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Japan Trip Day 8: Into the Caves

A slow start to the morning, with only 4 hours of sleep. I barely have enough time to brush my teeth, find that I had forgot important documents like my passport in the common room (nothing important seemed missing), and stagger into the elevator down and run for the tram. I make it with less than a minute of margin. It seems Pasmo does not work for payment, however cash is flat fare anyway so isn't a major inconvenience.

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Japan Trip Day 7: To the Island

I overslept. Again. But I could still make it to my train if I hurried. 14 minutes to departure. I was in bed in a capsule wearing only a yukata. The timer starts now!

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Japan Trip Day 6: Through the Mountains

Another one of those days when I wake up early. Although in this case because of an emergent need to visit the porcelin throne. That gave me an opportunity to do my daily Japanese studies before leaving.

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Japan Trip day 5: Off to the coast

Fifth day, finally one where I wake up on time! Could also have something to do with the collapsing-in-bed thing, but who could tell.. Heads up: This post is going to be a long one...

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Japan trip day 4: You can't win with weather

Rain. Typhoon. Not the gretest start of the day. My plans to visit Takayama and Hida are not going to work, as there a high probability that the trains might get canceled during the day. Since I have a non-refundable reservation at not-takayama, I can't afford the risk of going there. This greatly disappoints me, as this part of the trip is probably the one I had looked forward to the most. The trains are a bit in limbo overall, but hopefully I will be able to reach my destination today, as most of the rain in Kanazawa will calm down during the day.

Around noon, the rain stops and everyone darts off. Stuck with no plans, I decide to walk off to Kanazawa station and figure out if any trains are running. Turns out that the regular trains are mostly running on time, and the limited express trains seemingly having some cancelations. I get on the regular train without thinking to much about it. Turns out it's a full 45 minutes slower than the Thunderbird limited express, departing only 15 minutes later.

Figure 1 - The fast flowing and especially muddy water is probably a direct result of the typhoon

I dont't know if it was an effect of the recent typhoon, but the train was tilting at a noticable angle on several parts of the track, not only on stations, but on stretches where it made no sense.

A lot of big Japanese companies are named after a town or city, for example Toyota and Yokohama. I remembered this as the train made a stop at Komatsu.

I reach Fukui and head right for the hostel. The check-in process was a bit ordinary by now. The owner didn't speak much English, and he often resorted to talking into a phone app, which would translate and speak back. If you know how well japanese->english translation works, and how well speech recognition works, you can imagine with both stacked on top of it, mistranslations happen and hilarity ensues. "Do you expose it?" is one of the things that translator app said... With that done, I just crashed into bed. This was a bit of a wasted day, but you can't always count on the weather...

I'm starting to feel that going alone was a mistake. I need someone to push me into getting things done and face new situations. I seemingly have a genuine fear of even walking into a restaurant if I don't already know in advance that they have something I like and that I know exactly how the order procedure works. As a result of going alone, I've started putting off meals because I haven't felt it being worth the risk of not knowing what to do or not understanding what the staff is saying. I think it works better if I can plan in detail in advance where to eat what they have and so on. But with only a tablet and terrible wifi at best, that can be a several hour long ordeal. Hopefully, this situation will improve as I start staying at proper hostels again, with more people around.

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Japan trip day 3: Things are Weird Sometimes

Another day, another plan changed. Originally, I had planned to go where I went today yesterday, but as per my last post, I didn't. Originally, I had planned for today to visit Shiojiri-shi (means salt butt city in Japanese), but a 5 hour detour for a cheap joke is probably outside of my shenanigan tolerance.

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Japan Trip Day 2: Not Every Plan Will Be Followed

In the last post, I mentined how I had an early train to catch. Do you think I caught it? No? Of course not, I overslept several hours.

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Japan Trip Day 1: This is different

I expected this trip to be a bit different than at home. I was scared because I didn't know what it'd be like. As of this paragraph, it is only 3 hours ago that my flight landed. I'm finally starting to understand what culture shock is. I actually feel like an out of place foreigner.

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Japan Trip Day 0: The Long, Long Journey to Japan

Well, now I'm actually on my way. The posts from now on will be written without any spell checker, I seek your understanding :p

Heads up, this, and probably all posts following this will be quite rambly!

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A Trip To Japan: What am I Getting Myself Into? (Day -1)

This is not a travel blog, nor do I want it to be. Future posts can be found here. I'm just about to head out to the airport, marking the start of my 20 nights trip to Japan. With me, I got a 3 kg rucksack and whatever I can fit in my pockets.

To me, this trip is somewhat exciting, but mostly terrifying. I don't like uncertainty, and I've never traveled anywhere completely alone before. I've had this feeling creeping up on me that maybe my schedule is way, way, way too ambitious, and that I'll never be able to keep it, getting stranded far from my booked (and non-refundable!) accommodation. Especially not to a country whose people are notoriously bad at speaking English. Not to mention I really don't know anyone on that continent, so any rescue is kinda far away.

I've never been in Asia before. I never even had real Asian food. I'm a picky eater who among things doesn't enjoy soy sauce or anything that comes from the sea, so Japan ought to be a challenge! I guess it's a good thing I leveled up my chopstick skills to the point where I can eat instant noodles without having them go everywhere.

Oh well, It's time for me to head off to the airport. More posts will follow if I survive the trip, and assuming my OpenPandora doesn't finally give in.

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