Last Real Day in Japan
Trip Start Aug 11, 2010
21Trip End Sep 02, 2010
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Where I stayed
Best Western Hotel Fino
I had major plans today but they didn't all transpire.
By 10 am, I was out the door and walking toward the Old Red-Brick Government Building. I took a few photos and found out it was in American neo-Romanesque or something that I can't quite remember now. While I was there I was approached and took a survey on visiting on site and what I appreciated and what I lacked in tourist amenities.
From there I headed off to the Botanical Gardens, saw a sign that said the entrance was in 120 m. but I guess I wasn't a good judge of distance because I turned off at the first gate only to find that it had a chain between me and the garden path. So, of course, I climbed around the chain
The greenhouse had all the requisite areas, including some carnivorous plants. I had almost forgotten about the heat and humidly of Kyoto and Korea, but the greenhouse and the marsh area of the outdoor garden reminded me of it
It was still quite early when I left the Botanical Garden, so I thought I should easily be able to make it to the historical village but, to increase my chances of having enough time, I decided I would take a taxi. The first taxi driver I tried didn't understand where I wanted to go. I tried to find someone to translate but that didn't work. Next I went to the station taxi line but the woman dispatcher said it was 40 minutes away...too far for a cab....and too expensive. I took my map into the station to find my way by subway. It turned out that I had to get one subway line to Odori station and switch there for another line
I had a special mission, so I went to tourist info to ask where I might be able to find what I was looking for. The young woman didn't bat an eyelash at my request and looked up which floor of a nearby department store had what I wanted. I went there, asked and was shown the choices. Limited, but I wasn't going to quibble at this point so I bought it. Maybe I can find something more like what I had envisioned some other time. I checked out the housewares, then I looked at some women's clothing because all my clothes are uninhabitable at this point. I tried on a top. Here I had a new cultural experience. I was ready to get into the changing booth with my shoes but was stopped so I took them off. Then I was given a gauze head wrapping which had a flap that went over your face. I wasn't sure how you could determine whether you liked what you were trying on but maybe you could lift it once the garment passed over your face. I didn't get that far because the size large seemed too snug to get over my shoulders so I didn't test it completely and gave up. At this point, I had definitely had enough shopping....so I went to the eating floor of some other store after wandering around in several difference places...and had a draft Sapporo. It is only too easy for me to get disoriented when I am in these underground shopping malls
I went back to my home away from home: the train station. In a way, the station is too convenient and because I use it as a reference point, I am more familiar with the station and what it offers than with anything else. I looked around the Paseo restaurant section in the basement and found a tempura place. I had shrimp tempura plus a little bowl of sashimi over sliced daikon, some of that excellent egg custard and some pickled things and some miso soup. So now I am full and mostly content. However, I found out that I will need to take the JR train to the airport since there is no shuttle. That means considerable schlepping....I guess it builds muscles....and endurance.
I don't anticipate any more happening of interest tonight and whatever happens tomorrow probably won't be very interesting so this is the official end of my travel blog for Korea and Japan. Sayonara. I haven't really heard anyone say that here though