~/.diary schedule

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Priorities - A: high, B: medium, C: low; Status - _: unfinished, X: finished, C: cancelled, P: pending, o: in progress, >: delegated. Covey quadrants - Q1 & Q3: urgent, Q1 & Q2: important
AXE-mail Kikuta-sensei before Sunday (JapanProject)
B0CGet in touch with guide from Hakone (JapanTourist)

1. In Odawara

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I decided to finish my homework early and go to Odawara so that I could stay there overnight and tour at a somewhat more leisurely pace. Unfortunately, I'd also just finished my laundry, so both pairs of stretch pants were hanging out to dry. I figured I'd just buy something on the way.

Bang and Khanh wanted to come along. We set off for Odowara at around 4 and arrived at around 6. Bang and I were pleased to discover that we could actually understand the "Please don't stick your hand or your face out the window" sign posted inside the train. Our kanji lessons are paying off!

At the Odawara station, we all bought Hakone Day Passes so that we could go around without problems. We also picked up a few maps, and directions to the cheapest hotel/hostel around.

The two guys are sharing a twin room and I'm in a single room. Mine is 6,900 yen. It seems like a three-star Western-style hotel. Nicely-appointed: towel, shampoo, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, television, and other things. The front-desk person is quite helpful.

The guys weren't really keen on waiting for me shop for clothes, and I found the idea of dragging them around town looking for a pair of comfortable pants a bit embarrassing. They headed off to dinner while I looked for clothes. (At that point in time, it seemed like a good idea... <laugh>)

I eventually found a pair of sports pants in a department store. They're a bit on the expensive side if I convert it to Philippine pesos (which I really shouldn't, or else I won't spend anything at all), but they were a better deal than the cotton skirts I also looked at. Also, I'll get to use them for, well, sports. I think they'll be quick-dry, too.

After buying pants, I decided to head over to Odawarajou, the most prominent feature of this town. The hotel front desk person said it was beautifully lit at night. Entering the park around it, though, I discovered I _am_ actually a little bit afraid of the dark. <laugh> I decided to head back to the hotel, as I had no idea how I'd get in touch with Bang and Khanh (and Khanh still had my umbrella). Whoops, miscalculated... Anyway, it's a good thing they decided to come along. I was about to go by myself, as the other two Filipinos in our group are busy.

I passed by an arcade on the way back. I entered looking for a Dance Maniax machine so that I could take pictures for Marcelle and the others, but they didn't have it. They did have other Bemani games, though. Beatmania, Drummania (7th), and this funky mambo game. Seriously.

The fourth floor of the arcade was dedicated to photo machines, apparently quite popular among young Japanese women. In fact, there were closets of costumes one could probably borrow for a picture. I wish Diane and Kendra were here! It would've been fun trying things out.

Also remembered to eat dinner on the way back.

Now I'm watching Japanese television while typing a long journal entry. (Ima terebi o minagara, nikki o kakimasu.)

I was thinking of working through the other sections in the homework, but the grammatical notes alone aren't quite enough for me to figure out the answers to the homework questions. Next time, I should probably bring the whole set of books. Alternatively, I could use this time to do some planner hacking...

According to the front-desk person, the castle will open again at 9:30 in the morning. I'm planning to wake up early and take pictures around sunrise. I think that would be nice. Then we can go on the Hakone tour. If there's time when we get back, I'd like to go inside Odawarajou and take more pictures. The website said there's also some kind of costume picture thing. I've always been curious about ornate costumes...

I asked the front desk person to ask my friends to call me when they return. I wonder what time they'll be back.