I am wondering how long I can sustain these post titles before it gets awkward. Kind of like, “yes, my child is 365 days old.” Anyhow, we’ll see. We returned from Karuizawa yesterday around 4:30pm It was our first excursion and journey via Shinkansen (aka Bullet train) . Learn from me people: the Japan Railway station was definitely disorienting but now that we have done it, I feel confident that Wednesday should go a little smoother when we depart for Kyoto.
If you have any baggage at all, just take a taxi (takushi) to the station. We had reserved seats on the train in the nicer section (thank you Cliff). I love the way Cliff always says things like, “we should try the coach section sometime to see what it is like” but I never worry about this actually happening. I think he’s cute for just remembering the other people.
You will get 2 tickets if you purchase in advance (highly recommended):
If you are an adult, you will not have that CHinese character for small in the top right corner. These are the return tickets from Karuizawa. Each person gets 2 Tickets. One ticket is just to access the station and the other is to get to your specific platform. you put these through the PASMO turnstiles. At the destination, you will have no more tickets. Just remember that the first time you only use 1 ticket and it returns it back with a stamp, then you do it again with both tickets. There are convenient waiting rooms located near your platforms:
There is a board so you can see when your train is close. Once you get close to the time for your train to arrive make sure you are on the platform and ready. I can tell you that these trains are highly efficient and punctual. The last train we took, I got into the correct car and wasn’t even able to get into my seat before we took off!
In Karuizawa, it was so nice to be in temperatures less than 110 degrees. It was still hot, but it was bareable and evenings were even better. There wasn’t a pool, but we made plans to shop, walk around and play tennis in the morning. Karuizawa is known as a ski resort and it definitely had that feeling of ski village on the off season. I must mention that I felt very sensitive to this feeling of constantly being in a crowd. It may be one of my homesick moments. In the US there is always a way to find some private space but here it is very rare and I found myself getting a little nauseus (maybe due to jet-lag also), but after a while even though no one gives you eye-contact sometimes you just don’t want to be in a crowd.
Karuizawa is also known for soba noodles. As much as I love soba I have to say, I am feeling soba-ed out. Here are some pictures from the weekend:
I’m still feeling very jet-lagged. I foolishly thought I was getting by easy with 4:00am wake times, but in Karuizawa I found myself up at 12:30am and sneaking my kindle under my sheets (did I mention Cliff somehow managed to get us a room with 3 twin beds?).
Today I am going to Citibank to try and get a credit card. Even though everyone supposedly carries wads of cash around I don’t like it and a credit card just makes me feel better just in case. If we are still feeling good we may end up at the cell phone store.
So much to do. I miss being able to just get my workout in, do my errands and plan dinner. I’m just winging it right now and Cliff keeps making us feel like unwanted guests so I guess this is the “adjustment” period. Gotta get ready for the bank.
Until next time…