goneroundthebend: (Default)
well...I guess I don't have an excuse any more. Between the jet-lag (that I'm pretty much over now) and catching a cold (that I'm kind of over now...95% maybe) I've been kinda off line for the past week. The Japan trip was great though a bit short. I've been lax on posting any snapshots so far. ~_~;; I promise I'll get to it!!! Really!!! After finishing cleaning up one of the bedrooms to get ready for wall repair and painting...honest!

What's been going on? I'm way behind on reading *any* of my LJ friends...kind of a short list anyway...but I'm behind on that. I'm behind on cleaning up...behind on grocery shopping...behind on work deadlines...sigh...

Though one bright spot is a short trip to Seattle next week! Umm...which will probably get me *more* behind on everything...but what the heck...
goneroundthebend: (piroko)
Heading back )
goneroundthebend: (piroko)
I've lost count.

Anyway...time to head over to the Ueno train station to catch the Shinkansen to Sapporo! It's an over-night train so hopefully there won't be too many surprises discovering how the sleeper trains operate over here. ^_^;;
goneroundthebend: (piroko)
It's off to the English Language Debate Competitions this morning. This is the 10th competition of parliamentary style debates put on once a year by the ESUJ.

But...what about yesterday? That was a lot of fun out and around Tokyo with a local ex-pat that we got to meet 5 or 6 years ago. Midday we meet up in Ueno and head over to the Shitamachi part of Tokyo with it's much more quiet, winding narrow "roads" winding our way back over to NenNekoYa for more shopping. After getting our fill of cats we head back downtown for something complete different.

Among the many unusual aspects to this place, one of the newest things to happen has been the Maid Cafes of Akihabara. All we managed to do was get a glimpse inside one as the queues to get in were a bit long and the what and how of the "system" was unknown to us at the time. The outfits were quite something though. taihen omoshiroi desu ne...

By this time my jet lag was kicking in...again...and I'm afraid I didn't last much longer before having to crash back at the room. DOUBLE deep sigh...
goneroundthebend: (piroko)
Yesterday was...a day that HOPEfully we'll just get to look back on and...hmm...I'm not sure what...yet.

It was a somewhat rocky start when first thing in the morning, in the process of trying to reserve the sleeper car train to Sapporo for the following week, none of the some odd 6 "credit" cards we had on hand...worked. EEhhh??? Quite a bit of energy had been expended in just *making* the reservations since 98% of the conversation was in Japanese and me having forgotten 98% of the Japanese I *ever* knew and ultimately on top of it all, everything had to be canceled. < sigh >

After quite a few phone calls (fortunately to domestic numbers) we managed to get 2 of the cards "activated" for use here. This was one of the first times I've ever had to do that. Renting the cell phone was *very* useful this time. And if it hadn't been for some local contacts, I'm not sure if we could have got things resolved as quickly as we did.

< deep breath > All things considered, well ALmost all things considered, it wasn't all that bad but it sure was frustrating at the time. < / deep breath >

We managed to get over to Ueno during the later part of the day to visit one of our favorite cat shops, NenNekoYa. We have to get back there later today. I had forgotten they didn't take cards there since they, as many of the smaller businesses are here, were cash only.

The jet-lag was kicking in rather heavy by 6 or so and we fought back until maybe 7:30. Ah sweet sleep...perchance to dream.
goneroundthebend: (piroko)
Wow was yesterday a loooooong day! Take off to touch down was 12 hours as advertised. It was a good flight...for the most part. I still didn't sleep much at all, but that's not new news.

We decided to take an airport limo in to Tokyo since we are staying in Shinjuku rather than Ueno this time and since it was around 5:45pm when we got in to "downtown" it was another 45 minutes to slog through traffic. Not surprisingly it was getting *extremely* difficult to stay awake.

So...umm...why was it so hard to sleep on the plane but a strubble to keep form falling on the sleep on the bus in ? Umm...let's try that one again...why was it so hard to sleep on the plane but such a struggle to keep from falling asleep on the bus? Certainly quite a bit of fatigue I'll say...and quite a bit left over this morning after looking at that first attempt. ^_^;

Breakfast at the hotel was quite a bit different from the breakfast we have had previous times when we stayed at a more traditional ryokan over on the other side of town. No, the actual food wasn't all that different...'just the Y2300 per person versus Y600. DOUBle ahwell...it's a nice place though.

I guess since the room here at the hotel is about 3 to 4 times the size of the usual 4- or 6-tatami mat room of the ryokan, the food *could* be 3 to 4 times more as well.

Today will be some tourist-ing around after checking in at the JR station for next weeks train tickets.
goneroundthebend: (airplane)
From here to there? Well...let's just say its about 24 hours doorstep to doorstep...ok...that doesn't say much.

From here to there? Air time? Probably close to 15 hours...and it's not Down Under. That's *next* year. ^_^ Wednesday's trip will take us a sukoshi north of there.
goneroundthebend: (tohyachan1)
I'm back )

SFO Day 3

Jul. 3rd, 2006 12:28 am
goneroundthebend: (piroko)
Walking )
goneroundthebend: (piroko)
almost )
goneroundthebend: (piroko)
Again I'm quite amazed at how quickly the progression was from train, to check-in, through immigration, to sitting in the airport lounge...I could have changed my schedule around considerably if I knew it was only going to take 30 minutes to get through things...but I guess one never knows for sure.

I missed the weekend opening of NenNekoYa in Yanaka by 30 minutes since I booked a Noon train from Tokyo to Narita. Ahwell...maybe next trip...I'm not sure there would be any room in the bags for anything anyway.

It's been a good trip and I think I'll try to get back here again some time...but there are other trips to think about and other times to consider.

Now let's see if all the baggage makes it across the way intact.
goneroundthebend: (piroko)
Matsumoto )

The last

Jun. 22nd, 2006 07:28 pm
goneroundthebend: (piroko)
day of classes )

Nearing...

Jun. 21st, 2006 01:04 am
goneroundthebend: (piroko)
the finish line )
goneroundthebend: (piroko)
Out and around )
goneroundthebend: (piroko)
iTunes aside )
goneroundthebend: (piroko)
Well...of course )
goneroundthebend: (piroko)
Fast speaking )
goneroundthebend: (piroko)
the story continues )

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