25 May 2009

Midnight Bus to the Concrete Jungle

(Thanks to everyone who commented on this last post! My blog-motivation has been given a little boost.)

We are getting closer to the date of our second interview at the American Embassy in Tokyo. This time around, instead of taking the shinkansen both ways (wallet burns up and dies in my pocket), Takeshi found a midnight bus service to the Shinjuku area of the city. Here how the plan goes: On the 7th of June (Sun.), Takeshi gets off of work at an (can't remember) earlier time - we leave home in the evening and ride the train from our Hiratacho station in town, to Nagoya Station. After we arrive in Nagoya, we may eat dinner there. We are to meet the bus at a huge fountain in the middle of the city (which we've been to before) - and at 11:00pm, the bus starts driving towards Tokyo. We are told that we will be arriving in Shinjuku, the next day, the 8th, at about 6:30am. Tadaa. And it's a lot cheaper per head, than riding the shinkansen - I think Takeshi told me that we're only paying about $80 for each of us, so about $160 total. Unfortunately, we'll be needing to take the shinkansen back to Nagoya from Tokyo the next day, after we're done with everything. Takeshi needs to be back at the work the next day, so we don't have time to wait around for another overnight ride back to Nagoya, then spend about an hour from there, to get back to Suzuka. I heard that there's a bathroom the bus (choir sings hallelujah), so that's one worry that's gone. The biggest frustration for me will be, hoping to get even a wink of sleep on that bus. I am terrible, terrible with being able to sleep on any forms of public transportation i.e. planes, buses, trains, boats, and even cars sometimes. Takeshi, on the other hand, has no problem falling into a deep sleep, within seconds of being there - with me next to him, wide awake. I actually have a plan of some kind, which I hope will work - I still have some motion-sickness medicine that I bought a few weeks ago, which has the annoying side-effect of making you sleepy. AHA! She has a plan! Hopefully, with the combined factors of being really tired to begin with, and the sleepy side-effects of the medicine, I will be able to go unconscious for a couple hours. I can only wait and see. Fingers crossed.

So, I am totally excited to be going to Tokyo again, because this time we have been able to buy tickets for the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka! Hell yes. I've always wanted to go there, because I am a big Hayao Miyazaki fan. I cannot wait to go! I don't know if you can take photos inside or not, but I'll have my Nikon with me either way. Last time we went to Tokyo, we tried to get tickets beforehand, but it was all sold out. We underestimated how popular this place was, year-round, and we tried getting tickets too late in the game. I was bummed out a little, and didn't know if I'd be able to go at all, before leaving Japan this year, but, lucky us! Takeshi isn't a big fan like me, but I do believe he relatively enjoys Miyazaki stuff, so it'll be nice to know that I won't be dragging him to the museum, to shuffle around the building, uninterested, the whole time we're there. All in all, I hope to come back with another post in the future, with lots of cool photos of our visit.

Onto other subjects. I am annoyed about how expensive certain items in the grocery store are getting here - mainly fruits! Anyone else living in Japan have the same ridiculously-priced strawberries at their local grocery store? I thought the price would go down closer to summertime, because they might be more in season. But, no, I look today at the price while at Jusco's and people still have to pay about 300-400 yen for a pack of 12 strawberries! I miss strawberries...

I miss eating fruit! Or at least, I miss the variety of fruits, which I can afford right now. I met Takeshi at the mall today for some grocery shopping, during his work break, and I was determined and desperate to find SOME kind of fruit item to bring home. We need more of it in our diets! The only things that are reasonably priced right now are grapefruit, and oranges (though these are starting to be out of season I think). I saw that the kiwi were about 67 yen each. That's still kind of...eehhh...I dunno. And kiwi are so small too. I wanna get more for my money, if I can. Today I just ended up buying one of these V8-ish drinks they sell in 2 liter bottles, that combine about 8 vegetable, and 4 fruits juices together. I hope it's the next best thing, to eating actual fruit.

Things which are seeming to be going down in price are eggplants, and cucumbers. Things which I buy, that are always low in price are tofu and natto. Can't beat paying for a chunk of tofu for only 47 yen, and paying for 3 little trays of natto for only 88 yen. I also am grateful for the section in the Max Value, which features all locally-grown vegetables. You can buy a head of lettuce for only about 100 yen! And a while ago (before they started going out of season), you could buy a HUGE daikon for only 120 yen. That's a lot of daikon, dude.


Natalie said...

Good luck with your venture, oh dragon of floof. Overnight rides sound daunting to me, but if they are that much cheaper...then I see the point entirely. <3 Best wishes on that trip.

Ooooh, Tokyo. <3 Have a good time, it should be a blast, I'm sure.


Renee said...

Good luck with the overnight bus! I remember taking one from Osaka to Hiroshima with a bunch of friends when we were 17...everyone had told us it was a "party bus" so we were all prepared for an all-nighter...but it wasn't so, def a sleeping bus! Hope you get some shut-eye :) Enjoy Tokyo.

Corinne said...

I did the overnight bs from Osaka to Tokyo once, I didn't find it too bad and the toilet is definitely one less thing to worry about!
I still buy strawberries because I love them so much and lie to Ryota and tell him they were on special, they're ridiculously expensive aren't they!?
Your Tokyo trip sounds tiring, hope you can enjoy it and relax a bit!

Corinne said...

hehe err that's overnight bUs, not bs...:)

kurify said...

I've taken the overnight bus from Osaka/Tokyo and vice versa. Generally they're no problem at all,and if you get lucky, you can have the seats all the way at the back which give you the most room to recline the chairs.

And, sadly, you aren't allowed to take pictures inside the Ghibli museum, so I would bring a bag big enough to hold your camera, as you can take pictures outside...and sort of peer inside from the top in some places, if you're sneaky. :D

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