Day 25 – 22.04: The Yasukuni Shrine

Another day in the lovely Ueno (上野) dawned and both my upper left thigh and back were in the oh-so-familiar pain. I quickly got up to sit and started procrastinating until around 11:00. I had decided to go to the Imperial Palace the day prior, so I went for it after I got off my lazy arse.

I walked all the way to the Ueno station (上野駅) before I stopped by a small pizza place to eat breakfast at. I got a small-ish pizza with salami and what I think were meat balls. After having satisfied my hungry stomach, I started walking down towards Akihabara (秋葉原) to reach my destination.

On my way there, a woman was offering me a leaflet. I had ignored so many others before that I decided to bite, but she then of course guided me inside the store she was advertising for. In the store they tried to sell me overpriced holographic post cards, and they were willing to give me four at the price of two just because I was a nice guy. The offer was nice, but they were still way overpriced for post cards. I told them that there’d be no sales and continued onwards.

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Day 24 – 21.04: Akihabara, The Mecca of Nerds / Eater of Wallets

I woke up with the familiar back ache around 08:00. I was meant to leave the hotel today, but I didn’t really have another place in my mind, and I didn’t want to start spending stupid amounts of money to stay at another place, so I asked if I could stay for another couple of nights – the guy at the desk didn’t have anything against it. Having received confirmation, I got out to get myself some breakfast and to break a 10,000 bill to pay for my stay.

I got myself some pork curry from Sukiya (すき屋) and came back. After having eaten my pork curry, I got my laptop out and checked out how far Akihabara (秋葉原) was; it was a mere two kilometre walk from the Ueno station (上野駅). When I felt like moving again, I got going, taking my umbrella with me.

The walk towards Akihabara (秋葉原) went fairly slowly due to the rain and slippery everything, but I got there after some fourty minutes of walking. On my way there a random Japanese guy drove towards me with his bicycle and suddenly started staring at me and then struck a pose with his hands creating a triangle before just passing me by. I wish I had gotten a picture of that.

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Day 23 – 20.04: Nostalgia Is a Powerful Thing

I woke up well rested and with my back hurting like hell. I looked at the clock on my laptop: it was 08:00. I got up – I was still lying on my side, though – and started procrastinating for a while before I got around to thinking about what I should do for the day.

After being done with my bad habit, I started looking at my options here in Ueno (上野). A lot of the things that were listed in the top things lists were in the Ueno Park (上野公園), so I decided to head there. Besides, parks are always pretty nice.

I got myself some breakfast from an Indian place called Sewa (世話). The staff were friendly, the bread was free and the prices were quite decent; I think that I’ve not had Indian food as good as this before. From there I kept walking towards the Ueno station (上野駅).

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Day 22 – 19.04: Free Rides Expire Eventually

I woke up with my laptop right at my face at around 06:00, shrugged and got back to sleep. I got up at around 07:00 to check up on train departures and procrastinated a little bit before preparing to release another day on my blog. After being done with all that, I decided to head out.

I walked aimlessly down up the river, taking pictures of the beautiful cherry trees. After having slowly walked around for a while, I found myself at the beginning of a mountain trekking path. Not having eaten anything since 18:00 the previous days and not having anything to drink with me, I decided to start following it.

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Day 20 – 17.04: After Long Last… Hanamiz… Shirakawago.

I woke up at around six for the first time, but I couldn’t be bothered to get up. I got up again a bit before 7:30 and soon started hearing someone’s alarm ringing; I decided to get out of bed. Having gotten out of bed, I got my stuff and prepared to leave.

Before I got out with my stuff, I was greeted by the owner; the owner spoke with an interesting Japanese American accent. He reminded me that I could leave my stuff at their storage room until I had to leave town. Thanks to his reminder, I went ahead and put myself stuff in to their storage room and headed off.

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Day 19 – 16.04: ‘Forever’ Is Such a Short Time

I woke up fairly early in the morning, at 06:45, to the sound of the alarm I had set, but I didn’t get up. The next alarm, this time from my laptop, brought about Catastrophe (by MuryokuP) at 7:30; I finally got up and started planning.

At first I was planning to go to the islands to the north, but that plan was soon crushed as I realised that I had missed the earliest trip there, and the next one would be coming in too late for my schedule – had I not procrastinated the night prior, I would have known this.

I then started looking at train schedules through a mountain route, through Tottori station (鳥取駅), Kinosakionsen station (城崎温泉駅) and Fukuchiyama station (福知山駅) before reaching Kyoto (京都); to my disappointment, I would have to leave pretty much immediately should I want to use the route I wanted to and reach Kyoto (京都) before too late. Disappointed in not having any time to see anything in the much awaited Matsue (松江), I walked to the station.

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Day 16 – 13.04: Hanami Party 2014 Osaka Edition – Aftermath

So… I blacked out last night, right? I find myself hanging out inside an underground passage like I belonged there – still drunk – right in front of the ticket gate for what I thought was a JR gate. There was no one at the ticket gate, and some people were going in, so I did too. I went to the toilet and became completely aware of the situation I was in. After I got out of the toilet and wanted to check the time, I realised that my phone was gone.

I panicked, and then saw someone in the ticket gate booth. I rushed to him to ask if my phone was seen here. When I got a negative answer, I immediately asked the man for a route to the closest police box. I walked the station for a while, asking another person for more guidance, but I ended up at a place that I didn’t know at all. I was starting to get panicked.

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Day 15 – 12.04: Hanami Party 2014 Osaka Edition

I woke up just to remember that I was still at the Tokyu, still stuck with the awful connection. Annoyed, I went ahead and procrastinated for a while. Before leaving, I tried to do some research on the routes that would be going from the Niigata station (新潟駅) to the Tokyo station (東京駅) and eventually to the Osaka station (大阪駅), but the connection was so utterly crap that it wouldn’t even load Google Maps – GOOGLE MAPS! Pretty pissed off, I walked out of the hotel and headed for the station.

At the station I checked out the connections, and thankfully found the trains I would need to take to get to Osaka (大阪). I boarded the MAX Toki train heading for Tokyo (東京) and began passing out again. When in Tokyo (東京), I switched to a Kodama and continued on to the Shin-Osaka station (新大阪駅). I eventually arrived at Shin-Osaka (新大阪), went to the Osaka terminal (大阪駅) and after that started to find a way to get in to the Osaka Castle Park (大阪城公園).

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Day 13 – 10.04: Through Hell and boiling mud pools

So I woke up to a weird, awful, infernal noise that made me want to murder someone. I was just about ready to start beating up my laptop before I realised that it was the table clock that I had put to wake me up on 6:00. I closed it and started procrastinating instead of doing what I was supposed to: planning and finishing, or rather, starting the previous day’s entry. Hours went by and suddenly the clock was 9:00.

I had done some research on what I should do, but what I had had in mind previously – visiting the islands on the north western end of Hokkaido (北海道) – was just not possible at that point; the train that goes that far leaves thrice a day and takes five hours to get there. So I trashed the idea. I finally got off my lazy bum and did some research on the locales on the way back to the main island, and found Noboribetsu (登別) to be an ideal place; it had scenery AND a place called Hell’s Valley (地獄谷) a walking distance away. Having decided on that, I checked out of the hotel, but found out that it was raining.

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Day 11 – 08.04: Holy crap, there’s snow?

Of course the alarm that I put on the previous day didn’t wake me up; I didn’t have my earphones on in the morning – damn hindsight. The clock was around 8:30. I got my stuff and left the hotel to go to see the Morioka Castle ruins (盛岡城), now the Iwate Park (岩手公園).

Hotel Pearl City

Hotel Pearl City

The walk there was fairly short with a couple of photo worthy things. The sky was nice and cloudless, but it was nowhere near as warm as it had been a few prefectures back; it was clear that I had gone northwards. Then I reached one of the park entrances.

The park entrance was a fairly long ramp to the walls of the then castle. Upon reaching the top, I was met with a wonderful sight of a snow capped mountain in the distance. After taking a couple of shots, I moved on the go around the castle, taking pictures of whatever signs there were to translate at a later date, while looking at the great sights and reading whatever English some of the signs had. After having spent an hour or so at it, I was met by a Japanese lady walking her dogs; she was interested in talking to me.

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