The next weekend came quickly, and I invited a handful of the girls — Muki, Sai, and Unei — to go out shopping with me on Saturday. Unei in particular was looking for a new camera, I wanted a headphone-splitter cable and the other two just wanted to see what was around.
We first landed in Hoshigaoka, which is the end of the line for the city bus and the jumping-off point for the subway. It’s also the home of YamaDen, where we stopped first. Muki bought an iPod Touch, Unei shopped for cameras, and Sai and I just made sure we knew where everyone else was. (YamaDen didn’t carry the splitter I wanted.)From there we hopped onto the Higashiyama line and went to Sakae, a solid shopping area. I intended to take the girls to Oasis 21, but a nice lady with a child in a stroller struck up a conversation with me on the subway and offered to walk there with us. She was very much the archetypical Helpful Japanese Person, and we made sure to thank her as much as we could. The girls and I swung by the NHK Mascot/Studio Ghibli store, the Jump Store, and the Pokémon Center (so I could get souvenirs for people at home), and then moved on to what Oasis 21 has a lot of: women’s clothing stores. Sai found some shoes she liked, Muki and Sai tried a few things on, and we finally decided to head elsewhere. Our next destination was the Melsa building, home of a Uniqlo (inexpensive clothing store) and Book Off. Muki had been wanting a One Piece shirt like John occasionally wore (since she loves One Piece), and Uniqlo was the place to find them, but she didn’t see any she liked. Meanwhile, I headed up to Book Off and bought a used Japanese Xbox 360. (Now I can finally play all those games we’ll never get in America.) It was a good deal, too, for a 4GB. We’d pretty much done everything we wanted in Sakae, so it was off to Nagoya so Unei could check Bic Camera.
It was getting a little late by then, and we had to fight our way past a bunch of busking Bic employees outside, but Unei finally reached the camera department and I managed to get my headphone splitter (which was ridiculously cheap). In the end, Sai wasn’t feeling well and Unei realized that YamaDen had a cheaper camera deal, so they separated and headed back to Hoshigaoka while Muki elected to stay with me and move on to Kamimaezu. We hit the usual spots, and I won her a small One Piece figure at Urban Square.
After getting home, I went through the laborious process of setting up the 360. I knew there’d be system updates, I’d have to download my profile, and numerous other little annoyances made more troublesome by the painfully weak signal in the TV room. I spent a good part of the night just updating and tinkering, and moving the hallway router as close as possible helped only marginally. Still, a good day.