Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hannah Comes to Town part 1

Or How Much It’ll Cost You (and Me) When You Come Visit

I kept track of my expenses on my iPod, which quickly turned into a kind of journaling. It’s so easy to type “120 ice cream” while I’m eating the stuff instead of waiting until I’m on the train or at home and want to sleep instead of write Dear Diary. I started off journaling the first two days, then didn’t open my little hardback spiral until I had seen Hannah off the following Sunday. If any of you ever wonder about what I write in my trusty journal/lesson plan notebook, now you know. I will be printing this out, cutting it down to size, and then pasting the pages inside my journal. I have only one stone, and there are two birds. Booyah.

I’ve also broken the trip into sections for easier reading. I’ll post them in an order that makes it easy for you to read while scrolling down, which means I’ll be back-posting (telling the computer I wrote the next part before this). There’s not so much video that you can’t print out the text and read it in your extremely limited free time, Mom. Just for you.

Let’s do this. First installment.

Friday night:

My friend Nanami helped me buy a ticket from Kameoka to the Kansai airport (3670 yen) and from there to Hiroshima (13015 yen per ticket). Then Nanami got on a train to get on a night bus bound for Tokyo, because she made time for me in a really busy schedule. I have the coolest friends.


My bed was finally delivered that morning and I discovered that the sheets I had did not fit. My overstuffed apartment received a final cleaning and I packed my clothes, travel necessities, and a whole lot of snack food. To the station I went to pick Hannah up from the airport by about 4:00.

I ran into Ashley and Scott, a couple of fellow municipal JETs as they were coming out of the airport. We chatted very briefly, they introduced me to the friends that they had met at the airport, and we promised to be better about keeping in touch. I hurried to Kansai Airport’s International Arrivals to see my dear friend Hannah awaiting me. We ran and hugged, squealed, attracted attention, etcetera. A brief side trip to exchange money and it was off to the shinkansen.

The train ride to Osaka and then from there to Hiroshima was largely uneventful. I think we slept for most of the ride. I visited good old McDonald’s at Hiroshima station for a chicken filet meal (610 yen), then Hannah and I grabbed a taxi (1410 yen) to the Aster Plaza International Youth Hostel. We could have found the bus, but we were nervous (I was nervous) about misreading the kanji and schedule.

The hostel, which is huge and far swankier than I had expected, was fairly full. The only two-bedroom available had been a handicapped room. I accepted, hoping that there were no handicapped people who needed a room after I had taken the last. We quickly discovered that the staff behind the reception desk are plenty capable in English; I think they might have gotten impatient with my caveman Japanese. The room was slightly more expensive than the regular double rooms, but was still a fairly inexpensive 12520 for two people for two nights. Save for when I accidentally sounded an alarm while trying to find the light switch, Hannah and I went to bed.

On the train to Shin-Osaka station


  1. If you need help recounting the days, I did keep track, though somewhat belatedly, of what we did. On my flight home I recounted from Thursday to present before trying to sleep. P.S. Awesome job so far!