Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Catching Up

I have posted a string of back-dated entries starting here with the Seikan Tunnel Tour and running through the end of our sleeper train journey to Tokyo.

From Ueno, we took the Tokyo loop Yamanote line down to Shinagawa, where we are staying at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel. We were there too early to check in (no surprise), so they stored our bags for us, we found something to eat -- I was fading badly -- and we then went out on one of Lisa's model train errands.

The Yamanote line swings around one of its curves south of Shinjuku, so we decided to cut across the route and pick it up from a different station. We made our way through back streets, passing along the way the Brunei embassy, and picked up the train from Gotanda. (We've been trying also to remember to collect station stamps in our books as reminders of the trip.) Taking the Yamanote line to Shinjuku, we transfered to the subway and rode to Ochiai Minami Nagasaki Station and walked to the KATO Hobby Store Tokyo. As you may recall, we visited their Osaka store as well. The one in Tokyo is bigger, and is easily recognizable by the red train car -- not a model, but a full size electric train unit -- parked out front of the building.

We browsed through their spacious showroom and oohed and ahhed over the various train sets they had. My feet were giving out, through, so I sat in the lobby while Lisa worked with one of the sales people to figure out what they had that she wanted. She would have bought more than she did, but many of the things she wanted were out of stock. When she ran down, she summoned me (and my credit card) from where I had been half-dozing.

(Edit, 0800: I was more accurate than I thought: while reading the previous paragraph, Lisa guffawed and told me that what she said to the salesman, in Japanese, was, "Wait a moment; I get husband and credit card." She says this might have made more sense in a shoe store, but seemed odd to all concerned in a model train store.)

Model train purchases out of the way, we headed back "home."

Making our way through the maze of Shinjuki station, we saw several places where we would have preferred to eat over where we'd had lunch earlier in the day, but we weren't that hungry at the time, so it was back onto the train to Shinagawa, this time riding around the "corner" as our feet were sore and we were tired and the hotel was right across the street from the station.

Now it was around 1530 and we were able to check in to our room, which is not quite as cramped as Osaka, and had a working air conditioner. For the first time during the trip, the hotel didn't include internet access in the cost, instead wanting JPY1050/day for it. OTOH, the room rate is a little lower than at some of the other places we've stayed, so I guess it balances out.

By then the cumulative lack of sleep had caught up with me, and I fell into bed around 1730 after posting that "I'm here" message. Lisa slept for a while, too, but later got up and went to lay in some supplies. This room has a refrigerator that does not double as a mini-bar, thank goodness, and will hold a liter of milk and other small items. About 0300 I woke up, and after trying to get back to sleep, decided the best use of my time would be to get those photos annotated and backlogged posts made. And so I'm caught up.

I'm not sure what's planned for today. When Lisa wakes up later, maybe I'll find out.
Tags: japan, trains, travel

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