One of the nice things about the Hotel Raizan is that they’ll store things in their lobby area for up to fourteen days after you check out. On Thursday, Christian and I only needed several hours.
Once we’d checked out and stashed our stuff, I followed Christian’s lead. He had places he wanted to go, both of which would require some walking. The first was 通天閣, a famous landmark tower. It’s not so impressive when compared to the Tower and Skytree, which is probably why we quickly moved on to our next destination: Osaka Tenmangu. One of several Tenmangu — shrines dedicated to the god Tenjin — this was more of a complex, with several shrines located in the same area. I tried to buy an 絵馬, but it was part of a package deal that cost 3000円 (no, thanks). There was one shrine at the end of a row of torii. I asked a man nearby to whom it was dedicated, and he told me it was a satellite shrine to a Kyoto god of business. “So,” I replied, “the Kyoto shrine is the main office and this is a branch office?” The guy chuckled and said yeah, pretty much.
Once we were done, Christian had nothing left on his agenda, so we started back for the station — but not before taking some time out in a little video arcade tucked away in a shoutengai. (Seriously, many of the games were 50円 per play.) The day had become fairly grey by that point, threatening rain, and neither of us had an umbrella.
Our final stop was Nipponbashi/Den-Den Town again. I wanted a little more time to browse the stores that had closed before I got to them on Tuesday, plus we were hoping to see Non-chan again. I first started looking for a hopelessly out-of-print soundtrack CD (Bootleg) to an old anime series (Serial Experiments Lain). We stopped at the little game center where we’d met Non, who wasn’t scheduled until five. The other girl we’d met that day convinced Christian to play a different game to win a 同人 t-shirt from Girls und Panzer, and he agreed. I don’t know exactly how much he spent before winning, but he did finally manage it and got his shirt. Feeling that was enough for now, we headed back out.
My search started at K-Books. I told the girl at the counter that I was looking for a rare CD to an old anime series, and the only way I’d ever find it was used, so I was hoping she might check and see if they had it. She told me no. Suspiciously, I asked her, “No?” She said they only carried used merchandise, so they didn’t have it. Now I knew what was going on — she hadn’t actually listened to what I said. I played dumb: “So you’re going to turn me away without even looking?” Meanwhile, another employee had come up to see what was going on. The girl informed me again that they didn’t carry new items at K-Books, only used. “That’s why I told you this was from an older series and that I can only find it used.” Now the second employee was giving the first one a hard look. She then handed me off to a third girl, who checked their system and said they didn’t have it in stock, but that I might check A-Too. A-Too! I had completely forgotten they existed! I had gone there so many times during my first visit.
There are two A-Too locations in Nipponbashi, but neither of them had the soundtrack. One, however, had taken one in very recently… and had sold it about a month prior. That’s the closest I’ve ever gotten. The other item I was looking for was a copy of New Loveplus+. I finally found one in a condition I liked for a price I liked, and that was that. A light sprinkle had begun, and it was after five, so we went back to the 萌 game center. Non-chan was, indeed, there, and pleased to see us. We showed her Christian’s shirt, and reminded her of the promise she’d made, which she grudgingly admitted. After some light conversation, it really was time to go. We still had to go back and get our stuff, then get to Shin-Osaka to catch a Shinkansen back to Tokyo.
The rain had picked up somewhat, and by the time we got out near the hotel, it was actual rain. I was hungry, though, and needed to grab something before we left, so I headed down to the Hokka Hokka Tei and bought a bento, which I ate in the lobby/kitchen of the Raizan. I was wet all over, both from the rain and the humidity, and felt like I’d been wet all damn day. Fortunately, I had one clean, dry shirt left, which I changed into before leaving.
I made one last stop at an お土産 shop in the station to make sure I had enough to go around (since I felt I was a little short after Nagoya), and the nice lady gave me a big paper bag to put my plastic-bagged stuff in. Perfect.
The trip home was uneventful; I couldn’t seem to get dry, so I nursed a tallboy of Asahi until I finally dozed off. We arrived at Shinagawa Station just past ten, said our goodbyes, and went home. I spent the rest of the evening unpacking, drying off, cleaning up, and watching the TV I’d missed while gone. It had been a long three days, and I was worn out.