Kami Watch Over Me (Japan Day 26 – Nagoya)

Wednesday, Nov 16 2022 (Day 26)

Table of Contents

ට  Day 0 – Thursday, Oct 20 2022 to Friday Oct 21 2022 – Flight from Edmonton to Tokyo
ට  Day 1 – Saturday, Oct 22 2022 – Tokyo, Saitama, Ikebukuro
ට  Day 2 – Sunday, Oct 23 2022 – Autumn Reitaisai 9, Shinjuku
ට  Day 3 – Monday, Oct 24 2022 – Akihabara
ට  Day 4 – Tuesday, Oct 25 2022 – Hakone
ට  Day 5 – Wednesday, Oct 26 2022 – Kamakura, Enoshima Island, Enoshima Shrine
ට  Day 6 – Thursday, Oct 27 2022 – Hanno
ට  Day 7 – Friday, Oct 28 2022 – Shinkoiwa
ට  Day 8 – Saturday, Oct 29 2022 – Akihabara, Matsudo City
ට  Day 9 – Sunday, Oct 30 2022 – M3-50, Moto-Yawata
ට  Day 10 – Monday, Oct 31 2022 – Akasaka, Shimokitazawa, Shibuya Halloween
ට  Day 11 – Tuesday, Nov 01 2022 – Shinjuku, Sophia University
ට  Day 12 – Wednesday, Nov 02 2022Sophia University, Kabukichō
ට  Day 13 – Thursday, Nov 03 2022 – Shinjuku Loft
ට  Day 14 – Friday, Nov 04 2022 – Shinjuku, Hanazono/Asakusa Tori no Ichi, Sensōji
ට  Day 15 – Saturday, Nov 05 2022 – Nagano, Zenkōji
ට  Day 16 – Sunday, Nov 06 2022 – Ueda Sanada Matsuri, Ueda City, Sanada Shrine
ට  Day 17 – Monday, Nov 07 2022 – Zenkōji, Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward
ට  Day 18 – Tuesday, Nov 08 2022 – Otsu, Omi Jingu
ට  Day 19 – Wednesday, Nov 09 2022 – Fushimi Inari, Kashoji, Tofukuji, Shōrinji
ට  Day 20 – Thursday, Nov 10 2022 – Ohara, Sanzenin, Arashiyama
ට  Day 21 – Friday, Nov 11 2022 – Kiyomizu, Ryōzen Kannon, Yasaka Shrine
ට  Day 22 – Saturday, Nov 12 2022 – Osaka, Juso
ට  Day 23 – Sunday, Nov 13 2022 – Sukunahikona Shrine, Namba
ට  Day 24 – Monday, Nov 14 2022 – Kobe (with Ran)
ට  Day 25 – Tuesday. Nov 15 2022 – Maibara, Toyosato, Nagoya
ට  Day 26 – Wednesday, Nov 16 2022 – Osu, Banshōji, Naka (You are here)

I was still aching this morning from my travel exploits yesterday, so that plus work tickets meant that I didn’t even leave my hotel room until close to 11 am or so. When I did, it was to buy a CD that was releasing today. I don’t think I have ever bought a music CD on release day, unless one counts the indie CDs during Autumn Reitaisai 9 and M3-50 earlier on this trip, but there was one that I had been eyeing for most of the trip, the Do It Yourself!! Theme Songs CD, and I picked it up today about five minutes after it released. A fair number of Japanese anime CDs come with character goods as bonuses for the first X number of people to buy the CD from a certain store, usually postcards or little posters or things like that, and this was no different — it had a number of different preorder bonuses (local) that one could get.

My apartment/hotel was near to a fair number of first-hand CD stores that catered to the anime crowd, and scouting the ones near me, I eventually settled on a shop called Gamers Nagoya, a couple of blocks north and east of me, and went there to purchase the CD. I couldn’t find the actual shop at first, as its entrance was tucked down a side alley, but my shopping wiles eventually prevailed and I located it, after eyeing an interesting temple across the way.

I was still aching this morning from my travel exploits yesterday, so that plus work tickets meant that I didn’t even leave my hotel room until close to 11 am or so. When I did, it was to buy a CD that was releasing today. I don’t think I have ever bought a music CD on release day, unless one counts the indie CDs during Autumn Reitaisai 9 and M3-50 earlier on this trip, but there was one that I had been eyeing for most of the trip, the Do It Yourself!! Theme Songs CD, and I picked it up today about five minutes after it released. A fair number of Japanese anime CDs come with character goods as bonuses for the first X number of people to buy the CD from a certain store, usually postcards or little posters or things like that, and this was no different — it had a number of different preorder bonuses (local) that one could get.

My apartment/hotel was near to a fair number of first-hand CD stores that catered to the anime crowd, and scouting the ones near me, I eventually settled on a shop called Gamers Nagoya, a couple of blocks north and east of me, and went there to purchase the CD. I couldn’t find the actual shop at first, as its entrance was tucked down a side alley, but my shopping wiles eventually prevailed and I located it, after eyeing an interesting temple across the way.

The shop wasn’t very big, but it had a couple sections devoted to shows and games from a couple seasons ago which were having some sort of promotion, I guess.

I wondered who would buy things like branded water:

But I’m probably not one to speak, since besides the CD, I also ended up buying a clothespeg that doubled as a café shop sign.

It’s a little smaller than Tigey, he likes it. I then went back to the temple across the way, located right in the middle of the shopping street area. This was Banshōji Temple, and they sold goshuin, quite a lot of them, so I got one full-paged one to keep and one tegaki/hand-drawn one for my book.

Very nice. The temple apparently also has quite an interesting history (local), although a lot of temples and shrines do.

After this, I went back to my apartment to drop off my precious CD and the loose goshuin, before I started out again. I walked east again this time, but was aiming much further east than the Gamers store and the temple. My aim was the Aeon Town Chikusa, a shopping center owned by the Aeon retail store company that was located about half an hour east (and slightly northeast) of my abode.

The reason for this was an interesting one — one of the items on my shopping list that I had been unable to acquire so far was a box of Twinings-brand Strawberry and Vanilla Rooibos Tea (local), I had scoured quite a few supermarkets for it but the closest I had gotten was a supermarket on the outskirts of Hanno back on Day 6, the one that I “visited just for fun after getting my stamp” back then, if I recall correctly. That one had a variety pack of 20 teas that contained 5 strawberry/vanilla tea bags, and 5 bags of three other flavours. I wasn’t that desperate to complete my quest, though.

But anyway, I would occasionally find the Twinings brand tea on sale in a supermarket, but it was strange that I never found this exact flavour. Maybe it was phased out or something. I asked Kel at one point where she got it from though, and she said not to worry about it but that it was a supermarket in Nagoya. This sounded like a pilgrimage to me though, so I went to Nagoya and then asked her again which specific supermarket it was, and it was this Aeon Town Chikusa one that happened to be fairly close to my hotel to boot. The stars probably weren’t going to align much better than that, so I had earmarked this afternoon to try to finally complete this quest and see some interesting things on the way. And away I went!

My first stop was a restaurant to get some supplies for my quest. I first stopped off in a “tax-free” supermarket-like shop named Sugi Yakkyoku and bought a soft chiffon cream sandwich from there for 98 yen.

I handed the cashier a 100 yen coin and she said that it was actually 105 yen, so I gave her a 5 yen coin without thinking too much about it. It was only after I left the shop that I realized that increase in price was due to tax — to qualify for the tax free thing, one must present a passport showing that one was a foreigner/tourist. I still don’t seem to flag as a foreigner very often in locals’ eyes, I think, since our skin colours and facial features are very similar to each other. At least as long as I don’t open my mouth and spew out broken Japanese, and even then sometimes I still pass. This was probably one of the cases like that, where I just passed without either party in the transaction really thinking about it.

I stopped by an eatery/restaurant soon after that though, and had a proper meal, Moyashi Soba from a store named Koranen. The bowl was immense and the price was light on the wallet, 930 yen or so, and I appreciated that.

I then continued walking east. A problem with my quest was that I got waylaid by virtual bandits in the form of what apparently was Nagoya’s Akihabara district — Akamon Street, or at least the east side of it. There were anime stores, second-hand CD stores and bookstores, and even a second-hand Goodwill store for whatever reason. The street had loudspeakers which were busy playing anime and idol and other interesting musics to entice people in like a siren call, and I ended up burning something like two hours here due to being distracted before finally pulling myself away and moving on.

In fact, one of the reasons I pulled myself away was that it was already 4 pm, and not only was the sun threatening to set, my phone alerted me that it might rain in about an hour’s time. I kind of forgot about that though, taking my time and many pictures of the residential and semi-commercial areas even once I was outside of that Osu time trap, and into the larger area that Osu was located in, Naka Ward. I liked this area very much and enjoyed my walk through it, as the aesthetic of several of the buildings and roads kind of reminded me of Singapore in parts.

And finally I reached the shopping mall in question, Aeon Town Chikusa, about three hours after I first started out on my 30 minute trek.

The mall itself was fairly huge, and several levels tall. Very impressive. There was a small no photography sign on the sliding entrance door that I blatantly ignored though.

And finally I found the Twinings tea brand in question! It’s the hole in the picture, because I had already revenge put three of them into my basket even though Kel wanted just one. I also picked up some groceries, and a box of sponge cakes called Nagoyan. This was to be a gift to my next Airbnb location, as I was going to stay with a family for a couple of days again.

There was also a food court on the 3rd floor, I was surprised to see this in a Japanese mall because I’d not really seen this before, just delis and actual restaurants. Unfortunately I had already bought stuff for dinner, so I couldn’t actually eat here.

The 5pm rain warning had turned into a 6pm rain warning, and I figured that this meant that I could probably make it most of the way home before it started to rain, since it was 5:50 pm by that time. I quickly left and started the journey home, only to get distracted by nice evening pictures again.

I also caught a picture of this animated character projected onto a screen on a wall that I passed, snapping a picture of someone else in whatever animated short or cartoon was being broadcast. Interesting. She actaully took the picture about one second later and I wish I had that frame captured too, though.

My phone battery died right about then, and although I still had a spare battery that I could charge it with, and was about five to ten streets away from my house still, I decided to be lazy and see if I could find my way home using just landmarks. Surprisingly enough, I managed to do so. It wasn’t until much later that night too that I realized — the rain warning never materialized into actual rain. I guess I am really blessed with good weather.

My groceries loot looked like this:

Again, I made rice and soup, combining today’s new vegetables and meat with extra Kyoto peppers and red sweet potatoes (peeled this time) and the parsley that I still had from the day before. The new additions to tonight’s stew were the squid with green onions in the top left, and the pickled vegetables in the bottom left — the vegetables and the juice that came with it really gave the soup a full taste and I liked it a lot more this time, although the sweet potatoes got really mushy.

Despite only having two days left in Nagoya, I had decided to buy a random pack of ice cream that I saw in the Aeon Town Chikusa supermarket, which can be seen above (in a box of 6) and below (unwrapped).

This was lemon milk ice cream, a flavour that I had not had before, and it was not too bad. Nothing I’d probably buy again, but I didn’t dislike it either. The juice is Mikkuchu Juchu (local), a mix of fruit juices whose story in the link above also amused me.

Anyway, quest complete!

Shinkansen Running Total

I have a 21-day JR Pass that kicked in on Nov 05 and should last until the end of my trip on Nov 25. It cost $568 CAD, which cost around 61,769.08 yen, as per Google as of the first writing of this section. So I was curious and wanted to keep a running total — was this thing actually worth it?

That’s what I hope to find out with this section. For the full explanation blurb on this, check this corresponding section of the Day 15 blog post.

Trips

ට  Nov 05 2022 – Asama 611 (Tokyo to Nagano) – U: 7810, R: 8340
ට  Nov 06 2022 – Hakutaka 556 (Nagano to Ueda) – U: 1470, R: 2790
ට  Nov 06 2022 – Asama 615 (Ueda to Nagano) – U: 1470, R: 2790
ට  Nov 07 2022 – Kagayaki 509 (Nagano to Kanazawa) – 8920 (reserved seats only)
ට  Nov 07 2022 – Thunderbird 24 (Kanazawa to Kyoto) – U: 6490, R: 6820
ට  Nov 08 2022 – JR Kosei Line (Kyoto to Otsukyo) – 240 (unreserved seats only)
ට  Nov 08 2022 – JR Kosei Line (Otsukyo to Kyoto) – 240 (unreserved seats only)
ට  Nov 08 2022 – JR Nara Line (Kyoto to Inari) – 150 (unreserved seats only)
ට  Nov 08 2022 – JR Nara Line (Inari to Kyoto) – 150 (unreserved seats only)
ට  Nov 09 2022 – JR Nara Line (Tofukuji to Kyoto) – 150 (unreserved seats only)
ට  Nov 10 2022 – JR Sanin/Sagano Line (Saga-Arashiyama to Kyoto) – 240 (unreserved seats only)
ට  Nov 12 2022 – Super Hakuto 7 (Kyoto to Osaka) – U: 1230, R: 1760
ට  Nov 15 2022 – Kodama 720 (Shin-Osaka to Maibara) – U: 4510, R: 4840
ට  Nov 15 2022 – Kodama 748 (Maibara to Nagoya) – U: 3100, R: 3430

Running Total

Unreserved: 36,170 yen
Reserved: 40,860 yen

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Kami Watch Over Me (Japan Day 25)

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Kami Watch Over Me (Japan Day 27)

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