Where The Wind Takes Me – Day 13

Where The Wind Takes Me Series - Table of Contents

EntryNotable Places/EventsStart of DayEnd of Day
Day 0 - Apr 21-22 2024Plane (Edmonton > Tokyo)Edmonton, CanadaTokyo, Japan
Day 1 - Tue Apr 23 2024Akihabara, Sensoji, Tokyo Sky Arena, Taiwan Food FestivalTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 2 - Wed Apr 24 2024Nezu Shrine, Tokyo National MuseumTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 3 - Thu Apr 25 2024Akihabara, Ginza, Yurakucho, Bocchi the Rock! Exhibition (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 4 - Fri Apr 26 2024Craft Gyoza Fes, Niku Fes, Odaiba, Kameido Tenjin ShrineTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 5 - Sat Apr 27 2024Niconico Chokaigi 2024Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 6 - Sun Apr 28 2024M3-53Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 7 - Mon Apr 29 2024Train (Tokyo > Osaka)Tokyo, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 8 - Tue Apr 30 2024Tsurumibashi, Expo Commemorative Park, Osaka Station (with Miyu)Osaka, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 9 - Wed May 01 2024Kyoto, Takenobu Inari Shrine, SaiinOsaka, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 10 - Thu, May 02 2024Train (Osaka > Tokyo)Osaka, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 11 - Fri May 03 2024Reitaisai 21Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 12 - Sat May 04 2024Japan Jam 2024 (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 13 - Sun May 05 2024National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 14 - Mon May 06 2024Haneda International Airport, Plane (Tokyo > Taipei), Liaoning Night MarketTokyo, JapanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 15 - Tue May 07 2024Taipei Main Station Underground Mall, Ximending Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 16 - Wed May 08 2024Shilin Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 17 - Thu May 09 2024Raohe Street Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 18 - Fri May 10 2024Songjiang Market, Guang Hua Digital Plaza, Shida Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 19 - Sat May 11 2024Dihua Street, Huaxi Street Night Market, Guangzhou Street Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 20 - Sun May 12 2024Gongguan Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 21 - Mon May 13 2024Plane (Taipei > HK), Train (HK > Guangzhou), Stayed with KelTaipei, TaiwanGuangzhou, China
Day 22 - Tue May 14 2024Zhongfu Square, Alpaca Sighting (with Kel), Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 23 - Wed May 15 2024Panyu Square, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 24 - Thu May 16 2024Nancun Wanbo (with Kel), Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 25 - Fri May 17 2024Train (Guangzhou > Xiamen), Zhongshan RoadGuangzhou, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 26 - Sat May 18 2024Xiamen Railway StationXiamen, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 27 - Sun May 19 2024Mingfa Shopping MallXiamen, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 28 - Mon May 20 2024Train (Xiamen > Guangzhou), Stayed with KelXiamen, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 29 - Tue May 21 2024Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 30 - Wed May 22 2024Tianhe Computer Town, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 31 - Thu May 23 2024Comic City, Shangxiajiu Square, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 32 - Fri May 24 2024Train (Guangzhou > Hong Kong)Guangzhou, ChinaHong Kong, China

Sunday, May 05 2024 (Day 13)

After the last two exhausting days, this day was very much a quiet day where I did absolutely nothing, as I had a flight from Haneda Airport the next morning at 5 am and so needed to leave for the airport by 11 pm anyway to catch the last trains there, as the first trains in the morning would not start early enough for me to reach there on time. I also had a cut in my mouth or something, below the tongue and on the right side,  so talking (and drinking and eating in certain ways) was a bit painful.

At least, that was the plan. But then last night, over duelling bowls of Nagasaki champon on the 4th level food court of an Aeon Mall, Quintopia suggested that we check out a nearby (for him and his mom — it was back on Odaiba, an hour away from me) museum because they weren’t scheduled to board their cruise ship and leave until 2:30 pm or 3pm or something. I agreed to this eventually, though the cost of this was that even though I had discovered that my third transit card, the Icoca card, that I had acquired while in Kyoto last year, still had 1,000 yen on it, the trip to Chiba had chewed through all of that anyway and then some, and that meant that I would have to withdraw another 10,000 yen from the nearest 7-Eleven branch ATM because I could not top up my transit card using a credit card.

This was fine though, as I reasoned out a couple things from there. Firstly, I’d probably be back in Japan eventually anyway, whether via my return route to Canada at the end of this trip, or a couple more years into the future. So it was never a loss to keep some yen around. Secondly, the exchange rate was so good that it probably made more sense to exchange money now than down the road, even with the recent Bank of Japan’s intervention to strengthen the yen a little. And lastly, friends are important. I always say that the most important currency in life is friendship, or at least that friendship is important and gaining some more tim together was worth spending a bit of money, especially since there’s no telling when or even if I would get to see Quintopia again otherwise. Plus I would even get the bonus of meeting and chatting with his mom. So I agreed last night, bought the ticket online this morning for the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (also known as Miraikan), and met Quintopia, as well as Karen, his mom, there a little bit after opening time. I arrived a bit early, and waited for them outside by some chairs next to a really shallow pool of water, maybe six inches or so deep.

I was also next to a museum nameplate thing, and this was a very child-friendly museum, so many parents came with their kids and a fair subset of them took pictures of their kids next to said nameplate. I amused myself sneaking a few photos of them taking photos for the gallery:

Then the two of them arrived and we went in, spending about two and a half hours wandering around the exhibits. But museum exhibits, even interactive ones, are boring to anyone except those people who attended them, and even then that last part does not nearly always hold true, so I will only briefly touch on some exhibits.

The front part of the exhibition had interactive robots, or things that sort of behaved like robots — robot dogs that could be petted and scratched, a robot hand that could grip and ungrip things, robot eyes that followed kids around, a robot torso that moved back and forth, a robot that could recognize certain things or gestures put in front of it, and so on.

There were a bunch of exhibits trying to get us to think about what digital preservation was and what it meant. One of the videos brought up the Ship of Theseus and tried to apply it to a digital copy of a physical work. Hatsune Miku narrated another video:

There was a karuta card exhibit, but I didn’t get what it was trying to say, and half the cards were in English while the other half were in Japanese.

There were a lot of random exhibits that we looked at, and occasionally joined the queue for. Some were cool conceptual things, like a try to save the earth game or an old woman climbing a hill to a supermarket experience thing. Some were little games, some were videos — and everything was a queue and then some. The Japanese sure love their queues. We joined a couple of them too to play some of the games, but largely just walked around and briefly looked at the exhibits.

There was a scale model of the living quarters of the International Space Station, which was very rather and cramped.

And we watched an 8 minute or so interactive video about a fictional girl who got hit by a car and then talked to her doctor about IPS cell treatment. And laughed about how the doctor would keep creepily popping up from the bottom of the screen to come into view of the girl before fading away again.

There was a weird simulation that showed how the Internet worked, we got to encode a character into a set of black and white balls that represented bits, and then went to a terminal and sent it to another terminal and watched the balls rolling around in the “network” to transmit the correct data to the correct receiver. Oddly, one of the two messages that we sent never arrived at the correct machine. Oops.

Another interesting simulation was an ongoing thing with more rolling marble-like balls that showed a cycle of natural and manmade processes that ended up with a volcano erupting and knocking down a bunch of human houses before they had to rebuild. This was kind of cool.

After all that, it was getting up there in time for Quintopia and his mom, so we went outside to get some food from the food truck. Both of us ended up with the exact same dish, Nasi Goreng and Spicy Chicken half-and-half rice bowls. This was pretty darn good for 800 yen.

Quintopia also shared some kashiwa mochi and some really nice chocolates with both his mom and me as we enjoyed each other’s company and the busy droning of people walking by us, seated on plastic chairs near the entrance to the museum. Eventually though, their time came and they set off for their cruise ship, while I went back into the museum and looked for their gift shop, hoping to see some nice, regional or themed CD or other there that I could pick up for myself. Alas, there was nothing like that there, so I did not pick anything up.

I walked home from there, passing the Unicorn Gundam Statue that I had passed by a few days ago, again. I will never be not amused at taking pictures of other people taking pictures.

And contemplated this mist shower thing in the park:

I also passed an Unko Museum, or poop museum, on the way. I immediately thought about how Mell would love this place. Sorry Mell.

I had brought along a bagful of CDs to ship off to Mart today as well, as I wanted to get them out of my bag and on their way to him before I left Japan, but most of the local post offices were not open on the weekend and I would be gone from Japan by the time the next weekday rolled around. I did find a list of post offices that were open on the weekends though, and one was near Shibuya Station, which was a transit change point on my route from my lodging to the museum. So off I went there, seeing the famous Shibuya Scramble crossing again, this time with a small crowd on the (semi newly opened) Starbucks above the crossing looking down at us peasants.

I navigated the post office just fine, the original box that I had bought didn’t actually fit all the 24 CDs that I had to send, but I picked one up from the post office itself and that cost just 100 yen. I packaged it all up, then filled in a declaration/customs form on an iPad that printed out a tag and inventory list that the attendant then attached to the box itself. I was familiar with this form from doing this before in the past, and from watching others do it too. It was slated to be sent by EMS, and cost 7,750 yen, but would get the box to him in Switzerland in about a week.

I realized after I got back to my lodging that I had missed one sneaky CD though, since it was not in a regular jewel case but in a thin one, and had slipped my notice while I was packing my bag in the morning. Oh well. I told Mart that I would test shipping it from China at some point since I think their postal costs were lower from there anyway. Most likely an e-packet from China should do the trick.

My final dinner in Japan was from a supermarket just some random TV dinner thing that I had seen and wanted to try. I didn’t want to overeat because I had a plane flight the next day, and an overnight stay at the airport, and this meant a lounge! And free food! I also didn’t want to outright cook anything because the stove in my lodging was really lousy. But the microwave was fine. The thing I ended up microwaving was called Gomoku Ankake Yakisoba.

I spent the evening and part of the night at my lodging, writing the previous day’s blog (as I had fallen behind due to music convention exhaustion) as well as making sure I had all the ducks lined up for my trip to the airport that evening. I had also bought some banana ice pops but had way too many of them left over and stuffed my face with them, freezing and burning that wound in my mouth. Oh well. That actually felt like anaesthetic and perhaps helped it recover a little. I checked out just fine and got to the airport uneventfully, but even though that happened “today” as well, I’m choosing to include some of that in the next day’s blog instead because it’s part and parcel of the journey and the clock flipped over to the next day while I was headed to the airport. It would be weird to do that to my blog too though.

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 12

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 14

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