Day 26 – 23.04: My Feet Hate Me

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.

The Magnificent Tokyo Station (東京駅)

The Magnificent Tokyo Station (東京駅)

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

Spent: 4,491

Remaining cash: 13,117

No counting due to being a lazy bum.


VM – 0,120

Sukiya breakfast – 0,561

Post office – 0,210

7/11 snacks – 0,260

Curry dinner – 0,690

Souvenirs 1 – 1,480

Souvenirs 2 – 1,620

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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).

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Day 21 – 18.04: No Choppers for You!

I woke at around 07:00 and after a short while of just being on my side, I started researching an expensive destination, Aogashima (青ヶ島). To get there, I’d have to get a flight or a twelve hour ferry ride to Hachijoshima (八丈島) and from there I’d need to take either a two and a half hour ferry ride or a quick helicopter ride to Aogashima (青ヶ島); both of the methods will go to the island / come from the island once a day. I had eyed on the helicopter schedules before due to it being much more reliable than the ferry, so I started looking at flight tickets.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Day 18 – 15.04: “Forever! In Shimane!” …Is What I Wish I Could Say

I woke up a couple of times during the morning: first when some of the other guests were leaving and the second time was an hour or so after the first one. I procrastinated a little bit after actually getting up and checked my train schedules before heading off – it was going to be tight.

Having paid my dues, I started putting on my shoes. The man asked if I knew Japanese a little – in Japanese – and wanted to talk about the usual stuff about origins, reasons for being here and my destinations. I really do appreciate when these chances arise, otherwise I’d never actually get to speak any Japanese. So we talked for a while and then exchanged farewells, the man jokingly saying something in the end, implying something along the lines of “you’ll be back.” After sharing laughs, we went our separate ways – or rather, I did; they remained in their house. Oh, and before I left, when I told them that I was going to Matsue (松江), the couple looked amazed – that is surely due to the fact that it’s a stupidly long way to go; just the way I like it.

Continue reading

Day 17 – 14.04: The Truth Is Out There

WARNING: This post WILL include images and texts that could disturb some people.

I woke after some twelve hours of sleeping, very well rested, at around 06:00. I started procrastinating after I found out that the breakfast would cost me 1000 until it was around 09:00. I then went ahead and threw my laundry in to the coin launderette, and then went to confirm the checkout time from the lobby – it was 12:00. I returned to my room to write a little before I went to throw my laundry to the dryer, after which I returned to continue what I had started earlier.

An hour later I got back and was amazed how an hour’s drying was still not enough to dry my stuff as well as the first time I used one of the coin dryers. Before leaving to fetch my clothes, I had decided to go out to see the A-Bomb Peace Park further to the west of the hotel. One returning of the keys later, I headed to the closest Seven Eleven to buy myself some breakfast.

It was a warm, sunny Monday morning, so I decided to eat my breakfast in the park bench by the river. I ate my meal, looking at the business men and joggers passing me and enjoyed the weather in general. After I was done, I gathered my stuff and started walking towards the park.

Continue reading