Where The Wind Takes Me – Day 7

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

Monday, Apr 29 2024 (Day 7)

This was another quiet rest day — well, as restful as a check out/check in day can be, with sweat literally pouring down me as I drag my luggage from lodging to train station to train station to bullet train to train station to train station to new lodging. As places in Japan at least generally tend to have a checkout time of around 10-11 am and a check-in time of around 4pm, I’ve learnt never to schedule anything for days when I’m moving from one dwelling to another — those days almost always get completely chewed up by the moving process, unless the new place is very near the old one, and you have a luggage solution — either in the form of the new dwelling holding the luggage for you before check-in, the old dwelling holding the luggage for you after check-in, utilizing train or shopping mall lockers, or utilizing one of the luggage forwarding services if the new dwelling accepts them.

In today’s case, I was going from Tokyo to Osaka, and the shinkansen ride itself was already 2.5 hours on the Hikari train, so I just wanted to do nothing and settle in to my new place. My blisters were also recovering well, and in fact by the end of the day were basically gone, and even though I started the day with a headache, that too was just about gone by night. I only did about 6,000 steps today overall, a far cry from the 20k a day basically almost every other day so far. A slow life is a good life, though.

I was very glad to check out of my tiny little dwelling. Although the host couple was great and the place was very convenient, the bedframe in the room felt like a prison and was not particularly comfortable (although I slept well) and the noises from poor neighbours were driving me nuts. The little kid was still around and stomping around on the hallways whenever he went around, although I think it was definitely more than just him, the owners too did not really care about muting their footfalls as much as possible.

What took the cake though was that there were audible sobbing noises last night, and on the way out today, Allen the owner happened to catch me and we chatted a bit. Without me asking, he noted that the new American guest upstairs on the 4th floor, either directly above me or directly above the Japanese guy that was in the room next to me, found out that his wife was divorcing him after he had arrived last night, and had been really upset about that and was considering cutting his vacation short and going home. And he was the source of the crying noises the previous night, which Allen apologized for. I’m not sure Allen should have divulged that information to me though, but whatever.

Checkout time was 11 am, with a 10 minute walk to Higashi-Jujo Station and then a 30 minute or so trip to Tokyo Station where I would then catch the 12:03 pm Hikari 511 to Shin-Osaka Station. I left about 10:45 am, then made my way over toward the Higashi-Jujo station, collecting my tickets (that I had previously booked online here) from the shinkansen ticket machine there, and then hopping onto the train to Tokyo Station. On the way there, I saw a new passenger delay notice sign that I had never seen before in my three trips to Japan:

Poor antelope.

I reached my shinkansen without incident, after picking up a customary ekiben (station bento) to have as lunch on the way. They’re all overpriced, especially at busy train stations, but I picked one that didn’t seem too overpriced. This one was called Wakadori no Chicken Nanban Bento, and was slightly pungent I think but was surprisingly good.

I played Monster Train on my Steam Deck while I was in transit, occasionally staring out at the window at the fields and mountains going by.

Despite being at the very start of the Golden Week holiday, which people on websites and in person had all warned would play havoc with the shinkansen as lots of people tend to travel around the country during this holiday period, I was in the reserved carriage section of the bullet train and there seemed to be plenty of seats at any given time.

I reached Shin-Osaka Station, and immediately got hit with culture shock as people stood on the right side of the escalators here instead of the left. I took the Midosuji Line, and then the Yotsubashi Line, to my station, Hanazonocho Station. The transfer from the Midosuji Line to the Yotsubashi Line was the easiest thing ever, it was just the track on the other side of the same platform, no need to go up or down ten flights of escalators and through eight ticket gates like most other transfers, especially in Tokyo.

It was drizzling by the time I got out of Hanazonocho Station, but my apartment building with its fancy tablet checkin system (which required me to hold up a passport to the camera, and then required me to say my name while looking at the camera) was not far away. My apartment room was on the second floor, and the outside of the apartment unit looked like this:

The door lock style here was exactly the same as the front door of the apartment that I had just come from, just with different codes, so it was easy enough to navigate. I took pictures of the inside of the apartment once I got in, before I unpacked everything I had. The inside of the front door had a stack of umbrellas for me to use:

Facing the other way, it was just a smal corridor with a number of doors:

The right door opened into a toilet area with a sink, a washing machine, and a shower:

But no toilet bowl, that was instead in a little prison cell beyond the left door:

Next to that was a kitchen and stove with a bunch of utensils and plates.

And across the hall from that, a totem pole of appliances:

The last door opened up into a living room and bedroom that was four times the floor size of my previous unit alone.

There was a traumatic double decker bed here too but there was a lot more headroom and a mattress on both bunks.

And this is the view from the balcony beyond the curtains, which I promptly kept sealed up for the rest of my stay here:

After settling down, I made an excursion outside to get dinner. Getting outside was interesting, because to open the doors leading out, I had to wave my hand against a sensor on the wall instead of interacting with the door itself like basically every other place:

Open Sesame, sez’me.

Two streets over from where I live was this shoutengai called Tsurumibashi Shopping Street:

One thing that immediately stood out to me was that there were a lot of bicycles in here, and a lot of people going by on bicycles.

There were barely any in Jujo Shopping Street, whereas here the number of visible bicycles outnumbered the number of visible people by quite a bit. There was even a van navigating around:

To be fair, I had seen freight trucks in Jujo too, delivering product restocks to this or that shop, usually late at night or early in the morning when there were no crowds around. Anyway, many of the shops were closed already so I left exploring this to tomorrow’s version of me.

Instead, that second picture of bicycles above framed a supermarket set into the shoutengai itself, and I went in there to find stuff to cook for dinner since I finally had an apartment with an actual stove that I could use. I had been looking forward to this, as I like grocery shopping and making random soup out of things. I spent 2,493 yen here, not only on dinner but also on enough rice and tofu for the next couple days, instant noodles for tomorrow, some tea, and some sort of condiment that was on sale that turned out to be sea urchin paste. Seems interesting. It’ll go on rice until I finish it or hate it.

Dinner devolved into a little bit of a spillage disaster zone around the stove but everything survived and the mess got disposed of with no trace of it left but this paragraph. Maybe don’t put that much water in tomorrow. The apartment itself seems exceptionally clean, and relatively well-equipped, and I like it quite a bit so far. I don’t even use the provided slippers when walking around the floor of the apartment, I feel no need to. And having a free washing machine meant that I could finally wash (and dry, via hanging the clothes up on hangars in the bathroom) my clothes. The last place had given me one free wash, which I had used on Day 3 or 4 out of 7, and I had just enough clean clothes left to get here after that. Even though I’m only here for 3 nights, I did my laundry tonight and will probably do it again 2 nights from now before I leave in the morning.

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 6

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 8

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