My final trip to Nagoya was longer than planned, but worked out in the end. I’d been talking it up for a while, and had asked many people if they’d like to go, mostly getting “probably” as a response. The plan was to meet at the ticket machines in JR Okazaki at noon, and for those of us in the dorm here, to meet at 11:30 to walk over.
We ended up being ten strong, which was rather a lot to keep track of, especially when we started to get on crowded trains. The group consisted of the following: Origa, Fanny, Cris, Alex, Ziyad, Abdul Rahman, Sean, Larry, Javad, and me. I felt more or less responsible for keeping everyone together, which Alex found amusing, saying I was acting like a teacher. We navigated from Okazaki to Nagoya, switched to the 地下鉄、rode it to Fushimi and switched, then arrived in Kamimaezu. The second part of the plan was to eat at the Yoshinoya there, and a few of us were pretty hungry. We devoured our food, though Sean and I had to help some of the newer people navigate the menu (and the two Middle-Easterners among us had to avoid any non-seafood meat). Lunch finished, we made our way down the street to Akamondoori, planned to meet back there at 7:00, and off we went. We stayed largely grouplike for a while, but started to spread out, and eventually Javad took Ziyad and Abdul Rahman to Sakae to hit Oasis 21 (which has the Pokémon store, Jump store, and NHK Mascot store). I got my CDs at Wonder Goo and nosed around Gee! Store and then Mandarake, where I managed to get a photo with the shaggy-haired guy who always helps me (which had to be in the stairwell, because photos inside the store were forbidden). The remaining seven of us finally reached the game center, where I learned that the key-pulling game I was good at was also the key-pulling game a lot of people were good at; they’d had too many winners, so they’d removed it. As a result, I managed to win exactly nothing there. Alex got a large figure from a series she’d never seen with not much effort, so at least somebody won something.
From there, Sean and Cris broke off to walk around, visiting Oosu Kannon (a nearby temple), while the other five of us finally sat down in a Mister Donut and relaxed. For us, 7:00 was a bit late, but I think it worked out for everyone else. As a bonus, I was also able to get hold of a friend from WVU who’s been studying at Kinjo Gakuin for the last year (who also happens to be the younger sister of a friend I used to work with); she’d actually been in Okazaki all day, so came to meet us shortly after seven. We chose the Mega Kebab for dinner, and when the guys there realized I’d brought them eleven customers, they gave me a small discount on my food, a free drink, and stamped the crap out of my card. Ziyad and Abdul Rahman found some Saudis to talk to (and for the latter, pray with), so they elected to stay behind a bit longer while the rest of us went ahead.
A short walk and a few train transfers put us back in Okazaki, where we said goodbye to Sean (who still had one more train to take), and the rest of us took a sweaty walk back to our dorms. I can’t say Fanny and Origa had a great time, but they decided to go back sometime to do some of their own shopping. Cris bought a little manga and something K-pop related, while Javad bought several volumes of assorted manga. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing.
Today’s been rainy and quiet, with a few people out taking the JLPT. I’ve also seen some new names on the vacant rooms here, and I’ve heard there’ll be a large new group coming soon, plus the AIJP term begins on Friday. That’s five days from now, which is also the day I leave, as well as the day before Tanabata (and the day before Sano-sensei from WVU comes to Aichi for a few weeks). It’s honestly hard to believe I’ve been here for just under six weeks.