Japan Trip 2023 – Day Sixteen

May 19th

Bag is largely packed, time for final breakfast, then check out.

Was put in a different room for breakfast this morning as apparently the priests were in the regular dining room and they are noisy. Good breakfast, as expected.

More priests arriving throughout breakfast and at one point I saw the worker come from the dining room with what looked like a large carton of sake.

Something definitely going on.

Check out was painless.

Dragged the suitcase to the cable car station where I found my room key in my pocket.

Explained to the attendant there the situation and they reluctantly rang the owners and after a very long conversation, said it was sorted. I expect the young priest was less than happy, given he was already being run off his feet by the Shinto gerontocracy currently dominating his shubuko.

Another long travel day.

Cable car down the mountain

Few issues, thanks again to Tanwyn’s preparations.

There was one point where the Tachikawa connection was uncertain, when a random stranger asked where I was going and showed me to cross through a parked train to reach the correct platform.

Could not find a taxi at Ueno station, so just walked to the ryokan. It had begun raining soon after I left the station.

At the ryokan too early, so did all the administrative necessities, left the luggage behind and foolishly headed off for an unplanned visit to the famous Kappabashi Dougu, kitchen shop street.

Not in the mountains anymore

Half way there, Google maps, suspecting the financial cost, reversed directions and tried to head me away from my destination. Was too late. By now I knew where it was and simply ignored the app.

Thousands of yen later, it was clear I had to move away from the shops.

I suspect the place I bought the paring knife from is the same place Joe bought his knife on the last School trip. This is just a feeling based on recollections of his description of purchasing the knife. Will follow up on this.

Walked back to the ryokan in increasingly heavy rain. Tried to find some form of protein snacks from a supermarket, but nothing there aside from packets of vegan cheese. I did not bother. Fortunately, the nearby 7-11 had the tofu sticks that helped sustain me in Matsumoto; those, plus some beers and mixed nuts and off I finally set to the ryokan. Could not remember if the rooms had a fridge – they do not – there is not enough space – but there is a beer machine on the first floor.

So now bathed and settled in for a quiet night in my tiny, tiny room.

View from the bath

City rooms are all tiny, Tanwyn tells me.

Kai Cho

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