I forgot to mention yesterday that they have a word for foreigner, “guijin”; the ditches beside the road are called guijin traps.
I woke up at 6am and josh soon after. I accidentally deleted some of the pictures I took but was able to recover them using Recuva.
It had been raining all night and still was lightly sprinkling but we hopped on our bikes and pedaled off. I thought we were headed to the train station but ended up at Josh’s school. I was surprised that on a Saturday there was the sound of brass instruments escaping the second story windows.
We walked in and Josh pulled out a pair of tiny red slippers and I threw my shoes in a small cubbie. Everywhere you go in Japan you have indoor and outdoor shoes. Students do this same procedure every day.
We met some of the teachers and students who were practicing track inside the hallways since it was raining.
Josh took me into the “nap room”. In Japan it is perfectly acceptable to catch a nap or hang your head at your desk and nod off.
Outside we went to the archery range and watched the students’s careful and precise movements, cloaked in a flowy white shirt and long black skirt. Students have to train themselves in the movements for 3 months before they are ever allowed to pick up one of the 6 foot bows. When we walked out two students ran and grabbed chairs and opened them and gestured us to sit.
We had planned to go to Nara park to see some deer but the rain changed our plan to Osaka. Josh asked how I feel about public nudity… I guess if its the norm it will be fine. First we went to a Kushi Katsu place for lunch. In japan if you need the waiter you have to call them using the phrase, “sumi ma sen”. When we were ready to order Josh told me to go ahead and “yell” it. i didnt realize there was a waiter just behind us, but every person in the restaurant yelled back what ever it is that they yell to say, “we will help you as soon as possible”.
After eating we went to Spa World, a 4 floor Spa which is only 15 bucks to enter and you can stay all day. Again, off with the shoes at the door. Drop trow and everyone is just walking around holding a little orange towel. First everyone goes to a big shower room and sits down on a little stool for a nice scrub. I should mention that floors 2 and 3 are the spa floors one of which is the Europe floor and the other the Asia floor.The women get one floor and men the other, switching back and forth every month.
After relaxing in some Jacuzzis and then freezing in the Finland room. The water had to be about 50 degrees. From there we went to the Salt sauna, you have to rub salt all over your body and bake in about 150 degree oven. After you have gotten your fix they have a nap room, with recliners and little mats where people chill out and watch TV or catches up on sleep.
Overall it was a very strange but oddly not that awkward of a situation trekking around the place talking to a college buddy with no pants on.
later we met up with Abel and Toko in Nara city. Toko was finally upgrading her phone which she has had for 5 years. She couldn’t decide on which one she wanted so we went across the street to a book shop and to an arcade full of “UFO Catchers” or claw games. There is a huge arcade culture here. When we walked in there was a 10-12 year old kid playing a drum game going at a ridiculously high speed.
We ate dinner at a place called Torikizoku and. there was tons of food including some rice formed in a triangle brushed with soy sauce and grilled until crispy. I tried plum wine which was super sweet and very tasty.
We met Sinead, an Irish English teacher, at a 7-11 and walked back to Sinead and Abels house and sat around on the floor talking for a while. We had to catch the train back or our bikes were going to be locked in the parking area over night and we were going to be stuck so we headed out into the rain.
We picked up the bikes and pedaled as fast as possible to joshes house, arriving totally drenched, except the back of my jacket.