right direction. After a familiar curved road, I decided to turn left.
As I walked down the road I had chosen, I found an interesting shop with old military equipment such as uniforms, flags, guns and swords. All of it looked authentic enough, but I was a bit sceptic. Even if they were real, they’d probably be way out of my pay grade. Having admired long enough, I kept moving along the road until I got to the Eastern Gardens of the Imperial Palace.
When I entered, I was given a small token so that I could get out. The sights were great, and I spent a good long while just walking around the gardens, taking pictures of pretty much all the things. While I was walking around, I saw a Japanese man reading English text out loud and apparently recording it on his phone; I saw him a couple of times throughout my time at the gardens.
At some point I suddenly came to a realisation that the Imperial Palace probably wasn’t open for the general public – so I checked it out. Apparently it’s open only on the third of January and the twenty third of December, the Emperor’s birthday. Other than that, it’s open only through reserved tours by the Imperial Household Agency. With nothing more to do at the gardens, I got out and started slowly making my way towards the Tokyo station (東京駅).
The station itself was quite the sight to behold, just like the Kyoto station (京都駅). After having walked by the station for a little while, I decided to get myself something to eat and just walk to my hostel instead of taking a train. I got some curry (again) and got moving.
I was tired, but I still decided to continue hunting for souvenirs at Akihabara (秋葉原). After an hour of searching, I had found more stuff to give to certain people. After having found these, I felt quite content and walked at a painfully slow pace.
After having arrived back at the hostel, I went to shower and did nothing useful for the rest of the day.
This is where the twenty sixth day ended.
Withdrew: 0,000 円
Spent: 4,491 円
Remaining cash: 13,117 円
No counting due to being a lazy bum.
VM – 0,120 円
Sukiya breakfast – 0,561 円
Post office – 0,210 円
7/11 snacks – 0,260 円
Curry dinner – 0,690 円
Souvenirs 1 – 1,480 円
Souvenirs 2 – 1,620 円