Little House In Ise


Tokyo!
January 27, 2008, 20:46
Filed under: Aikido, Expat | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I got into Tokyo on Saturday night and into my “monthly mansion” by 7:30ish. Finding the real estate office and getting around the city went smoothly but finding my building once I was in the area was a much bigger challenge than I had expected. I found a really nice map at the station and lined it with where I was going and then went in exactly the wrong direction. That was the second time that has happened to me here in Tokyo. I am not map challenged but it turns out that Tokyo area street maps are made _for_ map challenged people. They have maps lined up with the street rather than aligned with NORTH! I assumed that north was on the top of the street map I followed and used it as one should. On closer examination (the next day, in the light, etc…) I noticed a legend at the bottom that showed north clearly pointing to the bottom edge of the map. That, I think, was the cause of a couple lost hours that I will never get back …

Anyway, the mansion is small. There is a tiny kitchen with a one burner stove, a beer fridge and basin suitable for hobbits and other small folk to brush their teeth. The place is furnished and there was a box filled with brand new towels, dishes, a spoon, a fork, a knife and stuff for life. It was interesting to me that the instructions say to keep it all or be charged for its disposal. Some bright fellow did the math and, apparently, it’s cheaper to buy and give a way a new load of stuff to each new tenant than it is to either keep or dispose of it. So I have a bunch of brand-new cheap-o pots and pans.

While exploring my new neighborhood I found a very nice meat shop that sells Costco sized portions (side of cow anyone?). So, on my first foray out of the apartment I found ham, real cheddar cheese, tortillas and yellow mustard. Now all I need are fig newtons and Dr. Pepper and I’ll start to think that life in Tokyo is survivable.

My computer, bread machine and clothes arrived this morning via Kuroneko Yamato (black cat Yamato delivery service). Once it was unpacked and booted up I pulled out my maps and plotted my course for the day. Trip #1 took me to Akihabara (Electric City) where I picked up a couple of power strips and USB camera for the computer. For trip #2, I scouted the Ginza line to my office. Getting there on a Sunday afternoon was easy but Monday morning rush-hour on the Ginza line looks to be hell. On the way back from that outing I found a little market with semi-cheap veggies 2 minutes from my door. Wheee!

Throughout trip #2 I was looking for an easy way to get from my office to Aikikai Honbu Dojo where I plan to train. Physically, the dojo is much closer to my office than to my apartment but to get there I may need to change trains two or three times depending on my route. It looks as though I will have to go back to training in the morning. The punch-line here, if you want to call it that, is that Doshu teaches those classes. Anyway, I can get to the dojo in one straight shot from my apartment, no changing trains at all. After class, I will take the most direct route to the office… through Shinjuku at rush hour. Yeah… that’s the Tokyo experience all right.

My first day on the new job is tomorrow!

WOOHOOO!

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2 Comments so far
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Interesting glimpse into your move. For weeks after I moved into a smaller place last year, I would keep bumping into walls and furniture, everything was so cramped. Congrats on procuring cheddar and tortillas! I have heard of Ginza and Shinjuku — from reading Haruki Murakami 🙂

Comment by little cricket

Thanks, I am stubbing my toes a lot more but the crick in my back, from bending over to use the sinks, is the hardest part. This is minimalist living as I have not tried in years.

Ginza is an extremely spendy area for hoity-toity shopping. Shinjuku station is famous as having (I’m not sure if it’s still true) the highest population density in the world. The Tokyo image of rush-hour with conductors shoving people onto the trains (I’ve only seen that on TV) is from Shinjuku. Akihabara is where you want to go for electronic and computer goodies…

Comment by Eric Holcomb




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