The day was sweltering. I know that all the Ontario relatives will have a good laugh when I say that I can't get used to the humidity. I'm a B.C girl and I don't know how people do it. Most Japanese people carry around a wet facecloth with them and use it when they get too hot. You see quite a few women with umbrellas as parasols in the heat for shade but mostly older women. Very few people wear hats and if they do it's almost always women.
How often do you get to say that you rode around in a giant swan? The Kichijoji park has Swan pedal boats, regular pedal boats and row boats for hire. We rented two swans and headed out on the small lake. It was a lot of fun. You got a half an hour. It was mostly teenage couples, young families and then two guys dressed really '80's who rowed to the back and put on Depeche Mode sounding Japanese music and just hung out and talked.
We walked around for awhile afterwards. Lots of people were walking their dog except one man was pushing his Pekingese in a standard wheelchair. Bereket was fascinated by the ducks and a man collecting fish and shellfish and took many photos but he wants to blog about him.
The next morning we met Makoto again and checked out of the apartment. We have included photos of our apartment and will try to remember to in the places that follow (thanks for the reminder, Denise!).
It's nice to be in a smaller city after Tokyo. Nara has around 300 000 people in it and lots of tourists. People here already seem a bit less reserved than in Tokyo and we get more hellos on the street. Makoto told us to say Okini instead of Arigato for thank you and that gets lots of startled looks and laughs from people who don't expect us to know that dialect.
We had a great dinner at a place near the Train station. We, again, ordered off of a vending machine like a lot of restaurants here and it spit out tickets that you give to your waitress. Poor Eskedar had a 21st Century kid moment and, when she couldn't see one picture clearly enough, she tried to pinch it to make it bigger (thinking the machine was an ipad?) and accidentally ordered that meal. Luckily she'll eat anything and she really enjoyed her mystery dinner. David and I loved our fish meal and B loved his meat patties and shrimp. Thank God that they aren't picky eaters like I was as a kid.
We stopped at a french bakery and grabbed a few pastries for our breakfast in our room and then headed back to relax. Bereket watched some Japanese tv. One show seemed to involve wearing overall shorts while taking dogs through various trials (river swimming, noodle-eating through split bamboo). It was so bizarre. I truly don't think it would've made sense even if we knew Japanese.
Next up! Our day in Nara. Finally, Temples and Shrines and greedy deer...