Back to ‘civilisation’ for a night in Chinatown followed by Karaoke. When in Rome…..
Yokohama feels great, much nicer than Tokyo where everyone tries to not stand out. On Yokohama it feels more like Osaka, people are more independent. The town is full of fantastic colours, possibly this is just because it is spring, but the flowers everywhere are really nice.
I found a Sea Kayak shop and went in to see how the range compared to Australia. Pretty much the same, although many more foldable ones, I guess that shows the space problems. It easy to have a conversation with people with shared interests, I managed to have a pretty good conversation with the guy who ran it about areas in Japan to kayak, even without him speaking a word of English and me only half a dozen Japanese. Showing the modern age, no more language phrase books Babel Fish helped when we really couldn’t work out what we meant. He was really keen to find out about paddling in Sydney and told me about lots of places to paddle around Okinoua to the South, another time unfortunately.
I have talked about the different food, maybe it’s time for some details of what I normally eat here. Breakfast usually is grilled fish, boiled egg cooked in Onsen (Hot Spring water), Miso soup with various vegetables, sometimes beans, potato’s, rice with seaweed, fruit juice, fresh fruit, coffee, Green Tea. Lunch is often ramen noodles with fish, more miso, tofu, prawns, beans and rice. Dinner is often the same, although we’ve had Teppanyaki , Okonomiyaki, Teriyaki, all sorts of things. While I try everything I haven’t been able to get used to the texture of the tiny fish you sprinkle over rice……
Today I had my first ‘Lost in Translation’ incident, I asked for directions to a bank to change some old travellers cheques, in Japanese culture it isn’t good to admit you don’t know something. At first I was directed to the main Yokohama bank branch, which would have been great – if it had been built yet! After talking to the person handing out leaflets about how good it will be once complete I was sent to a travel agency back at the train station I had just come from. I got there to find out they couldn’t do travellers cheques and finally I was sent to a post office which is where I should have gone in the first place. Luckily these were only about 10-15 minutes walk apart, the fun on travelling 🙂
Back on the Bullet Train again, these just feel like a normal train, there isn’t really a sense of speed except your ears popping and the snail like cars crawling along the freeways as you pass them!
Tomorrow it’s off to old Japan at Kyoto.