Friday, July 15, 2005

Off to Yokohama

A Pleasant Discovery
Today, we packed up and left the hotel. The staff served us so politely that I wished they changed the air conditioners. That would rid the tobacco smell, quiet the room, and then I could recommend the hotel. But for now, I cannot recommend it.

Today, we visited the Yokohama Broadcast Library to watch old commercials and old television programs. The research must continue, but first I had to eat. I discovered one of the secrets to eating delicious lunch at cheap prices: eat where the office workers eat. Just below the library was a cafeteria-style joint where you served yourself all-you-can eat rice and miso soup (you can see the rice container on the table next to the man). And the meal cost the equivalent of only $5.00!! It consisted of negi-toro (raw tuna and green onions), pickled vegetables, miso soup, rice, and all you can drink iced tea. A case of raw eggs was on the table. You were to crack an egg, mix it up, pour it over your hot rice, mix it, and eat with your nori (dried seaweed). Here is a picture of the meal (yes, I had seconds of rice and soup). It is cheaper and healthier to eat in Japan than in Hawaii if you know where to look.

All this delicious food for only $5.00.

Excellent service compared to what you would recieve back home!!

I did some good research at the library. The staff was exceedingly polite – even bowed and said to us “thank you for coming” when we left. What other library would do this? Afterwards, we walked a little around the Yokohama stadium area. Unlike Tokyo, one could see lots of greenery in this area. A concert by the group "Yuzu" was about to start, and I saw fans with pleading faces standing outside the station with signs asking for tickets. Or were they scalpers trying to sell tickets like in the U.S? So being a typical obnoxious tourist I took a picture of a pleading fan.

Then we ran off to Yokohama station to buy Reiko and her sister some wine. BTW, you want to know how much good fruit costs here?

Yes, each box of fruit costs around $50! Talk about expensive vitamin C!

Now Yokohama station must rank as one of the most crowded stations I ever saw in my life. I then saw some strange guys with tanned skin and dressed in tank-tops (a rarity in Japan) run up to women. I thought they were pick-up artists, but Yoko said they were “catch sales” people, who make you buy unnecessary things. His intended target is at the lower right hand corner of the photo. He kept talking to her and following her, but she just ignored him.

Reiko, and her sister Yoko met us a few stops from Yokohama station and drove us to their place, an old Japanese house that surprisingly did not feel sweltering like western style apartments. Must be something about the construction of these old wooden houses. We stayed up late chatted and drank.

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