Trying to stop this stream of consciousness blogging business and attempting to insert some discipline and structure -Think I’m Turning Japanese – think I might write a song about it – well I think so.
The cunning plan to use one of Orange’s global data packages went pear-shaped early doors as uploading pictures and misbehaving websites gobbled it up in a week instead of three.
Unless I find a way round it no more pictures until I return and flood the few remaining Facebook friends and Twitter followers who have put up with this stuff with a tsunami of the things.
In a way its a pity as the one of the guys who were weighing eels at the Tokyo fish market and dropped the bucket is quite amusing in a sadistic sort of way.
I thought herding cats was a graphic enough expression but hunting dropped eels might run it a close second.
A visit to the Imperial Palace in 33C – 90 odd F in old money – was an eye opener.
Not in seeing the Imperial family – they were tucked safely away in another bit.
After being amazed at the cleanliness, politeness, efficiency and modernity running alongside ancient customs and culture it was nice to see someone had popped a sign saying ‘Do not stay in this place’.
Oh well off to Korea then ?
The gardens were pretty delightful – and free to go in. The sumo later was not.
I think we are starting to get infected with this Japanese efficiency and logic, having started the day instantly finding exactly the camera charger needed to replace the one Anna left in the suitcase that broke at home.
The many and efficient staff at the multi-storey heaven for techies even directed us to the shop across the road for the best range of iphone cases – which were ranged in shelf after shelf.
Anna eventually selected a nice little red sakura – cherry blossom – number.
How come she can get these things – and a couple of mad waving solar-powered cats when all my reasonable requests are being refused.
The box of knives at the fish market ranging from the 5ft to the cheeky little eighteen inch number? No.
Samurai swords and a few neat little death stars to throw? No.
To be fair postcards have been bought but no money has been spent on contacting the lonely pretty ladies who keep leaving their picture and phone number of the lamp posts.
Anyway back to efficiency. We’ve got a couple of Japan Rail passes giving us the freedom of their network and a few other things besides until we return.
However, to ensure a smooth and quick journey to Kyoto we dropped in at Shinjuku Station and reserved – free – seats on the Kinshanken bullet train for tomorrow.
Not only that we have sorted out the takkyubin – luggage forwarding – so that we don’t have to lug a load of stuff about in what is forecast to be a gathering monsoon.
Very reasonable price and again precision organisation by the service.
Anyway after that and the Imperial Palace Gardens it was back on the train and up to the national sumo stadium for one of the three national tournaments held in Japan.
It was only one day in the fifteen of the Tokyo-based one but interesting.
The up-and-coming lads were due to be finishing as we approached the stadium but were surprised to be greeted with cries of gambatte – play up/do your best by the fans around the main gate.
I was partly pleased at the attention and disappointed that they thought my weight warranted seeing me as a competitor.
Relief and disappointment again as the sun was blocked out by the two guys coming up behind us in giant yucatas – dressing gowns to you.
Inside the stadium gradually filled up and I took advantage of the switch from the trainees to the blokes further up the scale to get us lunch.
Queue outside the fast-food/unhealthy options was huge but quickly got a bento box of superb sushi from the next stall and a couple of beers.
Got a nasty feeling the Japanese healthy diet may be being nibbled away by KFC, Big Macs and Subway – in fact they were creating another Subway near the hotel and our guide, Hashi San, had told us rice consumption was going down in favour of the wonders of the West – junk food.
Oh no. Anyway time to pack and get ready for the anagram tomorrow.