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Connie: Exploring Japan

September 27, 2010

Yesterday I had an abundance of free time. What do you do with free time while you’re in a city you’ve never been to on the other side of the world? You explore of course! The Japanese word of the day was うろうろ(urouro), which means wandering aimlessly.

I started out by having lunch at a cute little cafe near my hotel. My first meal in Japan was beef curry. I’m not a particularly large fan of curry, but this stuff was fairly good, fairly cheap, and it sure filled me up. That’s what I’m discovering about Japanese food—for some reason it fills you up, even if the portions aren’t as big as American ones.

After this I wandered down a large street, checking out the various stores. It was the middle of the day while most people were at work, so it wasn’t terribly crowded. Most of what I looked at was music or book shops, with a 100 yen store thrown in. My favorite was this cute little music shop in the basement of some building. It was tiny and completely FILLED with CDs and posters of visual kei bands. The Gazette’s new single “Red” was playing on repeat and I spent a long time browsing. It was my kind of paradise. I didn’t buy anything the first time, but I liked the place so much I ended up going back and buying a magazine… Even though I didn’t want to spend money. I’m not complaining. The old guy working there threw in a few fliers and told me about Piece’s concert.

After having sufficiently wandered up and down that street I got lost in some tangled back roads trying to head back to the hotel. When I finally emerged from the tangle this is what I was faced with:

Needless to say, it wasn’t going to be hard to find my way back since I’d wandered out right next to the Hiroshima Dome, a building that remained standing despite the atomic bomb so many years ago. Of course having wandered out here I couldn’t just head back to the hotel. I had to explore Peace Park (広島平和記念公園).

Despite all the people wandering about it was peaceful. It was so green and beautiful. Though fairly humid the weather was good for walking about. The park is right on the river, where you can see tour boats drifting casually by. There was also a ‘concert’ going on right on the bank. A woman with a lovely voice was singing older Japanese songs. I stopped to listen for a while before going on. I enjoyed the display cases they had filled with colorful origami—I would have taken a picture if it weren’t for the signs advising me not to. There were elementary school students running around all over the place, presumably on a field trip. It was a nice place to accidentally end up at.

After having tired myself out wandering around I laid down with a bento from a convenience store and watched some Japanese television. The highlights: a dubbed Billy Mays commercial, Pimp My Ride with Japanese subtitles that had amusing mistranslations of the slang, and a Pokemon episode. I think these things sufficiently tell you that I’m kind of a nerd. I also watched baseball for a bit, and some music show with Daigo Stardust.

Today I have to find my way to Saijo so I can move into my dorm. I’m excited. However, I don’t know when I’ll get internet; whether the dorm has wifi or if I’ll have to wait several weeks for a provider. So until the time comes for me to be online again, see you! じゃーまたね。

楽しんでいます。

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