Japan Day 2, July 4th
The one thing I like about jetlag is it gets me to go to sleep and wake up at a decent hour. I woke up a little before six, and Nick was still fast asleep. I decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood, and find a convenience store to get some breakfast from. I found one easily, along with a 24 hour Jean’s Mate (clothing store) and a CD/DVD rental store. I don’t know any clothing store would need to be open 24 hours, but Jean’s Mate actually has some good shirts at reasonable prices, so I may buy some when I return to Tokyo from my traveling.
I spent a chunk of the morning in the common area, sorting out my travel plans and writing out my prior blog post while I waited for Nick to wake up. I met a number of his co-tenants at this time, including one very nice woman named Saya. She was a bit shocked to see a foriegner she didn’t recognize, so I explained to her that I was Nick’s freind visiting from America, and then joked with her about being surprised. Later, after Nick had woken up and we had eaten an early lunch, went about the task of trying to track down my rental cellphone. Nick and I had trouble making heads or tails of the missed delivery notices, and couldn’t understand the automated message when we called the delivery company. We able to enlist Saya’s help, and learn that Nick entered the phone number wrong which was why we couldn’t contact the company before. Through a discussion with the delivery company that was confusing even for the native Japanese speaking Saya, we were eventually able to schedule an evening time delivery window.
The necessary tasks taken care of, Nick and I headed off to Odaiba, with a lay over in Akihabara. We had three goals in Akihabara: find a three prong to two prong plug converter, find an SD card for Nick’s laptop, and find Super Potato, the retro video game store. We were able to complete the first two tasks with ease. As for Super Potato, we wandered the streets and alleys for about three hours with no luck. We first discovered Super Potato by accident a little over a year ago. We heard the sound of Koopa Castle music from Super Mario Brothers, and followed it down a random alley way to the store like sailors to a siren’s song. I couldn’t for the life of me tell you how to get there again, and as were unable to find it, I am convinced it’s a bit like Brigadoon, appearing out of the mist every five years.
We made our way to Odaiba, with the goal of seeing the giant Gundam statue. It was immediately apparent that Odaiba is the unintentional America Town, putting Osaka’s America-mura to shame. It’s not just the Eddie Bauer, or California style beach mall filled with burger joints and other American stores. It’s the 1/5 scale model statue of the Statue of Liberty that’s really the kicker. I shit you not. The put a Statue of Liberty on the island. The Gundam statue itself is pretty cool, about two or three stories tall. But all of the photos make it seem absolutely massive, and t’s not as impressive as the hype. I still want one, though.
Searching for dinner in the California style strip mall we stumbled upon a Tex-Mex place. This is the part where I mention that Nick has been dying for Mexican food for over a year now. The place we themed like an old mine, with waitresses dressed in short shorts and plaid shirts. One even had a cowboy hat. The food was pretty good, though small portions and a little pricey. Still, it’s good to have the variety. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s hard to find anything outside of Japanese and Italian food in Japan.
We spent the rest of the night at the guest house waiting for the cellphone to arrive, coming of course at the last minute. I was a bit nervous that it wouldn’t come, but when the deliver man finally came at 8:50pm, I was very relieved. Starving from the wait, Nick and I hit up a local ramen shop, watched some South Park and called it a night.