Golden Week 2016: Nagoya (day 2).

Wednesday was my day to revisit old haunts and eat the food I missed. First stop: Sugakiya, the best-tasting cheap ramen around. First task: Finding one.

Tokyo is great, but there are a few things I miss about living in Aichi.

Down the street from the hotel is a huge area that’s actually been under some sort of road construction since last year. I thought they were extending the road behind the station — and that may be — but it seems they also built a huge Aeon mall complex (dubbed “Aeon Town” on the map I checked) with a Sugakiya. Once I actually found the place, I chose the 肉入 ramen (burdock, green onion, five pieces of chaashuu) for 400円, and it was delicious.

The view from above Sasashima Live Station.

I spent the next hour looking for a shortcut across the train tracks to Market Square Sasashima… and found out there isn’t one. I ended up having to go across a skybridge near Sasashima Live Station and coming up on the building via Aichi University. Since I’d be needing to fill the entire day and there was very little to do after about nine at night, I had already made the decision to go see the new Captain America movie that day. Turns out the 2D subtitled version had three showings, one of them at 8:55. The best part was that the theater classified that time as a “late show,” which is what movies that end near or after the trains stop running are called. It also meant my ticket cost 1300円 instead of 1800円.

I still don’t know what this parade was for, but the dinos were a nice touch.

I visited Leisure Land again, and while I didn’t see the girl from the day before, I saw the other girl I’d known who worked there years back. She recognized me as well, though it took her a moment. (It’s nice to know there are two or three people who still remember me.) Once finished, I headed back toward the station to go into the city. On my way back, I was stopped by a parade of some sort, featuring local school marching bands and… dinosaurs. Yes, they had three people in fairly bulky dinosaur costumes stomping along the street as “handlers” scampered around them as if to keep them in line. I finally navigated my way to the Higashiyama Line and bought an 一日乗車券 (all-day city transit pass). Two stops later and I was in Sakae.

Sakae was as bright and bustling as ever. I made stops at Donki (お土産) and Book Off (nothing I wanted), then went underground to look for Oasis 21. They had it set up for kids this time, with bounce houses and huge slides. My curiosity sated, it was time to go back to Kamimaezu/Oosu for lunch.

Always a treat.

I had been to 大須 the day before, but my main reason for going today was to eat at Lee’s Taiwan Kitchen. 500円 and about twenty minutes later and I was the proud (if brief) owner of some spicy 唐揚げ. It didn’t last long. Next was a token pass through the game centers and Mandarake. (I didn’t realize until I’d gotten back to Tokyo that I forgot to check Gee! Store/Wonder Goo. Oops.)

With not much else to do, I boarded the subway to 矢場町, home to やば珈琲店. I had one more 500円 voucher to use. The coffee shop was more of a restaurant, with a moderate snack and dessert menu and plenty of chairs and couches. I ordered a plate of potato wedges and sausages for 500円 and only paid the 40円 tax. Satisfied I’d made the most of my vouchers, I made my way back to the hotel. I was tired, footsore, and sweaty.

A surprising amount for the price.

One nap and shower later and it was time to head to 109. I arrived a couple minutes ahead of the previews and settled into a really good seat — another benefit of choosing a late show. It was an excellent movie, and made for a satisfying end to the day. Well, that and the plate of breaded mushrooms I ate at Friday’s on my way back. (Facts about my server: She was also the assistant manager, came from Tokyo, and had previously worked at the Shinagawa Friday’s.)

Back at the hotel, I packed as much of my stuff as I could into my backpack (except the food items, which I carried separately so as not to crush them), set my alarm, and fell quickly asleep. 8:00 am was going to come all too soon.

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