1. Onsen trip
I went to Oedo Onsen Monogatari, a hot spring complex in Odaiba, Tokyo. I took advantage of the significant discount they offer to people who come after six o' clock. Also remembered to be out before four hours elapsed so that I didn't have to pay the surcharge. =)
I had fun choosing a yukata (light cotton kimono, slightly longer than the usual kimono-style bathrobes). I was tempted by the other designs, but I couldn't help chose the one with the woman reading a book. Well, they suggested choosing one that reflects your personality...
Kathy, can I post pictures on your pbase account? If I don't have to worry about resizing the images, I think I'll be a lot more diligent about posting pics. I'll even add captions. =)
(Naturally, there won't be any pictures from _in_ the baths, so you guys can stop hoping.)
I went back to my locker several times to get my camera and a 100-yen coin for the locker. I took a few pictures of people trying out shuriken and yumi in the amusement booths. I asked an attendant to take a picture of me, too. I wanted to try the shuriken, but I decided to prioritize actually going into the hot spring.
<snip onsen story>
At around 9, I decided to get on my way. On the way out, I swung by the shuriken booth again, but decided to pass because of the long line. I couldn't resist the candy booth, though. Beautiful custom-made candy! I asked the guy to make a cat for me. =)
I was thinking of using the same bus line back, as I had an open ticket that allowed me free passage on any Toei bus. However, the last bus had already left. Guidebooks strongly recommended the Tokyo Monorail station, though, so I didn't mind the inconvenience, and was looking forward to the view from Rainbow Bridge.
While I was fishing out 400 yen for the ticket, an old couple approached me and handed me their open tickets for the monorail. Whee! Nice people. I remembered to thank them profusely in Japanese, too. With that, I had no problems taking the monorail to Shinbashi station. I passed the favor on by giving the ticket I used to a woman at the ticket-buying machine. =)
Then I rushed over to the JR rail so that I could catch the train to Yokohama. I went to the right platform, but the train I wanted had no more runs that night, so I had to take my second-choice train. The switch cost me a bit of time, and I started worrying about whether I'd make it back to YKC before curfew.
I took the Negishi train all the way to Shinsugita, then ran through the station to the Seaside Line connection. I got really rattled when the ticket vending machine wouldn't let me buy a 280 yen ticket. The station attendant explained that the train would stop at Namiki-chuo, two stations before Sangyou-shinko Center. Waah! They suggested calling a taxi from Namiki-chuo. I asked how long walking would take, and they said around 30 minutes.
I got off at Namiki-chuo and surveyed the landscape. Not a taxi in sight. Well, no time to lose. I'd kept track of the direction the train was going, and I started running along a parallel street. Then I realized I'd run out of breath rather quickly that way, so I slowed to a very brisk walk. It was rather scary, as I wasn't quite sure where I was, and no one else was around. (Meep.)
I perked up immensely when I saw Jusco. I knew I'd managed to get to Jusco and back without a map, so I felt confident about being able to make my way back to YKC. The route was well-lit, too. I wasn't sure if I'd make it to the 12 o' clock curfew, though, so I hurried.
I found my way back to YKC without any problems. When I got there, though, the gate was already closed. I was thinking of scaling the gate. It was low and would've been easy. Good thing I checked the pedestrian gate, though, as it was unlocked.
The automatic doors were closed already. Remembering Bang-san's story about waking up one of the residents for help, I went over to the west wing. Thanks to Tita Naty for teaching me how to project my voice, and to Mrs. Castillo for putting drama into our grade school education. =) One never knows when stuff like that would be useful.
I quickly got a response. Bang-san stuck his head out the window and laughed to see me there. He told me to go to the side entrance. He also woke up the AOTS staff member responsible for watching out for us pumpkins, and I got into AOTS. Whew.
That'll teach me to look at timetables much more carefully. Sure, the Shinsugita train left at the promised time, but it didn't go all the way to my station... Mrf.
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