Thursday, June 02, 2011


Now we are on our way to Tokyo, on the shinkansen (the bullet train), something that seems amazingly luxurious in comparison to the some of the places we've stayed or eaten, and some of the conveyances we've used (little local buses that threaded their way through what I would have thought were impossibly narrow streets). We took the ferry to Uno, then two trains to get us onto the shinkansen to Osaka, changing there for Tokyo.

All told it will take us about 8 hours to get from the beach on Naoshima to our hotel in Osaka. We grabbed a quick snack in the station before getting on the first bullet train, I managed to select and order a piece of sponge cake stuffed with cream and fruit at one of the fancy French bakeries that currently dot Japan (everything was labeled in Japanese and the delightful young woman behind the counter had about as much English as I have Japanese). She came round the front so I could pick out what I wanted and when she went to pack it up she asked me a question with numbers in it. I was confused, she tried again. Ah, she wanted to know how long before I was going to eat the cake so she could pack it with the right number of ice packs. Not being sure, I said two hours, which resulted in four little ice packs, neatly tucked into their own ventilated paper frames, being popped into my cake box, along with the cake and fork (but no napkin!). That went into a blue bag. Marc and Hank opted for less elegantly packed (but equally rich) savory snacks at the place next door. Since we won't get to our hotel until around 8:30 or 9, dinner will be late tonight; snacks are a good idea.

Tomorrow is our last full day in Japan, I feel a bit like I did when I finished the Exercises, lots of things stuffed into my brain (and my bags) that need to get taken out and given some space to expand.

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